Senior executives from Netflix have explained their method for choosing which programs to license for the service: they buy the rights to the most-pirated shows in each territory, because that's where the demand is.
“With the purchase of series, we look at what does well on piracy sites,” Merryman told Tweakers.
One of the shows that Netflix acquired the rights to in the Netherlands is Prison Break, since it is heavily pirated locally. “Prison Break is exceptionally popular on piracy sites,” Merryman says.
In a separate interview Netflix CEO Reed Hastings adds that his company is aware of the many people who download content without permission via torrent sites. However, this is not exclusively a bad thing, as it also creates demand for the content Netflix is offering.
“Certainly there’s some torrenting that goes on, and that’s true around the world, but some of that just creates the demand,” Hastings says.
Netflix Uses Pirate Sites to Determine What Shows to Buy [Ernesto/TorrentFreak]