Journal article Open Access

Netflix as a Piracy Disruptor? A Cross-Sectional Test of Accessibility and Affordability on Interest in Piracy

David Makin; Oliver Bowers

With the increase in digital media streaming outlets, consumers are faced with a multitude of options as well as potentially increased costs to watch digital media. The traditional methods of studying digital media piracy have failed to adequately capture long-term trends or reveal potential methodologies for understanding this behavior. Using Internet search query data for the period of 2004-2018 and purchasing power parity indexes as a measure of standard of living, we examine the relationships between legal and illicit sources of digital media and how economic factors affect their usage on a global scale. In certain contexts, the introduction of Netflix to a country has a disrupting influence on interest in piracy. However, this influence is not universal, nor of the same magnitude. A multitude of factors, including the availability of legal alternatives, affect piracy globally. 

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