I’ve seen several people in the past arguing that the media company’s responses to online piracy – suing their best customers and making content harder to access –is rational.
Another of those strange definitions of rationality.
This article isn’t one of those types luckily, but it does go too much for the typical journalism “fair and balanced” sophistry.
“It is difficult to compete with free,” he added.
No, it’s actually really really easy to compete with free.
Offer a service with no DRM, no monitoring, and not tied to a single device with – most importantly – all the content there is and people will sign up for it in droves. In absolute fucking droves.
And pay for it. Hell, I’d pay quite a lot for that. Probably $100 a month if it included music, movies and TV shows. I’d rather pay less, but there you go.
Someone in the article to which I linked though really gets at what drives piracy.
There is another obstacle to stopping illegal downloads, said Andre Swanston, the chief executive of Tru Optik, the media analytics firm. People want access to everything, anytime, and there is little to stop them from having it. “Even if you added Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Sony Crackle and everything else combined, that is still less content available legally than illegally,” he said. “The popularity of piracy has nothing to do with cost — it is all about access.”
Hard to buy something if ain’t nobody selling it! If you pirate something, you can almost always find it. And it’s more convenient and just works. Quite the opposite when you look for something “legal.” Then it’s a nightmare of DRM, streaming woes and unavailability.
It’s as I said actually really easy to compete with free. Just these companies don’t want to do it.
What’s puzzling is that they could make money hand over fist, far more than they make now, just by making a few rational decisions (not the “rational” ones where they sue their own customers). But they choose not to. Why? I understand the profit motive. But I don’t understand this.