Once Again, Convenience Trumps Free, As Few People Pirate Arrested Development
from the over-and-over-and-over-again dept
We’ve pointed out over and over and over again for years that for many people (certainly not all, but enough to make a huge difference) convenience trumps free when it comes to getting content. The latest example of this in action is the fact that way fewer people downloaded the new Arrested Development from unauthorized sources than other similarly hyped TV shows. As you probably know, the new Arrested Development was released via Netflix, rather than TV, and all episodes were immediately available. Unlike other TV shows that are tied to cable and hardly available online at all, Arrested Development was easy to watch online for those who had a Netflix account (which also doesn’t require additional fees to watch the show if you already have a subscription).
So: it was available online, easy to watch, no marginal cost (if you had the subscription) and available on multiple platforms without limitation (i.e. no “you must watch within 24 hours”).
The bizarre thing is that so many of the efforts by the entertainment industry seem to be designed to make things less convenient. They don’t make it available online. They require you to have a cable account. They have added costs per episode or show. There are requirements about how long you have to watch it. And then they wonder why there’s so much infringement?
If you offer a good product, that focuses on access and convenience, people are clearly willing to pay. This has been the lesson for well over a decade. It’s amazing that it still needs to be repeated.