The illegal streaming service Popcorn Time has been shut down. The reason is simple: it is not popular anymore.
A box of popcorn was almost an icon, a sign of a treasure trove of movies and series. Free show. And it was easy to click open, because the interface looked somewhat like a Netflix screen. But Popcorn Time was illegal, it was a gathering place torrentnetwerken, who downloaded pirated movies and series and shared them with other users.
On Tuesday, the group behind the service pulled the same plug with a RIP message on the home screen. On the same screen today there is a file Table With Google searches for Popcorn Time. This says it all: in recent years, interest has declined, almost completely collapsing at the end of 2021. In 2020, you’ll notice a brief spike during the first shutdown.
Popcorn Time saw the light of day in 2014. In the bud were a group of Argentine computer geeks. Their brainchild quickly became one of the most popular services for illegal video material. In 2015, Netflix warned its investors about Popcorn Time and CEO Reed Hastings stated that “piracy remains one of our biggest competitors.”
The original founders left the ship relatively quickly. Later, leaked emails from Sony revealed potential lawsuits from the film industry. But the service continued to operate even without its makers. It was an open source system, so any developer could keep building on it. Over the past few years, the service has stopped streaming more often – forcibly or not – but then came back in a different form. Now the departure seems final.
However, the end of Popcorn Time does not mean that Hollywood no longer suffers from piracy. Movie piracy is still a huge problem, and the pandemic has certainly not helped solve it. The plague worsened during the first shutdowns, when movie theaters were closed and movies went straight in.
And just because Popcorn Time is over doesn’t mean there are no alternatives. Those who have taken a look at Google searches in recent days have noticed that the illegal streaming service Stremio is already attracting a lot of attention.
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