How Are Streaming Wars Fueling OTT Video Piracy? 

How Are Streaming Wars Fueling OTT Video Piracy? 


Netflix and Amazon Prime are the two biggest names in the list of video streaming platforms and have enjoyed much success in the past couple of years. But with goliath brands such as Apple, Disney, Zee, Hulu, Hotstar, etc. rushing to get in on the action, original content has started becoming more and more exclusive to more than just one or two streaming services.  

This is leading to ever-escalating streaming wars—in which major media companies are all competing to create an exclusive, in-house content portfolio as a means to drive subscriptions and reduce their content licensing costs. 

This exclusivity strategy only becomes more expensive for the consumer—who ends up subscribing to multiple OTT services to meet their content needs. Consumers are open to signing up for multiple OTT services, according to Brightcove’s 2019 Asia OTT Research Report, but they do have a certain spend threshold when it comes to how much they are willing to pay. 

Since these operators are not willing to open up for content sharing across platforms but trying to do the cable TV-esque approach of locking people into their own platform it’s making it impossible for most people to bear the costs of media. 

Therefore, consumers, who have become accustomed to freedom of choice and convenience, are turning to file sharing to get access to exclusive movies and tv shows because they cannot afford to subscribe to multiple streaming platforms for access to exclusive content. As subscribing to multiple streaming services becomes too costly for consumers, users just sign up for a couple of services—and pirate the rest of the content on their wishlist. 

As such, OTT streaming providers should consider implementing an aggregate strategy on top of their standalone offering, as well as an ad-funded pricing strategy. Given the threat piracy poses to the most valuable assets and bottom line of these media platforms, it is crucial for them to consider the pirate business model in their competitive attack plan.