Less-than-legal media sites arise, thrive, fade, and die all the time without fanfare or commentary. A big one, Coke and Popcorn, is apparently joining that list — but what makes its demise fairly unusual is that it is actually warning users that it’s shutting down… and asking them to go legit.
TorrentFreak notes today that popular pirate streaming site Coke and Popcorn is no more, with the site issuing a formal farewell to its users.
“As many of you noticed the site has not been updating for quite some time,” reads the message. “It is time to say good bye, Sorry to announce that Coke & Popcorn had closed down for good.”
It then concludes with: “There are now a lot of other better places to enjoy online TV, we recommend Netflix,” and a link to the internet TV giant.
Those of us of a certain age are likely familiar with the era of illicit downloads and peer-to-peer sharing kicked off by Napster nearly two decades ago. But just as streaming video services replaced DVD collections, so to has streaming become the norm for pirated video. A 2016 study found that about 74% of all piracy was through streaming sites, where classic torrent downloads represented only about 17% of pirate activity.
Industry and researchers have predicted for years that making streaming content easy to use, widely available, and comparably cheap would also drive down piracy — and some data seems to be bearing that out.
One 2012 study found that people who said they were pirating less content were using legal streaming services to access entertainment instead. And research from Australia in 2016 found that as more legal streaming services were introduced in that nation, Australian rates of piracy dropped.
The fact that Coke and Popcorn is not just folding, but encouraging users to “be careful and only use safe alternative sites like Netflix” seems as though it could be more fodder for that argument.