Reporter, TV Execs (Maybe?) Confused Over Lost Fans Choosing Not To Watch Leaked Episode

from the and-this-explains-everything dept

There's an unintentionally hilarious article over at Reuters claiming that TV execs are positively perplexed over the fact that many fans of the TV show Lost are purposely ignoring a leaked new episode of the show, preferring to wait until its aired on TV. Of course, the article doesn't actually quote any confused TV execs. Instead, it quotes one TV exec at ABC who does seem to understand why fans don't want to watch it until it airs on TV.

But, of course, that doesn't play into the media narrative that fans are greedy downloaders who will just get anything as fast as possible when put online. So, instead, the report has to make it out like it's a "surprise." Perhaps only to those who haven't bothered paying attention to what fans actually want. This, by the way, was why there are better ways to respond to movie/TV show leaks than breaking out the lawyers.


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  1.  
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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 2:36am

    Proof only that the shared experience (of a nation of fans watching the same thing at the same time) is powerful.

    I think the key quote in all of this is:

    "Why spoil it now?" wrote one fan with the moniker MyWhiteNoise. "I'd rather watch it in hi-def and surround sound than ruin the surprise and watch some (low-quality) video."

    I think the results might be different if the leaked video was a 1080p with high quality sound, rather than a low end version.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:40am

    Re:

    "Proof only that the shared experience (of a nation of fans watching the same thing at the same time) is powerful."

    Yeah, if only we were allowed to share it. I'll have to wait till the 5th February before I can watch it, by which time I can probably expect it to have been spoiled anyway. Sadly, Americans aren't afraid of spamming some message boards with spoilers for the rest of the world to see once they've had the chance to see a program.

    The "shared experience" is a bullshit creation of the last millennium and has no place in today's market. Some people will choose to watch the pirated copy, some will wait for the broadcast. Others will download a copy so they can watch it without the ads (or before their country's premiere, which may be months away), others will wait even longer so that they can watch the whole season on DVD without ads and without the wait between episodes. The customers are going to choose their preferred method with or without ABC's blessing.

    "I think the results might be different if the leaked video was a 1080p with high quality sound, rather than a low end version."

    ...which will be available to everybody outside of the US, 2 seconds after the episode finishes airing. As ever, artificial scarcity is not a solution to the "problem" of "piracy".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:52am

    Lost has fans?

     

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    :), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:58am

    People waited long.

    I think it has been a year of hiatus of the show at least seems that to me, but unfortunately I will not be able to see it, as it doesn't show where I live and I promised that I would not use P2P to see any more TV "illegally".

    But I found such wonderful things in web-series lately, I don't think it will be a great loss.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:00am

    Re: Re:

    For the fans outside of the US, it's their loss. They miss the shared experience, they miss the "water cooler" discussions the next day, etc. All of that is lost.

    In the "on demand" universe, that connection is lost (no pun intended), which in many ways lowers the value of the entertainment to all. It's too bad that in the headlong rush of technology, we lose what often made things special to start with.

    Everyone wonders why American Idol and such do so well... it's because you can't pirate a live performance, you can't P2P a shared experience. They are special because of it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Everyone wonders why American Idol and such do so well... it's because you can't pirate a live performance, you can't P2P a shared experience. They are special because of it."

    Please provide evidence that this is why they do so well, instead of mere speculation. Oh, and your alleged psychic abilities does not constitute evidence.

     

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    :), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:07am

    Or...

    ...could it be a sign that people are just going the other way and finally have learned that they are fuelling the evil entertaiment industry empire?

    Meh, no such luck I'm affraid LoL

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    In other words, yet another business model that's dependant on a marketplace reality that ceased to fully exist 30 years ago. At least the TV companies seem to be making an effort to join this century, unlike the music and movie industries.

    I also love the fact that your opening paragraph was basically "screw everyone outside the US", even though the technology certainly exists to allow everybody the same experience if ABC chose to offer it.

    "Everyone wonders why American Idol and such do so well... it's because you can't pirate a live performance, you can't P2P a shared experience."

