Those who blame the Internet may not be old enough to remember that piracy was already running wild with floppy disks, K7 tapes and VHS. The ease of the digital environment only enhanced this practice.
Despite being illegal, many people have done piracy in their lifetime – whether it's games, music, movies and software. The reasons may be the high cost or slow or time-consuming distribution, but lack of access has boosted piracy for decades anyway.
But the truth is, apart from the famous gatonet (pirate access to pay TV channels), piracy no longer makes sense to many people. With Spotify, Netflix and games costing a few dollars a month, the act of downloading content illegally began to be set aside.
Sharing passwords with friends and family has become the new piracy, but this practice has not prevented the growth of services such as Netflix, which in Brazil already invoices more than SBT.
This scenario will change very soon. As everyone already knows, competition will increase and a lot. Next year we will have Amazon Prime Video, YouTube Premium, Apple TV +, Globoplay, HBO Max, Disney + and Netflix, among others.
Counting only four of these players, investment in original content by 2020 will exceed $ 30 billion, the equivalent of over $ 120 billion.
Spotify has already demonstrated that it will be firmer with password sharing. According to the app, family is just who lives in the same house.
But there is a big difference between music platforms and movie and series platforms. While podcasting is back in fashion, it's still not enough to differentiate one platform from another when all of them have tens of millions of songs available.
With so many billions invested in original content on television services, consumer choice will no longer be just a cost-benefit issue. And piracy will come back with full force.
In 2008, I participated in a large survey by Datafolha and found that 71% of the Brazilian population assumed they bought pirated CDs or DVDs. Do the math, the 4 million gatonet is small now.
At this time I met people who refused to buy original CDs or DVDs. They said they felt stupid about paying the official amount. When 71% assume in research to commit a crime, the problem is a little more complex: piracy has become an act of rebellion and part of people's culture.
The question remains whether this will happen again. Increasing piracy itself is a relatively easy prediction. The question is whether by hacking content from half a dozen players, consumers will still be likely to subscribe to at least one of them.