Popcorn Time, which was once a popular destination for illegal movies and TV shows, has shut down. First launched in 2014, the desktop software allowed users to stream latest movies and American TV shows in high-quality, causing headaches to several streaming giants. In fact, Netflix even warned investors about Popcorn Time in its financial report back in 2015. According to Bloomberg, Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings had declared, “Piracy continues to be one of our biggest competitors." The publication adds that the group behind the software emailed reporters declaring the end.
The Popcorn Time website has also been updated with ‘RIP’ (rest in peace). A graph on the site shows the site’s performance started dwindling post-2016. Interestingly, there was a slight rise in viewership in 2020 that is when the COVID-19 virus started spreading globally. Back in 2014, Popcorn Time also shut down after original developers deserted the platform; however, many replicas started emerging, thanks to the open-source architecture. The application was based on the BitTorrent protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P). It essentially enables users to distribute and download data over the Internet in a decentralised manner.
However, it appears that current developers of Popcorn Time (Popcorn-Time. tw or sometimes .to) shut services because of a fall in the user base. The fall in user base can be attributed to many factors but mainly stemming from legal hurdles and constant change in URLs. Old users of Popcorn Time also complained of slow and interrupted streaming despite getting good video quality. Speaking with TorrentFreak, the Popcorn Time team says that decreased interest from the pirating public drove it to take this drastic decision.
End of torrent?
However, the end of Popcorn Time does not mean a battle won for streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Hotstar. The website and application may return in some other form because of the open-source build. Additionally, popular torrent sites like YTS still continue to exist, where users can download movies in up to 4K resolution. These sites are also accessible via VPN and proxy sites in India.