    Can't be pirated? Explain this:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=american+idol+torrent

    Close to a million hits. Maybe you're referring to the muppets who spend money to phone into an easily rigged voting system during the broadcast. However, I don't see how somebody who decides to DVR the broadcast and watch it later is getting a "lesser" experience unless they're one of the said muppets, in which case they will choose the live experience, just as someone not interesting in phoning in may choose to watch later.

    Besides which, you've just confirmed one of the things that you constantly argue against. The solution to "piracy" is not to act like King Canute and try to stop it, but rather to offer extra value that the "pirated" versions cannot provide.

     

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    herodotus (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:22am

    "In the "on demand" universe, that connection is lost (no pun intended), which in many ways lowers the value of the entertainment to all. It's too bad that in the headlong rush of technology, we lose what often made things special to start with."

    Sort of like a guy who just spouts out the first thing that comes into his mind on a message board rather than taking the time to write something thoughtful that is worth reading?

    I would say that people waiting to see the first episode are doing so for many different reasons. Some might just want to make sure that everything is right, that no scenes are missing or altered. Some might care about sound or video quality (although I doubt there are many of them). Some might just have it in their head that the premiere is tonight at 8 o'clock or whenever and have made plans accordingly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:26am

    The only TRUE reason why fans are not watching the leaked copy, is because it is such a $HIT copy!!!!

     

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    Dementia (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 4:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And here I thought it was the people who truly believe they can sing, when they really can't, that made idol so entertaining.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You can torrent AI after the fact, but no matter what you do, it's after the fact. It's past it's due date already at that point, like buying stale bread. You can pirate the resulting video, but you can't pirate the live performance. It's the difference in theory between seeing a live concert and watching a concert video. Oh yeah, except that nobody is around the old water cooler next year chatting about last nights Idol show (it's already a year old).

    How many people will watch the Super Bowl? How many will watch a torrent of it 6 months from now? It's stale bread.

    Oh, as for your "million hits", you only have to go a few pages to find things that aren't torrents at all, just people trying to suck up Google traffic with keywords. In fact, by putting America Idol Torrent into the comments of this page, we have just moved it to 991,001 results, congrats!

    Sorry Paul, but you are losing on this one.

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:17am

    Re:

    Some might just have it in their head that the premiere is tonight at 8 o'clock or whenever and have made plans accordingly.

    That is the point my friend. It doesn't matter when it is available "on demand" or "on torrent" in the future, there is only one time when it becomes real, the original, the premiere, and that is (insert date and time here). People will chat about it for a couple of days after, and then it is gone. Like a wave, it is over.

    Yes, you can watch pictures of the wave and enjoy it in your own way, but it isn't the same as seeing it, chatting with your friends about it after (or even as it is playing, as some do online). It is a shared experience, one of the many things that makes our lives enjoyable, and something that is lost (still no pun intended) if there is no longer a time and place to enjoy that experience.

    In many ways, it is the difference between seeing a new movie on debut night with some friends in a crowded theater, and watching it at home 12 months later by yourself. The experience is different, it certainly isn't shared.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:18am

    Re:

    actually it sounds like proof that the TV execs leaked it. Why would they care/pay attention to the interest of the fans otherwise?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:22am

    Re: People waited long.

    Um, you can watch the full episodes in streaming format on ABC.com after they've aired. No local TV station or p2p necessary, just a high-speed internet connection. Although, if you don't get ABC where you live, I question whether you could possibly even have high-speed internet. O_O

     

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    martyburns (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Go on then TAM - respond to the comment PaulT made:

    "Besides which, you've just confirmed one of the things that you constantly argue against. The solution to "piracy" is not to act like King Canute and try to stop it, but rather to offer extra value that the "pirated" versions cannot provide."

    The 'live' bit being the extra value..

     

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  17.  
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    Capt Obvious, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: Re: hypocrite much ?

