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. icon
    PaulT (profile), 4 Jun 2013 @ 1:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's one way of looking at it (a silly one, TBH. Downloading is a meme now?)

    More likely, Arrested Development was made available to anyone with a Netflix subscription (which covers many more countries than HBO), all at the same time, and has legal ways to see it for free (Netflix offer free trial subs). So, most people could watch the show more quickly than it would take to download (even those of us not strictly allowed to watch but who can use VPNs to stream).

    Compare that to HBO's model, which includes overcharging existing cable customers (you have to have a pricey cable sub before they'll even let you subscribe), heavy region windowing (some territories have to wait months for a legal release) and no legal free option in many places.

    You have to be deliberately obtuse to ignore these factors.

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