by Mike Masnick
Mon, Nov 12th 2007 11:08pm
Even as NBC is working with Fox on their "Hulu" online video effort, the company, which has shown a stunning lack of understanding of the trends and economics it faces, has launched its NBC Direct video download offering that is noteworthy only for the amount of scorn being heaped upon it from almost every reviewer out there. It appears to have made every single mistake in the book. Limited only to Windows users with IE, draconian DRM, bizarre policies that make the content expire quickly and, of course, clunky software that's difficult to set up and use. Excellent work. Perhaps if NBC spent a little less time worrying about poor corn farmers and a little more on actually providing a product that people wanted, it would get somewhere. Instead, it seems pretty clear that Jeff Nolan is exactly right in describing what happened here. NBC Direct was designed by committee. A bunch of different groups had their say and wanted to make sure this or that "feature" (i.e., "restriction") got added, so as not to interfere with some other plan. None of those people were concerned about the overall product or (gasp!) the customer experience. So what you get is a totally unusable (and, really, who would want to?) service that was a total waste of time and effort by NBC. And, this is the company that's blaming Apple for destroying the entertainment business? Compare NBC's approach to how Apple designs its products, with a strict focus on how it will be used by the consumer. For all the blame NBC is throwing at Apple, it might want to take a look at itself first.
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