    Funny that.
    I remember you, not too ago, chastising some other poster for their obvious American centric bias. And yet here you are doing the same exact thing. So, I guess it depends upon whether your agenda is helped or not by being cognisant of the rest of the world.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:28am

    Contest

    Which character in the show Lost does the anti mike most closely resemble?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:38am

    Re: Re:

    I totally agree and I think you've made an excellent argument for why piracy isn't bad at all.

    Those people that pirate TV/Films have no desire to take part in the shared experience and thus were unlikely to pay for the experience in the first place. Those that want the shared experience will go to the cinema, buy the sky/cable subscription and watch it as it comes out.

    The chances are good that a number of those that pirated the film/TV show will feel sad they missed out on the shared experience and will go to the cinema or buy that sky/cable subscription so they can join in next time.

     

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  20.  
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    Liam, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:49am

    pirating live events

    @The Anti-Mike: Well, I know I watch the EPL (english premier league) illegally, that's streaming live, so I don't see why people can't find it for the superbowl or American Idol etc.

    You don't have to download to be a pirate.

     

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  21.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    First of all, you claimed that American Idol cannot be pirated, which that Google search disproves. Whether there's actually 1 million or 100 different trackers available is irrelevant.

    "It's the difference in theory between seeing a live concert and watching a concert video."

    Yet, CDs and DVDs of live concerts sell. Just because it's not the most popular option, that doesn't mean there's no market. People who cannot catch the show live for whatever reason, be it work, TV schedule, location or simple lack of interest, will record it to view later or download it if they forgot to record it.

    As for things like the Super Bowl - http://www.amazon.com/NFL-Super-Bowl-I-XL-Collectors/dp/B000EU1Q18 - people do quite clearly watch old games. As ever, you make the classic mistake of assuming thsat just because *you* prefer something a particular way, that's how everybody wants it. "Pirates" are simply addressing the parts of the market that idiots like you refuse to service.

     

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  22.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "For the fans outside of the US, it's their loss"

    So it's the fans fault for not living in the US that their experience will be spoiled and can't deliver any input in the conversation around the shows?
    Are you delusional?

     

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  23.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: People waited long.

    Try looking beyond the borders of the US, you know, the rest of the world? Where, despite your thoughts perhaps, we do have high-speed internet.

    FYI, the video streams of ABC.com are closed for non-US citizens. Of course there are ways around it, but that's just as illegal as downloading it off of a torrent server and can cause a lot of headaches that you don't want.

     

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  24.  
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    Anti-Mike-is-a-moron., Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:28am

    Anti-Mike thinks dirt is dry water.

    What is this? You still *dare* show up here?

    Man, seriously.

    You lost *all* credibility when you pulled out your 'Dirt is dry water.' analogy. I mean, wow...

    You trying to sound like you know shit about anything is just LOL whatever.

     

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  25.  
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    Anti-Mike-is-a-moron., Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:31am

    Re: Contest

    The genetically modified polar bear.

    Pointless experiment done "because we can" gone wrong.

     

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    tophing, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:39am

    will you wait a year?

    I will not...

     

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  27.  
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    Overcast (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:56am

    Re:

    Lost has fans?

    Dunno, guess so - I shut down cable completely. Been a few months and counting and I don't regret it one little bit. I was just done paying $90.00 a month to watch TV that was 50% advertisements anyway. That's silly.

    NetFlix and buying movies is good enough. And no, I don't torrent them. I prefer a collection of originals.

     

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  28.  
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    Overcast (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: People waited long.

    FYI, the video streams of ABC.com are closed for non-US citizens. Of course there are ways around it, but that's just as illegal as downloading it off of a torrent server and can cause a lot of headaches that you don't want

    What's illegal about a proxy?

    Although - I could see some of those proxies out there giving you a virus..

    But mostly - why the heck do they block it if you are outside the U.S.???

     

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    RD, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:18am

    Nope

    "FYI, the video streams of ABC.com are closed for non-US citizens. Of course there are ways around it, but that's just as illegal as downloading it off of a torrent server and can cause a lot of headaches that you don't want"

    Not illegal. At least, not in the USA. There is no law, and nothing in copyright, that says "you cant partake of a stream of video offered by the rights holder if you live in such-and-such country."

