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Netflix, Spotify and the Economics of Chasing Piracy

Netflix, Spotify and the Economics of Chasing Piracy

Image of Netflix LogoRight now, if you live in the United States, for less than $20 per month you can have a premium Spotify account ($9.99) and a Netflix account ($8.99) and have unlimited access to both millions of songs and thousands upon thousands of hours of video content.

In short, for just $20 per month, you can rest assured that you will never be hurting for something to watch on your television and music to listen to. Between Spotify’s near-complete music library and Netflix’s video library, you will be entertained, 24/7 if you so choose. Add in Hulu Plus ($7.99/month) and Amazon Prime ($99/year) and your options improve even further.

While it may not be the dream of seeing or listening to absolutely everything you want immediately for free (though Spotify does offer a free account), it is the golden age of legitimate access to content. Not only do all of the old options still exist, including newspapers, radio, movie theaters and CDs, but a bevy of options are now available online that offer access that was unthinkable just 20 years ago.

Yet, despite the dropping costs and increased access, piracy is still rampant. In fact, a recent study found that piracy in the United States was growing, not decreasing, as more people turn to p2p networks, streaming sites and file lockers to get free access to copyrighted content.

Why is it that, even as legitimate content gets cheaper and more convenient, illegal sources continue to thrive and grow? It’s because piracy isn’t a simple problem and anyone who says otherwise is either lying or naive.Continue Reading