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Could Fox's New Streaming Video Policy Turn Web Viewers Into Dastardly Pirates?

/u138055/family_guy_pirate.jpg" width="228" height="197" style="float: right;" />Fox just doesn't seem to get it. Around a week after Netflix's price hike sent irate customers into the arms of its competitors – like Hulu, which Fox has a stake in – the network announced, in a very customer UNfriendly move, that people who don't subscribe to cable, Dish Network or Hulu Plus would soon have to endure an eight-day delay between the time a show airs and the time it appears online. Customers didn't get angry, but they're just going to shrug their shoulders and go back to picking up Family Guy on P2P networks, anyways.

That's what GigaOM theorizes, at least, and its case kinda makes sense. It cites numbers from Torrentfreak, who tracks Bittorrent trends each and every week. Apparently, when a show becomes available on a major streaming provider like Netflix or Hulu, its rate of P2P piracy drops dramatically. In fact, when Hulu launched in 2008, piracy of many of Fox's flagship shows dropped by up to a third. GigaOM says piracy rates could climb by similar rates when Fox's online viewing change takes effect.

Fox's new streaming policy might even push paying subscribers who don't want to bother with authentication procedures into the inviting arms of P2P networks. We won't be able to know for sure how it's going to shake down until the paywall goes into effect on August 15th, but it will be interesting to check out Torrentfreak's data the following week.

What about you, Max PC readers? Are you more likely to download Family Guy on P2P networks the night after it airs, or is waiting for a week no big deal?

07-28-2011, 02:58 PM
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