EditorialStreaming

Official Streaming Services vs Pirated Streaming – Should You Pay For Content?

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Image courtesy Bloomberg

Streaming is the current trend and everything at the moment can clearly tell you that it is the future of entertainment. But the debate on streaming goes even deeper when it comes to paid services and pirate streaming platforms. Which one is worth it and is it even possible to be conformed to one and totally escape the other?

Paid streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Showmax and more have always been perceived as a “rich man’s” affair. Having to budget for content streaming services can seem like a hectic issue to place on yourself. This is mostly seen by many as a waste of money especially when there are other sites that offer similar services for free.

After months of navigating through both categories, we can admit that the argument still stands. So, it really is important to look at what separates the two and which of the two types of sites are actually worth it.

Limited Content

Studies have been done previously in international markets showing that despite being subscribed to three or more streaming services, many people still find themselves running back to illicit sites to stream content. And one of the main reasons why these case studies do so was because there were movies, series or live sports events that they couldn’t get on the paid platforms. This can most certainly be related by viewers here in Kenya.

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For instance, fans of Netflix’s The Last Kingdom in Kenya can certainly agree that getting the latest season is close to impossible. And the only way to actually get to watch it on Netflix is by having a VPN on your device which you still have to pay for on a monthly basis. So, why would one bother to pay for a streaming service and then have to pay for additional charges just to get content that was supposed to be there in the first place?

Eventually, loyal users of Netflix find themselves having to rush to pirated sites to get their favourite content.

It is no news that most if not all of these legal streaming services limit the type of content to have according to various geographical locations, mostly thanks to legal reasons. So as much as it hurts, illegal sites have a huge headstart when it comes to the amount of content.

Internet Connection

This might not be related to everyone but some can relate to the high demand for a stable connection that pirate sites usually have in comparison to paid streaming sites.

Sports fans can especially relate to this. Streaming English Premier League matches on TotalSportek or Watched is not an easy affair since most of the posted links usually end up buffering a lot especially if you have a slow connection. On the other hand, doing the same on Showmax Pro is a totally different experience since it rarely buffers even if your internet is acting up.

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This is one of the main reasons why those who can afford to find it hard to totally abandon legal streaming sites. The inconsistency that the pirate links come with can sometimes prove to not be worth it at all.

Security and General Experience

Despite the limitations that they come with, we can all agree that paid streaming services have the best user interfaces around. It is mostly business for them and the least they would want is users to start complaining about awful interfaces.

This, however, varies when it comes to illegal sites as there are some that have some desirable looks while others are just dreadful.

It is no news to everyone that streaming content via pirate sites and apps is risky. It is simply diving into the dark web and hoping that the host is not malicious enough to get anything from your device. At times, privacy is even exploited despite securing your device with antiviruses and VPNs.

But if you cannot avoid using these sites, one should always make sure that their devices are guarded as highly as possible. Meanwhile, you almost get no concerns at all when it comes to sites like Netflix, Showmax or Amazon Prime Video.

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Which streaming services do you use and do you think piracy sites are worth the risk?

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