Popcorn Time shuts down, reflecting shift in piracy trends

US BitTorrent app Popcorn Time, which provided access to pirated movies and TV shows and was once hailed as the ‘Netflix of piracy’, has shut down in a move that some observers see as reflecting the growing availability of legal streaming content and consumers’ willingness to pay for it.

Popcorn Time launched in 2014 and passed through a number of iterations over the years to avoid being shut down. Popcorn Time did not host pirated material on its own but provided links to hosting sites where content could be accessed via BitTorrent.

While the team behind the app said that it was folding as a result of lack of use, Torrentfreak, which first reported the news, said that this was more likely the result of competition from other pirate tools.

Popcorn Time was highly popular as a way to view pirated content for a number of years, and was cited by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings as evidence of a growing threat to his business. More recently, streaming sites and devices have provided more convenient ways for those seeking pirated content to access it.

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