Adult Swim, Cartoon Network Piss Off Fans By Removing Free iPad Streams; Now Only For Cable Subscribers
from the that's-not-helping dept
It’s amazing how frequently legacy entertainment industry companies look to screw up a good thing. Cartoon Network and its alter ego Adult Swim launched iOS apps in the last year that received a ton of praise for offering full streams of shows in their free apps. This made them useful apps for plenty of fans of cartoons (and, really, who isn’t a fan of cartoons?). But, it appears things have changed. A practicing intellectual property lawyer, who prefers to remain anonymous (he apparently doesn’t want the world to know of his cartoon obsession), alerted us to the news that the two apps have now removed the free streams. The deal is you can now only get free streams if you subscribe to a partner cable/satellite provider. In fact, they’re even pitching it as if they’re doing something new — totally ignoring that the free streams used to be available for everyone, and now are limited to just people who have cable/satellite subscriptions.
Yes, this is weak attempt by everyone to try to hold back the flood of people cutting the cord — but it’s the absolute wrong way to go about it. Rather than providing more value, they’re trying to take away value from others, and in the process pissing off a lot of people. It’s not going to make cord cutters any more interested in re-subscribing to cable or satellite TV, but may make the Cartoon Network and Adult Swim lose some of its most valuable audience — the young, employed, well-educated folks that advertisers crave… who have been leading the charge in cutting the cord. Here’s what the attorney wrote to me:
I do not have cable. and, just to make it clear, I am a late 20-something, practicing intellectual property attorney, and I cut my cable not because the economy is bad, but because it is an outrageously overpriced, single direction service that forces me to choke down a ton of content I do not care about, in addition to forcing me to watch ads.
I was happy to watch my favorite cartoons, for free, but with ads, ostensibly, the profits of which go directly to the stations with less dilution than if they had been broadcast, but now I will probably go back to doing what I did before my iPad: not watch stuff, wait for it to come out on DVD and Netflix/Qwikster it, or, potentially, even ‘infringe’ it.
The way to compete in this market is to add value, not take it away. That just pisses people off.