Nolte: Pirate Streaming Sites Cost Hollywood $30 Billion Annually

“[P]iracy involving illegal streaming services as well as file-sharing costs the US economy about $30 billion in lost revenue a year and some 250,000 jobs,” reports the far-left Bloomberg.

That estimate comes from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center. “The global impact,” the report adds, “is about $71 billion annually.”

“Ever since taking on Netflix Inc. at its own game, old Hollywood has struggled to turn a profit in streaming, with the likes of Disney+, Peacock and Paramount+ losing billions of dollars each year[.]” This has Wall Street living with the fear that streaming services will never match the massive income generated by cable TV. And that’s because they won’t.

“But the age of streaming has been a boon for some unintended winners,” Bloomberg found. Primarily “pirates that use software to rip a film or television show in seconds from legitimate online video platforms and host the titles on their own[.]” These “illegitimate services … rake in about $2 billion annually from ads and subscriptions.”

Because these pirate sites don’t share the burden of the costs associated with producing the movies and TV shows they stream for their subscribers, the Motion Picture Association (MPA) believes their profit margins reach as high as 90 percent.

The MPA says there are about 130 illicit streaming sites earning five to ten dollars a month from each of two million subscribers.

“Some of these pirate websites have gotten more daily visits than some of the top 10 legitimate sites,” Karyn Temple, the MPA’s general counsel, told Bloomberg. “That really shows how prolific they are.”

Within two years, starting with 2022, the cumulative losses will climb to $113 billion.

The article gives some of the two million illicit subscribers the benefit of the doubt. The pirate sites are sophisticated enough to look legitimate, so people might not know it’s illegal. Still, there is a full-court legal press to put a stop to this. Millions of unvetted illegal aliens flooding over the border? Hollywood doesn’t care. But don’t you dare not pay full price for Squid Game.

Listen, I’m not into pirating. Can you imagine what would happen if a Breitbart guy was caught doing something illegal? Even without something of a public profile, I probably wouldn’t imbibe. Tech stuff drives me crazy, and at my advanced age, I have no desire to complicate my life with something that could get me in trouble. Then there’s the fact it is stealing.

However, I do understand the impulse. The people who make this content hate us. Who wants to fund that? Hollywood also lives off of our tax dollars with all that corporate welfare, and what do we get in thanks for all that money? Insulted and overcharged.

As a former streaming subscriber, I get it… You constantly feel cheated by how awful and politically obnoxious streaming content is, how you are constantly attacked for who you are. It’s exhausting. No one wants to feel cheated.

Another attraction to these pirated sites is finding all the good stuff in one place. Instead of subscribing to five streaming outlets to see all the content you like, you subscribe to one, and it’s all right there.

The bottom line to all this is that Hollywood is in serious, serious trouble. The affirmative action of cable and satellite TV, where tens of millions of dummies fund dozens of channels they never watch, is coming to an end.

Streaming is merit-based. We have to want to pay for the content, and when the content sucks, unlike cable TV (which forces us to pay for everything), we don’t have to pay for it.

I have no doubt some of these people are pirating out of spite, as a way to hate Hollywood back.

To paraphrase comedian Chris Rock, I’m not saying it’s okay to pirate movies and TV … but I understand.

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