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.

Filed Under: access, arrested development, convenience, copyright, infringement
Companies: netflix

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  1. identicon
    Techdirt Lurker, 3 Jun 2013 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think the comparison to shows like Dexter and Game of Thrones ignores the fact that Arrested Development has never had the audience that those shows have. Its apples and oranges.

    I can't find a way to view how many people completed (snatched) the file on the major public bt sites. The private trackers, where I can sort by "snatched" value, show that its matching numbers with shows like South Park, American Dad, Family Guy, Big Bang Theory, and The Office. Comparing view counts on a couple of popular streaming sites corroborates this. This makes sense, given that the fanbase is very likely to overlap for a lot for these shows.

    I feel that comparing the numbers from Arrested Development to shows that very obviously appeal to a much larger audience is bordering on deceitful. After doing a little digging myself, its obvious to me that Arrested Development ranked right around average for TV show piracy, and I was shocked to see Techdirt report otherwise.

    I was really disappointed to see such high piracy numbers for a show I consider to be "doing things right" in terms of delivery of content. I was disappointed a second time to see it marginalized on a site I look to for reliable information.

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