Netflix is a fantastic story. They started by shipping physical DVDs about 15 years ago, then moved heavily into streaming. Over the past few years, Netflix has moved into more than 40 countries, sometimes building custom content for a specific region (Norway’s Lilyhammer is a good example). How do they make the decision on what content to purchase?
This week Netflix rolled out its service in the Netherlands and the company’s Vice President of Content Acquisition, Kelly Merryman, says that their offering is partly based on what shows do well on BitTorrent networks and other pirate sites.
“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.
Here’s an interview with Reed Hastings. It’s from a Dutch site, but the interview is in English. To skip the intro, jump to :30.