Fairfax, one of Australia’s largest media companies, says it is.
And inasmuch as they’re Big Dogs in the country that gave us WILFRED, we’re all ears:
Show Doing Well on BitTorrent? We’ll Buy It, Says Media Giant – by Ernesto
Fairfax’s head of video Ricky Sutton has admitted that his company’s acquisition strategy is in large part based on what content is popular on BitTorrent. Not only is Fairfax using BitTorrent as a market research tool, the company also admits to advertising their content offerings directly on BitTorrent sites, in an attempt to convert pirates into paying customers.
It’s no secret that most media companies are not thrilled about BitTorrent piracy.
However, instead of fighting a futile battle to eradicate all unauthorized downloads, BitTorrent can also offer a unique insight into the viewing habits of millions of people.
Fairfax, one of Australia’s largest media outlets, appears to realize this.
At a government broadband conference in Sydney, Fairfax’s head of video Ricky Sutton admitted that in a country with one of the highest percentage of BitTorrent users worldwide, his company determines what shows to buy based on the popularity of pirated videos online.
“One of our major ways to get content is going to BitTorrent, and other BitTorrent sites, and find what people are illegally downloading to then go to the content owner and say, ‘hey, I watched this last night it’s going awesome on BitTorrent’ and then say ‘how about giving it to us?”‘
In other words, BitTorrent serves as one of the main market research strategies for the Aussie media outlet. And it doesn’t stop there as The Australian reports.