Piracy thrives in Singapore as video-streaming services fail to meet expectations

As per a study, several people opt for illegal ways to download content from the Internet simply because the video-streaming platforms lack desired contents.

TV-show and movie lovers had a pretty good time during the last year and a half as two of the biggest video streaming services, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, made it to the country along with other similar services, such as Viu for Korean dramas, Hooq for Hollywood movies and HBO Go for prestige TV shows. Does that mean piracy is a thing of the past now? Well, you have mistaken if you have reached that conclusion. As per a study conducted by the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa) shows that two out of every five people in Singapore actively stream or download illegal content over the Internet.

The study claims that 63% people, that took part in the procedure, said they turn to illegal content because it's free, while 31% said that their desired TV-shows or movies were just not available on the legal platforms, reported The Straits Times.

The result of the study points out the major problems here. The first issue is that while the content, to choose from, has grown quite a lot in Singapore, it still lags behind compared to that of the western markets, like the United States.The second issue is that while the global content scene seemed to be effectively coming under one solid roof with the legal video streaming platforms, it now appears to be breaking off again, reported the publication.

According to The Straits Times, it actually started last month with Disney's announcement of ending its exclusive distribution with Netflix. The deal allows Netflix to stream all the Disney movies in the US. Instead, from 2019, Disney and Pixar movies will only be shown exclusively on Disney's upcoming video-streaming service.

However, Disney is not the only media company to separate itself from the middlemen like Netflix. In 2014, CBS started its own its CBS All Access service and later this month it will start streaming the new "Star Trek: Discovery" TV series as an exclusive.

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The point is if media conglomerates like CBS and Disney succeed in their quest to run their own video-streaming service, this whole thing will become fragmented with more such media behemoths deciding to open their own video-streaming platforms.

Why is it a bad news for the viewers? It's because along with subscribing to a VPN (virtual private network) service to watch the US-only contents on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, one will have to subscribe to other streaming platforms to watch desired contents. And the end result could be something like cable TV with every other streaming service acting as cable channels. While most of the viewers have ditched the cable TV service in order to go for the Internet video platforms, now they might have to pay for different packages in different streaming apps, which would then be equal or even more than what one had to pay for the cable TV. Hence, the piracy and turning to the illegally downloadable content.