Netflix is threatened by Popcorn Time’s popularity

The online film and TV streaming service Netflix said that piracy is one of its “biggest competitors”, and singled out the torrent-sharing app Popcorn Time as a serious rival in a letter to shareholders yesterday.

One of the key attractions of Netflix is that, for most users, watching a movie on the service is much easier than illegally streaming one. But the Popcorn Time app allows users to browse a catalogue of films and TV shows, select one for more information, and then begin streaming it after a short buffering period – effectively making piracy as easy as using Netflix.

In particular, Netflix points to a Google Trends graph, based on information collected in the Netherlands, which compares the popularity of searches for Netflix, HBO, and Popcorn Time. The graph indicated that the popularity of Popcorn Time has risen significantly over the past six months, with searches for the app now on par with Netflix and far above HBO. Netflix described the data as “sobering”.

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