…is the bold stance and headline that made news recently when Orange is the new Black got pirated, and a ransom demand made. That, was indeed a bold move by Netflix to not give in, and as streaming media analyst Dan Rayburn of Frost & Sullivan stated on Wired:

The joy of binge-worthy TV hinges on knowing that other people also binge. A water cooler that only the Pirate Bay gathers around defeats the purpose.

“It’s not an experience,” says Rayburn. “People want to watch it with friends.”

Uncredited. Taken from Facbook/Twitter. Please contact us for Photo credit

Facebook knows the future is Social:

This is exactly what was being discussed during a talk at the OTTVSummit 2017. It also so happens that Facebook had invested an eyebrow raising (at least back in 2013-2014) amount in a company, called Oculus. Of course Facebook has a plan with VR.

Today, there’s already Netflix VR, Hulu VR, and we know from a job posting, Amazon Prime Video is soon going to have their OTT presence upgraded to VR. The important point here is:

“To combat content piracy – build community.

VR lets you do that”



That should be the mantra Telcos, OTT platforms, Movie Studios and Advertisers need to adopt. Let me expand on it…

The image above is from my slide-deck at the OTT Summit, and features the “inside” of the Netflix VR app. It’s your man-cave for lack of a better gender neutral term. (Netflix, give us customizable options, next?) In real life while I’m on my couch watching big screen TV, I can instinctively reach to my left and grab the landline to make a call – In Dubai, landline to landline calls are free. Now that Telcos are looking at an OTT content strategy, how about a “VR” phone that can be picked up to make free international calls; because VOIP?

A little incentive there, to get audiences to “log in” to the Telcos’ or OTT providers Virtual world.

Other ideas to beat Content Piracy:

  • First Day, First Show – would you rather watch a movie on a 5 inch screen or a virtual 10 foot Cinema screen?
  • How about buy one SVOD ticket and via Facebook API integration, invite 4 more people free of cost to movie night in your VR den?
  • You can talk to your virtual guests just like Hulu and Oculus have implemented with their social integration.
  • See that EPG (magazine) on the Coffee table?  Why not update it with real world benefits – discounts, tickets, incentives.

In VR, seeing is believing. One needs to strap on a headset to experience, the experience of interacting with other people.

These ideas only scratch the surface of what can be done to yield tangible, real world benefits – To content owners – Safeguarding their ROI.

Even if pirates create their own VR ‘water cooler’, the incentives to stay legit for many people will be the real world benefits and the sense of “community” while binge watching. On a related note, yes I do occasionally burn a few brain cells watching dumb TV with friends and family – but…

…there’s a lot of content I’d like to binge on, and discuss, with people on my facebook feed who live miles away and can’t ‘hop on over’.

They’ll visit my VR mancave, powered by an OTT platform which I’m willing to pay a subscription for.



Image credits: Main image: Hulu / Oculus . Dejected Pirate image: Paul and Storm. Netflix VR. On Stage photo credit: Pritam Roy.