4. There’s a lot of’em! CTAM, the NCTA and their leadership are tracking roughly 200 different pirated video sources. Ah, for the simple days of “just” competing against DirecTV and DISH for video customers!
That’s probably why the words “cottage industry” crop up with such frequency, when discussing the state of online video piracy. If the Uber/Lyft community of drivers is any indication, seems like a lot of people are taking side jobs to supplement their regular income. Selling pirated video is similar avenue, often very lucrative. As Jack Burton1 explains in “The Sky is Falling: Could OTT From Unexpected Places Herald the Napsterization of Television?
“This developed not from the pirate labs of the 1990s, but from groups of college kids, homemakers, professionals, etc. that have found this to be a source of supplemental income. Truly a ‘cottage industry’ – work is done in the home. There are even stories of modified streaming players being sold at shopping mall kiosks.”
Why this matters: The expansion of the online piracy marketplace is akin to a low-grade infection. Even with the take-downs of major online pirate sites this year, the derivative – the growth of the growth – is worthy of heightened concern.
1 Jack is a respected engineer, most recently with Cablevision Systems/Altice. The paper referenced will be published in an upcoming edition of Broadband Library.