Although services like Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video have gone a long way to make buying content legitimately an easy and affordable way to consume media, piracy is still alive and well. If there was any need for proof of that fact, KickassTorrents has just entered the top 70 of all websites for global traffic.
This isn't the highest rating that a torrent site has ever received from the Alexa ranking system. Mininova broke into the top 50 sites back in 2007 (as per TorrentFreak) and The Pirate Bay (TPB) was around the 70s mark for many years in the late '00s. Throughout that period though, KickassTorrents (KAT) was slowly building its share of the audience and it's continued to grow ever since.
In 2015 as the world's second most popular torrent site behind TPB, it was in the right place at the right time. When ThePirateBay was hit with domain issues that brought it months of downtime, KAT hoovered up the wayward downloaders to take the top spot and today it's by far the biggest and has become one of the largest communities and websites online.
Maintaining that top spot hasn't been easy, but with a surprising uptime considering the targeting of it by law enforcement around the world, combined with a strong community around it, has kept torrenters coming back for more.
As much as these sorts of sites do help facilitate people to take part in illegal copyright infringement, they also promote sharing and clearly they offer something that the mainstream alternatives do not. Whether it's universal access to content, swift downloads or a community atmosphere around the content itself, sites like KAT are drawing in crowds for a reason.
Streaming services should try to emulate some of that, as they can never compete on price – all they can do is try to offer a comparable or better yet, superior service.
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KitGuru Says: While KitGuru doesn't condone piracy in any measure, for those of you that do take part in it, which sites or services do you use?