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 @ 1:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But, as ever, the numbers don't tell the whole story. They don't, for example show the following: downloads from countries where Netflix is not available, downloads from people who are already Netflix subscribers (some may wish to have an offline copy for travel or other use - not currently a legal option), downloads from people who tried accessing Netflix but suffered technical problems, etc. There are many groups of people who either cannot pay legally, or who already are.

    While the numbers can be seen as disappointing, any conclusion you draw from them is necessarily incomplete. The question is going to be whether Netflix are happy with the actual viewing figures, and that's the key. Obsessing over pirated downloads makes no sense, especially when some of those downloads are going to be in the groups above, some of whom are already paying customers.

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