This week Disney launched its new streaming platform which immediately gained millions of subscribers.
At the same time, there was plenty of interest in ‘unauthorized’ Disney+ releases on pirate sites, particularly in the exclusive Mandalorian series.
As one of the largest entertainment companies in the world, Disney is not new to piracy. It has dealt with this issue for decades. However, now that it operates its own exclusive platform there are other factors to take into account.
How do exclusive releases impact piracy rates, for example? And what is the effect on subscriber rates? How the interplay between legal and illegal supply affects revenues can be a complex and dynamic puzzle to solve.
What is clear is that Disney has the goal to minimize piracy. While it’s not publicized much, the company has a dedicated “piracy intelligence” team that continually keeps an eye on the piracy landscape.
Just recently, a new vacancy opened up, perhaps tied to the launch of Disney+. While there are few details available, Disney describes the team as follows:
“The Piracy Intelligence team at The Walt Disney Studios is based in Burbank and provides meaningful piracy insights to inform strategies that maximize revenue for the film and TV business and minimize the piracy impact.”
Disney is currently looking for a market research and data analyst, who will be responsible for supporting a variety of “piracy intelligence initiatives” and to “measure movie and TV viewing trends across digital media platforms.”
Unfortunately, there is not much information online about the goals and accomplishments of Disney’s anti-piracy team. TorrentFreak reached out to multiple contacts at the company, but thus far we have yet to receive a response.
It’s no secret, however, that major entertainment companies keep a close eye on the pirate landscape.
The enforcement side of this is often quite visible. This is also true for Disney. The company is a member of the global anti-piracy coalition ACE, which has filed several lawsuits and chases site owners and developers as well.
However, piracy “intelligence” can also be used as a valuable market signal. That aspect would be more in line with the “market research” and “data analyst” Disney is currently looking for.
This type of piracy use wouldn’t be unique. Previously we reported how Netflix uses piracy to figure out how much they can charge in a country, as well as what content they license. Similarly, Hulu uses piracy data to see what is popular among potential viewers.
Disney may use similar signals to determine how to best position Disney+ and what content it should offer to minimize piracy, and perhaps more importantly, maximize revenue.
While I have no intention of applying for the job, one free bit of advice is to make sure that Disney+ is available everywhere in the world. Right now, many people feel left out which makes pirated Disney+ exclusives quite tempting.
But I guess the intelligence team will notice that soon enough.