MPAA Tries To Ignore The Fact That The Study It Paid For Reveals Very Few Top Films Are Available On Netflix

from the missing-the-point dept

One of the key points that many people have been making for decades is that copyright infringement likely wouldn't be such a big problem if they actually made works more available in convenient and reasonable ways. This was never an excuse for infringement, but an explanation and a suggestion on ways to minimize the amount of infringement happening. For the past few years, the big legacy copyright holders have been trying to spin things, claiming that they've made stuff "available," and since there's still "infringement" they obviously need new laws to better "protect" their works. They're basically claiming that because the works are now available in some format, the whole "availability" argument is debunked. Except, of course, they're ignoring the full equation. It's not just about making it available, but making it convenient and reasonably available. Instead, the MPAA frequently touts annoying and inconvenient offerings no one uses, claiming disingenuously that this proves the availability argument is untrue.

The latest is that NBC Universal (the driving force behind many MPAA efforts) has commissioned a study from KPMG on the availability of film and TV titles. The clever folks at KPMG have hidden the important factors in the aggregate stats, looking at a big list of 34 services, and saying that as long as a film or TV title are available on one of them, it's "available." But this conveniently buries the more important stat, dug out by TorrentFreak, that the study actually shows over 80% of top film titles are not available on Netflix, which is, by far, the most popular streaming movie service.

Rather than admit this, of course, the MPAA instead has decided to trumpet its friends' misleading coverage of the misleading report (pretty sure nearly everyone in its list has received money from the MPAA). Many of the MPAA's friends insist, incorrectly, that the report shows that these films are widely available, rather than admit the truth -- which is that they're narrowly available, often in inconvenient ways, separated from how people want to watch (and pay for!) those films.

It would be nice if the MPAA were legitimately interested in reducing infringement by improving innovation and allowing more services to flourish. But it has yet to show any honest intentions on that front, preferring bogus and misleading reports like this one.

Filed Under: accessibility, conveniences, copyright, movies, streaming
Companies: kpmg, mpaa, nbc universal, netflix


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    antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:17am

    It would be nice if the MPAA were legitimately interested in reducing infringement by improving innovation and allowing more services to flourish. But it has yet to show any honest intentions on that front, preferring bogus and misleading reports like this one.

    You haven't shown how this particular report makes any claims that are "bogus and misleading." Can you?

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      Rikuo (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:19am

      Re:

      Here's the important bit in the article, which you must have willingly ignored.
      "The clever folks at KPMG have hidden the important factors in the aggregate stats, looking at a big list of 34 services, and saying that as long as a film or TV title are available on one of them, it's "available." But this conveniently buries the more important stat, dug out by TorrentFreak, that the study actually shows over 80% of top film titles are not available on Netflix, which is, by far, the most popular streaming movie service."

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      • identicon
        antidirt, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re:

        ok, point taken. you win this one.

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        antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:34am

        Re: Re:

        "The clever folks at KPMG have hidden the important factors in the aggregate stats, looking at a big list of 34 services, and saying that as long as a film or TV title are available on one of them, it's "available." But this conveniently buries the more important stat, dug out by TorrentFreak, that the study actually shows over 80% of top film titles are not available on Netflix, which is, by far, the most popular streaming movie service."

        Again, can you point to a single statement in the report that is "bogus and misleading"? Did they say something is available when it isn't? Did they say something is available on Netflix when it isn't? Etc. I understand that some people think everything should be on Netflix, but that doesn't make the report "bogus and misleading."

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nice, someone being obtuse about the MPAA being obtuse.

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            antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Nice, someone being obtuse about the MPAA being obtuse.

            Can you point to the "bogus and misleading" information in the report? Did not the report say what was available on streaming services such as Netflix and what was not? I'm waiting for someone to show me the exact claim in the report that is "bogus and misleading." It's easy to say I'm being obtuse. It's quite another thing to actually present evidence that backs up the claim. Mike hasn't presented that evidence. Can you?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But you are, you're specifically attacking Mike's opinion while ignoring the fact that the MPAA was being fairly disingenuous to their consumer-base.

              Mike's opinion on what constitutes "misleading" and "bogus" is not the focus of the article, but you're attempting to attack that because you can't discuss anything else.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Can you point to the "bogus and misleading" information in the report?

              Yes

              The clever folks at KPMG have hidden the important factors in the aggregate stats, looking at a big list of 34 services, and saying that as long as a film or TV title are available on one of them, it's "available."

