Why pieces of pirated series on TikTok can be good for the industry

why pieces of pirated series on tiktok can be good for the industry
why pieces of pirated series on tiktok can be good for the industry

That people share pieces of their favorite series on TikTok could be beneficial, encouraging people to watch the original content instead of settling for what they see on the social network, according to a study carried out by three researchers in China.

Social networks in general, but particularly TikTok, are full of cuts or edits of series chapters. This content often faces copyright penalties that can directly kick it off the platform. In X, for example, entire movies have been shared. On TikTok, on the contrary, complete tapes are not circulated but there may be extensive videos of parts of a work.

Audiovisual production companies and distributors usually fight tirelessly against all these types of practices that they also consider piracy. However, a new study from Peking University in China claims to have found more benefits than dangers in this practice. This would be because these clips can serve as free advertising for the series that appear on the social network.

The Chinese researchers put it this way: “The condensed short-form clips could be viewed as user-generated samples of original video works. They produce positive effects by improving the visibility of television series and attracting interested viewers to the full content of streaming services.”

Users often share edits, that is, videos edited with fragments of a series that they really like for some reason, emphasizing its dramatic or comic nature. Thus, the rest of the people who see and interact with this content may in fact be encouraged to consume the complete product on the streaming platform that broadcasts it.

Especially interesting is the comparison that the researchers suggest of these videos with something like a musical sample, whereby an artist takes a part of a song to modify it in some aspect and create their own. As we said, users usually share their favorite moments from their series, which have often been edited in some way to convey a certain aesthetic, feeling or mood.


To arrive at the results, the study used a real event that occurred in April 2021 in China, when a letter of complaint signed by actors and companies urged Douyin, the Chinese TikTok, to massively remove content of this type on the network. social. What the researchers discovered is that this, in fact, caused a 3% decrease in content consumption on the streaming platform.

“Although streaming platforms may be suffering from lower engagement currently, our results show that among various types of alternative content on short-form video platforms, condensed user-generated clips may not be enemies, but friends,” says the report. document.

Different impact depending on the genre of the work

Another of the insights that the researchers reached was that the dissemination of these unauthorized videos on TikTok affected viewing on official platforms differently, depending on the particular fiction and the complexity of its script.

This makes sense, since it seems logical that a series with many plot twists and a story rich in details would be more difficult to summarize or gut in a video of just a few minutes. In this context, crime and fantasy shows are the ones that benefited the most from these clips as free advertising. Family or romance shows, on the other hand, did not arouse enough interest to search for them and watch them in their entirety.


Finally, researchers point out that shows with better ratings tend to benefit more than those with poor ratings. Not all advertising counts, therefore, since if the work is not good, not as many users will be tempted to see it in its entirety.

A recent example that we can remember in which a series had massive success on TikTok was that of the ‘Wednesday’ dance phenomenon on the show Wednesday, together with Lady Gaga’s song ‘Bloody Mary’.


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