Friday May 05, 2017

Kodi Gaining Ground in North America

Kodi, formerly Xbox Media Player, has been around since 2002, but has come a long ways since then. Kodi is an open source media player and has basically morphed into the one-stop-shop user interface for Home Theater PC (HTPC) users, not that you really need the "PC" part in your living room any more. However with the rise of inexpensive devices like the Mi Box Android TV (and lots of others) you can have Kodi up and running for less than $70. You can stop by your local Walmart and pick one up today! The rub with Kodi comes down to the "pirate" add-on community. Hundreds of TV add-ons exist, that are easy to install, and will give you access to a wealth of copyrighted content. Many folks use a VPN like Mullvad (advertiser plug) to encrypt their steaming data from prying eyes.

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So is Kodi and its add-ons a big deal? It would seem so and the UK has started cracking down on streaming pirated content.

So how many folks are using devices loaded with Kodi? This report over at TorrentFreak spells out that almost 1 in 10 of North American households, out of 250,000 "surveyed," are using Kodi.

Overall Sandvine estimates that 8.8% of the households with Internet access across North America have an active Kodi device. This translates to several millions of households and many more potential users.

But Kodi in its native form does nothing illegal.

"Kodi simply serves as a front end; If Kodi disappeared tomorrow, then all of the content made available through the unofficial Add-ons would quickly be made be accessible via a web browser, or by another media player, and the parties that are benefitting today, would continue to profit," they add.

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It looks as if 68% of Kodi users are using it for streaming unlicensed content.