Asaf Ashkenazi
Asaf Ashkenazi
May 28, 2020

Follow the Money: Where the studios go, the pirates and cybercriminals follow closely behind... It's wherever the money is flowing

 

Studios are doing things that probably weren't even thinkable five years ago, let alone five months ago. And with great irony, Tom Hanks, one of the first U.S. celebrities to announce they caught COVID-19, is now part of the first batch of major studio releases to go straight to home streaming services instead of movie theaters in the United States.

Greyhound, Hanks’ latest movie about World War II, was just recently bought by Apple and is likely slated to be debuted via the Apple TV+ streaming service – bringing another major film direct to consumers’ living rooms instead of theaters. Viewers will be microwaving their own popcorn and mixing their own homemade cocktails. It’s definitely a different business model.

Greyhound will likely join the ranks of Trolls World Tour, Emma and The Invisible Man, as the latest major films to bypass the usual business model and change it up entirely. It’s studios’ method of adjusting to the times and the new demands of consumers looking for safety, convenience and flexibility while still enjoying the latest Hollywood has to offer.

The move to direct streaming availability is a notable decision. After all, Hank’s Greyhound was scheduled to be distributed via Sony Pictures theatrical calendar around the 2020 Father’s Day weekend and instead is now slated to eventually be available through the ever-expanding Apple TV+ service.

So what does this mean for streaming services and their audiences? It means that the usual pirates and cybercriminals are going to give the streaming service a run for its money. There’s little doubt that piracy gurus will look to benefit from their ability to take that new content and make it available for pennies on the dollar. In the end, cybercriminals follow the money. And the money is now being made through streaming services – there is almost an obvious mission on their part that that’s where they are going to focus their efforts. Movie theaters are closed or scarce. Thus, it’s going to create a different path for content-oriented criminals that benefit from online users wanting content on the cheap or for free.

Stay tuned for any potential analysis of the piracy we see with Greyhound. Hopefully we’ll be able to provide some added insight into the latest criminal tricks they have up their sleeves. There’s clear evidence that proper end-to-end video content security would help organizations battle piracy and unauthorized access. During today’s unprecedented COVID-19 challenges, any positive shifts that provide a unique combination of profitability and transparency is a great bonus that everyone values.