@Piracy and shifting preferences for viewing content
First I need to say that I have NEVER pirated anything, ever (redundant statement). I have also never lied. But for the sake of argument, IF I was one to have pirated before, here are some potential reasons why I might have done it, and what would get me to give it up completely.
Delayed Content Windows
I live in the US and happen to watch 3 UK based shows. Dr Who, Merlin, and Misfits.
Now more recently Dr. Who began airing their episodes on a more worldwide simultaneous schedule
but the other two have not. I was turned onto most of those shows through online back catalogs via sites like hulu and netflix, but at some point I ran out of the older catalog of episodes. Being a newly minted fan I do a basic google search and find that there are plenty more episodes that have already aired, but they are unavailable for me to view through those content portals of choice.
So what is my legal choice then? Sit and wait for months if not years for them to FINALLY get around to airing the stuff in the US, and perhaps even longer for it to arrive in a netflix or hulu format which I prefer.
Now, IF I ever decided I did not want to wait years for content then I could easily torrent and get those missing episodes and enjoy the content without the massive artificial delay. I of course would never do that because I would NEVER break any laws, but IF I was sane, I would have done so in a heart beat.
Inferior Content Platforms
Certain types of content work better for certain types of formats. Live tv is great for event type programming. Think sports or shows like dancing with the stars or american idol. Dramas? Serials? Sci Fi? Not so much.
That latter type of content works MUCH better in an on demand model. I was one of those who never saw bsg when it originally aired on syfy, saw the entire series on netflix and was in heaven. No commercials, no delays, no waiting, just episode after endless episode. Did the same with full metal alchemist brotherhood, shockingly amazing series, ditto with avatar the last airbender, a series I completely missed since I am far from a kid in age now, but even adults would miss for not having seen it. Everyone of you who has not seen that series has a poorer and more empty life until you do.
And you know what? It is easier now than EVER to go back over the epic series you may have missed in the ideal content delivery format, archived episodes accessible on demand, not on a timed schedule, that model is old and inferior for viewing pleasure, is there any wonder fewer and fewer people are bothering and shift to pirating instead?
Getting the pirates to throw away their swords
You won't ever get them all, but you can get back quite a few pirates. HBO go stopped my hypothetical self from simply pirating the shows I wanted to watch like true blood and game of thrones and real time with bill maher. Did I buy a full cable package? No, my hypothetical self paid a relative to add hbo onto their service and then proceeded to use HBO go whenever, wherever.
Not there to watch the premier? No problem, watch it WHENEVER !! This is pure win, want to take some of my money? here it is, take it.
Increase the number of shows that are streamed. You don't have to use hulu, but that would be a nice start, and for gods sakes get rid of ALL content delay windows. The youth of today do not eat crayons for the most part, they don't have to wait, and they WON'T wait. Make them jump through too many hoops and delays for your content and they will TAKE it, completely cutting you out of the profits of their viewings.
Other people feel free to add more and denounce what I've said. But remember, I have never pirated, just like I have never lied, because I am that saintly, and when faced with waiting a freaking YEAR or more to see current merlin episodes I just drop on bended knee and wait forever when I could just turn to the right and say hi to get the content served to me.