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:


    Close to a million hits. Maybe you're referring to the muppets who spend money to phone into an easily rigged voting system during the broadcast. However, I don't see how somebody who decides to DVR the broadcast and watch it later is getting a "lesser" experience unless they're one of the said muppets, in which case they will choose the live experience, just as someone not interesting in phoning in may choose to watch later.


    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you what you think it means.

     

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  31.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry, it's British slang, and not everyone here is American... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muppet_%28slang%29

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 7:54am

    Re: Contest

    The crashed plane.

     

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    Hosermage (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "How many people will watch the Super Bowl? How many will watch a torrent of it 6 months from now? It's stale bread."

    That's true for "live broadcast", not live performances, and not so for TV shows and Movies. If I missed a live broadcast, I would rather just watch the highlights/summary after the fact instead of sit through the whole thing which is usually 90% crap.

    If your "stale bread" has no value, explain the compilation albums, DVD releases, movie rentals, file-sharing popularity, all are "after the fact".

     

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    Esahc (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sweet, new insult to the arsenal.

     

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    Esahc (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re:

    Keep it up, I'm about to hit 10 years without cable.

     

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  36.  
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    Alan Gerow (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:24am

    Re:

    No, because I don't care about watching it in 1080i w/ surround sound, and I still won't download it. But I'm anxiously awaiting its premiere and final season. The extra quality is nice, but I'm not a picture quality snob like that.

    It is about the shared cultural experience. It's why I prefer listening to the radio in the car over listening to my iPhone. That's why most people still pay $10+/person to see movies in a theater when frequently downloads are available and people have home theaters.

    That's true value.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:26am

    In other words we (the tv execs) leaked it and we're amazed no one is downloading it.

     

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    Alan Gerow (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re:

    Lost is free over the air. You don't need to pay for cable to watch it.

     

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    Alan Gerow (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: People waited long.

    "But mostly - why the heck do they block it if you are outside the U.S.???"

    Why else?

    Licensing.

     

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  40.  
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    IshmaelDS (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Downloading a torrent of a show you missed doesn't even mean your going to miss that "water cooler" experience you seem to value so highly. I quite often would miss show's because I have to work late, or I had more important things to do than sit around in front of the tv. It's quite simple to download a show via torrents 5-10 minutes after the show has finished airing. Then watch it in the same night as with the amount of people getting the show at that time you generally are going to have finished downloading it in a matter of minutes. Thus you keep the "water cooler" moment the next day.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You said arse!

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:34am

    Re: Contest

    Miles, the guy who can talk to dead people but in TAM's case, it's dead business models. Spooky!

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: People waited long.

    Why else?

    Licensing.


    Licensing is the tool, greed is the motivation.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re:

    In many ways, it is the difference between seeing a new movie on debut night with some friends in a crowded theater, and watching it at home 12 months later by yourself. The experience is different, it certainly isn't shared.

    You are now defending the position that Mike has held for some time now, that piracy isn't bad, it's free promotion and true fans want the "extra" experience.

    What happens when Mike and TAM agree?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Everyone wonders why American Idol and such do so well... it's because you can't pirate a live performance, you can't P2P a shared experience. They are special because of it.

    You can torrent AI after the fact, but no matter what you do, it's after the fact. It's past it's due date already at that point, like buying stale bread.


    Hmm. It's almost like things that are actually scarce have more value. A live performance has more value than a recorded one. That's a great point, I'm surprised no one here has ever picked up on that.

    The stale bread comment is priceless too. A band has a concert, then sells recordings of the concert. And you wonder why the public views paying for that as buying stale bread?

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You could accomplish the same thing with a PVR. You are thinking in a very short period of time. What happens if you don't watch it for 2 or 3 weeks? How much water cooler chat do you get when you show up with 3 week old idol highlights fresh in your mind? I might be "new to you", but it is pretty much stale bread to everyone else.

