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, 4 Jun 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: But....the numbers

    I couldn't agree with you more. Offering original programming and a free trial that gives access to it is brilliant and hopefully more than makes up for the piracy. There will always be a subset of any fanbase that will torrent shows regardless of what legal alternatives are available and I think we all know and acknowledge that.

    My point was really more that I'm disappointed in the angle Mike approached this story from. None of the data I can find points to a conclusion that "few people pirate Arrested Development" and Mike doesn't provide any data himself. One of the reasons I like the articles here is that they are almost always backed up with verifiable facts. Again, I totally agree with almost everything I read here, but I don't blindly accept it.

    It seems that both sides of the copyright agenda can sometimes willfully ignore data in order to make their own point. I assumed the usual suspects (AC, OOTB) would make the usual remarks, and I wanted to point out that in this case I also take exception to what is being reported - and I'm not a troll/shill.

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