Popcorn Time vs Netflix: Battle for the Best Streaming Service 

Popcorn Time vs Netflix: Battle for the Best Streaming Service 

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Popcorn Time, the ‘Netflix for Pirates’ app has taken a great toll on the movie industry. It allows users to watch any blockbuster (latest or old) for free from anywhere.

With that, it also exposes the policies of Hollywood and the copyright holders that revolves around maximizing their profits. Netflix, on the other hand, started with an initial business model that included the sales and rent out of DVDs, but has now grown into one of the leading online streaming services commanding a 94 million user base.

It has become increasingly inevitable to discuss which of the two giant video streaming services, Popcorn Time vs Netflix, has got customers’ approval based on the features they offer. However, to stream both these services outside the US, you may require a Popcorn Time VPN to unblock geographical restrictions. Here we discuss and compare the two services, so read on!

Popcorn Time vs. Netflix: Which is Better?

There are three ways that we could compare the services of Popcorn Time and Netflix i.e. through their performance (services offered), revenue model, and their popularity amongst internet users.

Services Offered

Netflix is the No.1 ranked video streaming service, but one could easily argue that the change in the business model for Netflix from renting out DVDs to streaming videos online has taken users back to some extent.


When Netflix rented out DVDs, it had a large database of 140,000 titles where customers were allowed to choose from the latest to oldest movies from Netflix. But with streaming videos, customers are provided access to around 60,000 titles and that includes the older movies. Even insanely so, users outside the US are offered with an inferior choice of around 10,000 titles.

Even after monthly subscription with Netflix service, its library does not offer cutting-edge releases. It takes around five years from the movie’s release date to become available in the ‘All you can watch’ service. However, with Netflix’s own original shows and movies, this gap has lessened to some extent.

In contrast, Popcorn Time is a free service that exposes how limited content offered by Netflix cannot survive in the digital age. All brand new releases can be watched straight on your devices relatively with ease from anywhere in the world.


Although Popcorn Time is blocked and dubbed as illegal in some countries, it may not be as easy to access the service is Netflix is. The reason for such restrictions is due to the nature of operations of Popcorn Time. Since it runs on BitTorrent protocol and uses the same dynamics that of a P2P network, the service is frowned upon by copyright holder.

But with a VPN, anything is possible. It becomes impossible for the government or your ISP to track your location (IP address) and your internet activities, thus making you invincible.

Although you can install a Netflix addon on Kodi and watch Netflix USA content, however, there are some VPN services you can try as well. Each offers strong security and anonymity. Whether you are looking for the best VPN for Netflix or to run Popcorn Time, following VPNs would be utterly helpful for you.

RankProvidersPrice ($)DiscountMore Info
Editor's Choice
$1.99Per Month
83% Off
2 Years Deal
$2.88Per Month
74% Off
Exclusive Discount 2 years Plan
$2.99Per Month
75% Off
Optimized for Torrents
$2.75Per Month
79% Off
3 Years Deal
$6.67Per Month
35% OFF
No Exclusive Offer

If you are a Netflix user, then a VPN is a handy tool for you as well. Since Netflix libraries are not consistent throughout the world, you can jump across digital fences to access Netflix from various regions.

However, piracy continues to be the biggest competitor for Netflix. It has tried to curb the issue by joining forces with other streaming services, but with little effect. On the contrary, Popcorn Time’s downfall lies with the Hollywood’s legal representation that inflicts pressure on Popcorn Time day-by-day.

Revenue Model

As mentioned before, Popcorn Time is free for its users. But one may wonder, how does it make money? It doesn’t. In the US, making money off an illegal or pirated content is a far graver offense than just posting the pirated content for free.


This is exactly the reason why Popcorn Time has survived this far because there are no ads, no premium accounts, and no subscription fee.

Since its inception, Netflix has over 94 million subscribers worldwide. Netflix earns through a diverse revenue model. It offers a basic subscription package that starts at $7.99/month. Netflix has expanded itself as an online distributor, television production, and film production.


Netflix waits for around 5 years to purchase the rights of a movie in order to stream in ‘All you can watch’ basis. It would require a great deal of money for Netflix to purchase the rights before the allotted time which would eventually increase the subscription cost.

