It’s no secret that some people—no one that we know—prefer to pirate movies and television shows rather than find methods to watch them legally. Piracy, after all, can be quicker, easier, and cheaper than the alternative. However, it is possible that some only resort to it in the absence of a convenient legal way to view their favorite programs. The MPAA and its six member studios are hoping to reach out to that group with WhereToWatch.com, a new website that collects all the government-approved methods of watching TV and movies in one place.
The version of WhereToWatch now on display is slick and easy to use. Visitors can search for stuff by title, actor, or director, and the MPAA has divided up content by genre and rating. Once a search is completed, the site tells users where a particular movie or TV show is available to stream or download without fear of a SWAT team bursting through the door and hauling them off to pirate jail. WhereToWatch currently draws content from both heavy-hitters like iTunes and Hulu as well as smaller sites like SnagFilms and WolfeOnDemand, and hopes to add more partners as times goes on.
The MPAA’s member studios have long been unhappy with the slow pace at which traditional search engines have removed pirated content from their results. WhereToWatch appears to the industry’s attempt to take matters into its own hands, and could provide a first port of call for people who want to see a movie or TV show online but don’t know where to start. Only time and future Game Of Thrones finales will tell whether the site is able to make a dent in people’s mass instinct to find out what happened on their favorite shows right now, legality be damned.