Netflix Launch in Ireland Will Not Stop Piracy of Movies & TV

We’ve heard all our American friends talking about how great Netflix is for them. We’re read the headlines that it’s responsible for 30% of their bandwidth. And we were excited when we heard they were coming to the UK and Ireland.

In Ireland, we just have shite delivery of TV and movie content. No one rents movies any more. We spend enough time commuting to work and don’t want to pay extortionate amounts for DVD rentals. Online services are limited to iTunes or Zune. Despite the presence of hundreds of TV channels, people have gotten tired of the poor delivery of TV shows from America. For example, Irish TV station Network 2 is where they are typically shown …. when there isn’t some God-awful Man United or Arsenal or Champions League game on. And RTE1 is celebrating their 50th anniversary by filling their hours with repeats of shows made in the 1960s and 1970s. Heck, the funniest show on TV is The Big Bang Theory and they used to show that at 2am in the morning. And anything they do show is years old …. they’re only about 18 months behind on CSI … which they show when there’s no football on a Tuesday night (rare enough).

So it should come as no surprise that just about anyone who has a fixed broadband connection has disks full of “online backups”. That way people can watch all the good shows within a few hours of them being on in America. Yup, the producers earn zippo from this but who’s to blame? If there’s demand but there’s no distribution then people will find a way. Certain music may have been banned in the USSR but the kids still found a way. And the Internet makes it oh so easy (SOPA won’t have a hope BTW).

So along comes Netflix. In the USA you get unlimited content for $8/month. My big fear was of a currecny rip-off. I expected €15 or €20 rates in Ireland. They launched yesterday and the price was a mere €7/month. That works out less than the annual compulsory TV license to pay for the awful state owned broadcaster (RTE). If anything could squash movie and TV piracy then this should be it.

So it appears that half the nation signed up for the 30 day free trial with unlimited access to the Netflix Ireland catalogue. And boy were we disappointed. There might be a dozen movies from 2011. On the TV side, they only have seasons 1 & 2 of Dexter (USA) and season 1 of Outnumbered (UK).

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was interviewed on Newstalk 106 (radio) this morning at 08:52. I listened to a recording online. People texted in to criticise the service. The content was shite. You’re tricked into Facebook integration to share information about your viewing habits – you have to go into Netflix account settings to disable that.

Long story short: people in Ireland (and the UK) will not pay €6.99/month for an archive of Corey Feldman movies. They want current content. If satellite, cable, broadcast, and online services won’t do it, then they’ll continue to use Bittorrent. I suspect a lot of people will be cancelling their Netflix accounts when their free trials expire. That’s my plan unless the content improves drastically in the next 4 weeks.

6 thoughts on “Netflix Launch in Ireland Will Not Stop Piracy of Movies & TV”

  1. Not at all surprised by your take on Netflix. We have been whining about the same crap over in the States for quite some time now. Funny, some of the major studios just don’t seem interested in this new medium/distribution channel. They would rather fight for stupid legislation like SOPA and PIPA and file suit via the RIAA than adapt to a changing marketplace.

    I believe that, in the end, they will lose that fight, but they will not go down easy.

    1. 100% agreed Mark. They have an opportunity with channels like Netflix, etc, to bypass costly traditional distribution and get direct to their customer. But they are gripping to old channels with their cold dead hands. The producers don’t seem to realise that they are dead companies walking. SOPA etc cannot stop IP based peer distribution. Hell, there are people out there who carry USB hard drives with them to share content with friends. A 2.5″ drive can store a lot of TV shows and movies. If the don’t distribute content effectively then people will continue to accelerate their “online backup” habits. Companies like Netflix have a channel that can work … but it needs content and it doesn’t have that. No one will pay a subscription for 20-30 year old movies when they can get curent ones “elsewhere”.

  2. When will these muppets ever learn that the Irish consumer will not tolerate a crap service. We have a long history of people trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Netflix will pay the price if they don’t get their act together quickly. Give us recent content or I say bye bye..

  3. I have to admit, I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about Netflix. I can’t really see the problem, myself. I have an account, and I’m perfectly happy with the content. Sure, it’s not the most up to date stuff, there there is enough there that I haven’t yet seen, that I really don’t miss new stuff all that much. I’ve had an account since it started in Ireland. In that time, I’ve grabbed films by torrent oooh….three times. Three films. I used to torrent about that many a week, before having Netflix. Plus, it’s constantly updating. The best moment for me? Discovering Gene Roddenbury’s Andromeda had been added, in full. Sure, it was shown between 2000 and 2005, but with Sky One and Syfy messing around at the time, I stopped watching after season 2.

    Am I the only Irish person that doesn’t have a problem with the Netflix content? In fact, at times..I find there’s too much choice.

    (OK, tell a lie…they really need to update the Anime section, but that’s my biggest issue *shrugs*)

    1. 🙂 I think you are the only Irish person who doesn’t have an issue with the content. I was in the USA a month ago, and logged into my Netflix account one night. I didn’t think the log in would work; it’s never worked outside of Ireland/UK before. But it did work, and d-a-m-n, there was some difference in content. At first I thought Netflix had negotiated a big bump in content for UK/IE subscribers. But nope, their logon system is actually rather simple – right name? right password? in any Netflix licensed country? And then it brings up the content for that country you are in. The content I saw was what I expect in Ireland.

      I’ve a funny feeling that Sky’s new online only service will kick some butt if they price it right.

    2. My kids love watching cartoons, movies… And my husband and I have an opportunity to watch movies we didn’t watch before because of a busy life, specially with 3kids… And we noticed that they update their list quite often ;). 3 months with them and no digital or satellite tv! Kids nots complaining. Happy customers as well!

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