Benjamin Yew Hoong Loh
The television media industry was and still is experiencing a major disruption from the advent of online streaming services. These video-on-demand (VOD) streaming services have afforded television media users with far greater agency and control over their television media. Pirated media has also benefited from these technologies and remains a constant within the television media eco system. Many studies have explored the effects of VOD services and its impact on how people watch television. There is also much work focused on how pirated media is damaging the industry or how people justify their use of pirated media. This paper instead will focus on how the use of VOD services has greatly changed the way users share television media, especially with pirated media and the growing trend of sharing VOD accounts. As the sharing of media is no longer limited to physical media such as VHS and DVD but has expanded to the sharing of VOD accounts and pirated media links. These two developments afford and cause the emergence of novel ways in which contemporary media users consume and share media. The findings are based on an interview study with 30 participants that was conducted in Malaysia and Singapore. The sharing of media has evolved to become the sharing of access and results in the creation of new types of media sharers. A new media user emerges that can consume media wholly for free purely through sharing from their social contacts.
Keywords: media studies, online streaming, media sharing, media piracy