Netflix Faces New and Undying Torrenting Threat: Popcorn Time
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has always had competitors, whether it was the ancient video rental stores of old, the RedBox locations found right around the corner, or the shady underworld of torrent files just a few clicks away for savvy computer users. But Netflix won out because of its strong video library and simplicity. However, a competitor that refuses to die has recently reared its face: Popcorn Time.
Torrenting, a complex system for peer-to-peer file-sharing, has been around for a good while. The digital content available for torrenting ranges to just about anything, including books, full TV series, movies, video games, and all types of computer software. Of course, there have been some problems with torrenting. For one, a lot of the torrenting that goes on violates copyright law, though there are plenty of public domain items flying around between users as well. Another issue with it is that it’s just not as simple as idly scanning through Netflix to see if there’s anything worth binging or just watching.
Though Netflix won over many people, torrenting still had a few edges. Just about anything you can find on Netflix can also be found through torrents. Torrenting is also free, so many people who don’t mind a little legal risk can easily save a few bucks every month.
What Popcorn Time did was to create a much simpler interface — more browsing friendly — that would make it all too easy for people to find something they wanted to watch and stream it directly through the Popcorn Time application. The function is similar to Netflix, but it is based on torrents and peer-to-peer connections, so it can be fast while also having greater library with newer content than Netflix. But, some things are a little too good to be true.