    There is no need for a torrent when you had access to the original material, just record it, as fair use allows!

     

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    The Anti-Mike (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    First of all, you claimed that American Idol cannot be pirated, which that Google search disproves.

    No, sorry Paul, but you miss it. You can torrent the resulting show, but you cannot torrent LIVE. Your torrent file isn't the live event, it's a recording of the event. It's the difference between attending a live event and watching a video of a live event at a later date.

    CD's and DVDs of live shows sell well, mostly because the vast majority of fans never actually get to see their favorite bands in concert.

    As ever, you make the classic mistake of assuming thsat just because *you* prefer something a particular way, that's how everybody wants it.

    Nope, I am making the very good assumption that the 25 or 30 million people who tune in are a significantly larger market than will re-watch it later. There is a market there (the NFL knows it and markets to it), but that market isn't a drop on the live market at all. It isn't that I prefer it one way or the other (the superbowl usually plays at chinese new year, and I am usually out of the country), but rather that I can look at the basic numbers and know who wants what.

    If you want to focus on small markets, so be it. But the vast majority of the market isn't in watching days old Superbowl games, it's in watching it live.

     

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    IshmaelDS (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Of course I'm thinking in a very short period of time. Why wouldn't I be when I was referring to your comment about the "water cooler" moments the next day. I could record them on a PVR (I do) but not everyone has a PVR. I also have quite often talked to people about the past Idol shows and the contestants on them, weeks, sometimes even months after the show aired. We generally laugh at the stupid costumes and antics on the shows for months. Yes you miss something if you wait 3 months to watch the live performances, but if your waiting 3 months you probably really couldn't care less about the "water cooler" moments so it's kind of a ridiculous point to be arguing.

     

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    Chargone (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm thinking mutual annihilation and the end of reality?

    Or, you know, general puzzlement by the readers...

    either way.

     

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    totalwellness, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    We're smarter than that

    "Leaked episode" sounds like a marketing gimic. I think we're smarter than that hence the results. I canceled my cable bill and went with Satellite Direct. I now receive over 3500 channels with no subscription fee.

     

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    Alan Gerow (profile), Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: People waited long.

    It's still licensing that is the reason why ABC blocks people from outside the US from viewing their videos. Greed would lead them to show the videos to EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD, because then that's more ads they can show.

    It's licensing from the content creators that prevents them from streaming the content outside of the U.S. because ABC doesn't have the rights for that type of distribution.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "There is no need for a torrent when you had access to the original material, just record it, as fair use allows!"

    You mean, as the law allows after the entertainment industry was dragged kicking and screaming into the modern world?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    Re: We're smarter than that

    I thought transparent spam was the marketing "gimic?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    faceless (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 12:11am

    Why i watch LOST when it airs

    i can only speak for myself, but i watch LOST live when it airs because i have many friends on IRC, IM and forums who watch it live too, and we all talk about the episode as it happens, and we don't have to worry about things like pressing play at the same time or anything like that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 2:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: People waited long.

    The proxy itself isn't illegal (just as P2P programs/sites aren't in and of themselves illegal), but if you use it to watch video you are not entitled to watch (because of licensing), then you are either breaking a law (not sure) or at the very least in violation of the terms of service of the website you are accessing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "They miss the shared experience, they miss the "water cooler" discussions the next day, etc. All of that is lost."

    I live in the US. You know what never gets discussed around the watercooler in my workplace? Anything on television. I don't think anyone feels terribly deprived, despite our "loss."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    They miss the shared experience, they miss the "water cooler" discussions the next day, etc. All of that is lost... It's too bad that in the headlong rush of technology, we lose what often made things special to start with.

    If talking about last night's television show is special and worthwhile, I'm left wondering what are the banal and worthless aspects of our culture? I'm a bit more optimistic - I think we have enough valuable things to do that the loss of talking about TV shows needn't be mourned.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What's funny is he doesn't realize he's agreeing with Mike.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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