Netflix raised some eyebrows over the weekend when it revealed that it monitors pirate sites to see which TV series it should be adding to its streaming lineup, but the strategy makes perfect sense to some media observers.
The revelation about Netflix’s pirate polling strategy was revealed by the company’s Vice President of Content Acquisition Kelly Merryman in a posting at a Dutch website called Tweakers. Netflix rolled out its streaming video service in the Netherlands last week.
The Netflix executive explained that what TV series are popular at pirate websites enters into the company’s calculations in what it should buy for streaming to its subscribers.
“With the purchase of series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Merryman told Tweakers.
Netflix did not respond to a request for comment for this story. In an earlier interview with Tweakers, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings noted that illegal downloads from BitTorrent pirate sites could actually drive business to his company.