November 13, 2014
The MPAA has launched an ad-free search engine that helps viewers easily locate movies and TV shows available from authorized sources. WhereToWatch.com — essentially a refresh of the WhereToWatch.org site launched last spring — is the latest effort by the trade group to combat piracy and provide consumers with legal options for accessing their media content. The site offers links and related info for titles available via Amazon, Apple’s iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, SnagFilms and WolfeOnDemand.
The organization says additional partners will be added in the upcoming months.
“MPAA has been highly critical of major search engines for not making greater efforts to strip out links to pirated content from their results,” reports Variety. “Last month, responding to content owners’ concerns, Google said it updated its search algorithms to more effectively demote sites that have received an unusual number of copyright-infringement notices and in certain cases deliver ads for legal digital-video sources.”
Critics have been quick to point a finger at Hollywood, suggesting that not enough content is made available through the growing assortment of today’s digital channels.
However, the MPAA refutes this criticism, noting that there are currently more than 100 legal online services in the U.S. that offer entertainment content.
Variety adds: “As of December 2013, 94 percent of 808 top films analyzed were legally available in the U.S. through online video-on-demand services, according to a study by KPMG. The study also found that 85 percent of 724 of the most popular and critically acclaimed TV shows were available to American consumers through online video services.”
In addition to the online resources listed by WhereToWatch.com, users can also enter their ZIP code to access show times and locations for local movie screenings. The site features trailers and behind-the-scenes features, as well as notification alerts powered by GoWatchIt.