Friday, September 16, 2011

Ready When You Are

I understand why getting television shows through the Internet is so difficult.

There are a lot of parties involved: ones that make content, ones that deliver it, ones that attach their dreaded advertising onto it. And all of them stand firmly on a groundwork of laws, business models, and methods that weren't designed with the Internet in mind.

But for a moment, TV execs, please consider how frustrating the whole thing is to me as a consumer.

I like some of your products. They're good. I enjoy them, and I'd like to purchase them from you. And you won't let me. Oh I know you've got episodes on Amazon and iTunes and such, but that's not good enough. Selling me the product I want with conditions on exactly how I can get it is not what I want. It's like selling me a piece of cake, but only letting me eat it if I wear handcuffs. And I know you've got ad-supported shows on your website and Hulu, but that's . . . let's see . . . that's kinda like spitting on the cake. And that's gross. What a terrible bakery you run.

Just let me buy my episodes, commercial and DRM-free, and watch them. Is that so hard? Doesn't it tell you something is drastically wrong with your industry that you have a customer in your shop, money in hand, ready to buy a product that you make, and you're completely incapable of selling it to him?*

The terrible reality is that pirates understand your audience, and the future of your industry, much better than you do.

*In fairness, this is true at a number of physical stores as well.

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