If you’d ask us, it makes it unfair for users to even pay for the subscription and yet they have to wait for a longer time to watch latest movies. Non-Netflix shows take about a season gap to air the show on Netflix, which is also unacceptable to the core unless you hide under a rock and save yourself from spoilers.


The popularity of Popcorn Time has reached its highest-ever ratings and there is no one to blame except for Hollywood failing to offer affordable legal options for its customers. The overwhelming success of the software is partly due to the failure of Netflix and also because of the revenue model that has made it difficult for law enforcement to shut down its operation.

Netflix continues to build its global audience that climbed up to 47% international customers in 2016 from 40% in 2015. However, the decline in the number of US customers is a bit of a worry for Netflix as 60% of US customers in 2015 has declined to 53% in 2016.


Netflix popularity

Popcorn Time vs. Netflix Comparison

Although quite similar in terms of functionality, both are quite different than one another. Both have their own perks. I’ll discuss some of the pros of both Netflix and Popcorn Time below so you can have a better idea.

Pros of Netflix

1) Relatively affordable:

Netflix is pretty cheap. Literally, anyone can afford their subscription plans. No advertisements and unlimited entertainment for only $7.99 a month, is definitely hard to resist.

2) Exclusive content:

Netflix not only airs amazing blockbuster movies and TV shows, but it also has its own lineup of insanely addictive originals.

Award-winning shows like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and even the Daredevil are all Netflix originals.

3) Super simple to find content:

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding a particular show. Instead of scouring through the web for specific seasons and episodes, Netflix makes it dead simple.

It offers a super handy search bar and also automatically skips to the next episode when you’re done.

4) Worldwide coverage:

Another great thing about Netflix is its global availability. No matter where you are, you can definitely enjoy the content that Netflix has to offer.

Pros of Popcorn Time

1) HD quality:

Popcorn time offers insanely high res content. If you have a good internet connection, you should take full advantage of it.

2) No geo-locked content:

Netflix has one annoying issue. The US library isn’t available outside the country. However, with Popcorn Time you don’t have to deal with annoying geo blocks.

That said, you might want to use a VPN just to stay safe.

3) Open source client:

Unlike Netflix which is a giant corporation itself, Popcorn Time is the Open source. Anyone can edit, make changes to the applications UI. This makes the application a lot more stable and it also gets many frequent updates.

4) Absolutely free:

One of the biggest reason why people even use Popcorn Time is that it’s free. It uses torrents and offers pretty much the exact same content you’ll find on Netflix.

Popcorn Time vs. Netflix Reddit Reviews

Internet users have developed a perception where they consider Netflix as a money rolling machine. While others perceive Popcorn Time as a way that enhances customer’s value despite knowing that it offers illegal content.

Considering the quality of the video, one Reddit user rightly observes that Popcorn Time shows videos on Blu Ray quality, while Netflix delivers a quality as received by the copyright holder. Although Netflix video quality is far superior to the video quality of Popcorn Time, there is no denying the fact that Blu Ray version is as good as any video quality.


To what looks like an evenly-poised contest, Popcorn Time has a slight edge over Netflix due to the services that it offers despite being an illegal option that could get users into trouble. If Netflix offers ‘All you can watch’ service that includes $7.99 monthly subscription with the latest movie offerings, then it would have been a perfect choice for customers. We believe, it is the only reason why US customers are moving away from Netflix service due to its failure to offer new movies on-demand.

Popcorn Time vs Netflix would still be debated for a longer period of time until for some reasons Popcorn Time mysteriously disappear just like any other illegal media content software. But don’t worry it’s not going to happen anytime sooner, or maybe, we don’t know. Stick with us for more details and updates on online media streaming.

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Shahmeer Baloch

Shahmeer Baloch

All Posts by Shahmeer Baloch

Shahmeer Baloch's Biography :

Shahmeer Baloch is a marketing professional-turned-tech writer who despite had a successful career at Evyap made a drastic change when his interest in technology and international cyber laws became evident. Baloch’s love for new technology is profound and well addressed. Loves to play tennis on weekends.

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