The streaming market is increasingly competitive, which has generated great subscriber drops for the leader Netflix in 2022. However, the growth of services like HBO Max and Disney+ is not the only factor that is moving the segment.
In Brazil, apps aimed at piracy already appear among the most popular on the Play Store, the official Android app store. According to data from the Play Store, two of the platforms in question already have more than 5.5 million downloads through the store.
Alternative streaming apps appear among the most popular on the Play Store
In the second week of June, the entertainment apps category had three alternative apps on the most wanted list. As you can see in the screenshot above, the Cine Vision V5, Tyflex Oficial and MegaFlix platforms surpassed official services like HBO Max, Netflix and the duo Disney+ and Star+ in the most searched category.
What is MegaFlix and Cine Vision? Is it piracy?
The apps that reach the top of the Play Store have a friendly video interface that resembles official services, but they offer the contents of their catalog through piracy. MegaFlix, one of the most popular solutions, has an interface that could be the envy of services like HBO Max and Disney+, with fast navigation, most watched content and the possibility of easily downloading videos.
The content distributed in the apps, however, comes from illegal sources. Unlike solutions like Google TVwhich brings together different streams on an official platform, alternative apps stream pirated content: movies that are still in theaters, for example, can now be watched on services in low quality versions.
The catalog of illegal films even includes productions that are still in theaters
In addition to distributing illegal content, free applications also display a high amount of ads for users, constantly redirecting to other apps, but that’s not stopping platforms from growing.
Piracy on the Google Play Store
Even with the reach of apps like MegaFlix and CineVision, Google highlights that distribution of pirated content is prohibited and the company fights illegal apps. “Our policies prohibit apps that infringe copyright, encourage illegal streaming, or attempt to mislead users by impersonating other apps.”
On its anti-piracy website, the company also said it removes illegal apps from the store based on complaints from copyright holders. We’ve contacted the company for more details on the store’s security policies, but we haven’t received a response yet.
Alternative apps dominate the Play Store’s Entertainment section
This Tuesday (14), the list of most popular entertainment apps on the Play Store still had Cine Vision and MegaFlix among the most popular, dominating the ranking among the most sought after. On the other hand, the Official Tyflex, which appeared among the most downloaded last week, has possibly been removed from the store and no longer appears in searches.
dangers of piracy
While free access and the wide catalog of content draw attention in pirated streaming apps, alternative platforms may pose dangers to the user, informs information security specialist Daniel Barbosa, from ESET. In addition to not having official support and structure, illegal services can also be used for illicit purposes.
According to the expert, some Illegal video apps can hide trackers that monitor the device, accessing everything from files to the geolocation of the cell phone. Some platforms also require user registration and ask for login information, which can be used for scams.
The ESET expert says that the ideal is to avoid applications with illegal content. When apps are distributed in official stores, the company recommends researching background on the platform, keeping an eye on reviews and seeking solutions from serious companies that can be held responsible in case of problems.