Popcorn Time, which allows users to stream unauthorized copies of films and offers a free alternative to subscription-based video streaming services, has Netflix worried.
In a letter to shareholders on 20 January 2015, Netflix said that piracy continues to be one of its biggest competitors.
Netflix said that Popcorn Time’s rise relative to Netflix and HBO in the Netherlands was “sobering”.
The company linked to a Google Trends graph for the Netherlands, which showed the sharp rise of Popcorn Time’s popularity over the last six months.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Netflix’s main concern was piracy rather than only Popcorn Time.
Netflix in South Africa
While Netflix is not legal in South Africa, it is enjoying big support in the country and is dwarfing services like Popcorn Time and HBO.
The following graph shows South Africa’s statistics using the same parameters as the Netherlands graph above.
Looking at well-known piracy websites The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents, the picture looks slightly different.