Valve Exec: Pirates Are Just Underserved Customers

from the and-then-you-see-the-opportunities dept

We've had a ton of people submitting this, so figured a quick writeup is in order. Jason Holtman, the director of business development and legal affairs for Valve, was speaking a video game conference, when he noted: "Pirates are underserved customers." This is a point that plenty of folks have been making for a while, but having an exec at a company like Valve make it is important. But, even more important was his next sentence:
"When you think about it that way, you think, 'Oh my gosh, I can do some interesting things and make some interesting money off of it.'"
This past weekend at the MidemNet conference (on which I'll be writing much more), I heard a few music industry folks say something at least somewhat similar to the first part of the comment: talking about how they had to learn to bring "pirates" back into being legitimate customers. But, then they missed that second part. As one attendee said, the music industry execs kept freaking out about how much money they will lose, while ignoring how much money there is to be made.

Filed Under: jason holtman, pirates, underserved customers
Companies: valve


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  1. identicon
    Rick, 19 Jan 2009 @ 10:40am

    Not Just Games....

    It's obvious there are underserved customers.

    Look at exclusive deals (which make no sense to me). There are certain artists who release their albums at Walmart, Target or Best Buy ONLY. the closest Best Buy and Target to me are over 60 miles away - why would I want to spend an extra $10-$20 in gas to go buy them? I'd torrent it for free instead.

    My local video store doesn't carry all new releases, neither does Walmart - I'll torrent it.

    Xbox Live does not carry all the new releases to rent/download either - I'll torrent what I want then.

    Not every artist. movie, TV show is available on iTunes either. They all want to argue and bicker about pricing - fine, I'll torrent it for free and nobody gets my money.

    If they can provide me with the content where I want to get it (downloads preferred) I'll buy it.

    If I have to wait - screw them - I won't. It is all about being conveniently available to me - the customer. Don't serve me, then I'll serve myself.

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