Torrent shutdown brings cheer for video-streaming players in India

New Delhi: The sudden demise of the two biggest BitTorrent players — website Kickass Torrents (KAT) and search engine Torrentz — has left Torrent lovers in a limbo globally, including in India.

However, for the over-the-top (OTT) and video-on-demand (VOD) players in the country, this is good news as it will drive people away from downloading pirated content and bring them under the legal video-streaming umbrella. Although still somewhat concerned over cloned torrent sites and restless users making a beeline there (as you read this, an alternate torrent website — Torrentz2.eu — is already up and running, offering the latest pirated movies, TV shows and video songs), the OTT players are upbeat.

“We find people are willing to pay a fair price for great content, delivered without hassle whenever they want it as opposed to resorting to illegal methods. Our push to secure global rights and release all originals simultaneously to our global members will help address piracy by those who simply want access to the latest movies and TV shows,” a spokesperson for the popular video streaming service Netflix told IANS.

The outlook for the Indian OTT video content industry looks extremely positive. According to a recent report from market research firm Media Partners Asia (MPA), the OTT market in the country is expected to cross 100 million unique monthly users by 2020.

Is the Torrentz shutdown then a big blow to piracy? “Active policing against piracy by content owners and a paradigm shift in content consumption from desktop to mobile will contribute to the eventual death of piracy. Users don’t have to go through the hassle of downloading content illegally from torrent websites and make their systems vulnerable to cyber security threats,” said Uday Reddy, CEO and Founder, YuppTV.

“YuppTV offers a legal and an affordable way to watch the video content. Moreover, OTT services provide users the convenience of watching content on any device at any time without having to download the same,” Reddy told IANS.

However, for social media analyst and digital marketing strategist Anoop Mishra, the shutdown will not make a big difference because there are millions of torrent users active today on many search interfaces like The Pirate Bay which has become popular in the torrent community after the shutdown of KAT and Torrentz.

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