              The cost of the "big list of 34 services" is how much? I can't tell you for sure, but that's not "AVAILABLE" to the average person (or "reasonably available") which makes the claim (that availability isn't a factor) in this study "bogus and misleading" about the affect availability has on piracy.

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                antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:13pm

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

                The cost of the "big list of 34 services" is how much? I can't tell you for sure, but that's not "AVAILABLE" to the average person (or "reasonably available") which makes the claim (that availability isn't a factor) in this study "bogus and misleading" about the affect availability has on piracy.

                Where in the report does it make any claims about the relationship between availability and piracy?

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                  ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:29pm

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

                  It was on display at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard.

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                    DocGerbil100 (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 2:41pm

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

                    Indeed! And to paraphrase the much-missed Mr Adams, this is clearly some strange usage of the phrase "widely available" that we weren't previously aware of. :)

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 5:36pm

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

                  ...do you say that because it doesn't flat out say it in a sentence? If it's not about "the relationship between availability and piracy" then what the fuck was the point of the study?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              In the methodology section, it tells you what services are included, but there's no access to the raw datasets. So I would cast some suspicion on the actual numbers.

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              Rikuo (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Technically, you're right, in that nothing in the report is factually untrue. The report is correct when it states that if a title is available on at least one service, it is, well, available.
              However, that is not enough. If a title is available legally via only one service that pretty much no-one uses, then the title may as well not be available at all. Everyone has heard of Netflix, and has used it at least once, even yours truly. If a title is not on there, it is tantamount to unavailable.

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              • identicon
                Baron von Robber, 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:27pm

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

                Same here. If it's not on Netflix, it doesn't exist to me.

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                Jeremy Lyman (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 5:08am

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

                I'd like to suggest a grocery store analogy. If a product is available in only one of 34 local groceries, I would not call that product "widely available". Which is why setting the bar so low is disingenuous; "widely available" almost suggests that you're more likely to find it than not find it at any store.

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                  antidirt (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 5:41am

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

                  I'd like to suggest a grocery store analogy. If a product is available in only one of 34 local groceries, I would not call that product "widely available". Which is why setting the bar so low is disingenuous; "widely available" almost suggests that you're more likely to find it than not find it at any store.

                  Do all 34 grocery stores have websites that instantly deliver the goods to your house?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 6:22am

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

                    Yes, but that's not the point.

                    The point is that I have to pay an subscription to all 34 grocery stores websites so that I can get the product.

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                      antidirt (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 7:13am

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

                      The point is that I have to pay an subscription to all 34 grocery stores websites so that I can get the product.

                      You guys are assuming you'd have to have accounts at all 34 services to see the content you want. I have accounts at Netflix, Amazon, M-GO, and iTunes, and they have all the content I want.

                      I get that you guys need to blame others for your conscious decision to pirate, but this victim-blaming is getting pretty silly. No matter what they do, you guys will complain.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 7:25am

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

                        You guys are assuming you'd have to have accounts at all 34 services to see the content you want. I have accounts at Netflix, Amazon, M-GO, and iTunes, and they have all the content I want.

                        Not everybody has the same tastes in films as you do, nor do they live in the same country, so just because your needs are met does not mean that other peoples needs are met by just a few services, or that any of the services available to them carry the films they would like to watch.

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                          antidirt (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 7:59am

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

                          Not everybody has the same tastes in films as you do, nor do they live in the same country, so just because your needs are met does not mean that other peoples needs are met by just a few services, or that any of the services available to them carry the films they would like to watch.

                          True enough. But this report is about the US market, so that's what we've been talking about. And no one here has actually shown that they'd need to sign up for 34 different services to see the content they want. They just assume the worst and complain about it.

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                            Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 8:28am

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

                            True enough. But this report is about the US market,

                            Even with that limitation, your point is a non sequitur, about like someone claiming that because they can walk to their place of work, nobody needs a car.

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                            RD, 1 Oct 2014 @ 9:01am

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

                            "And no one here has actually shown that they'd need to sign up for 34 different services to see the content they want. They just assume the worst and complain about it."

                            Ooo I can play that game too!

                            "No one here has actually shown that slavery is a bad thing. You are just assuming the worst and complaining about it."

                            "No one here has actually shown that priest abuse of children is widespread. You are just assuming the worst and complaining about it."

                            "No one here has actually shown that the economy is in trouble due to abuse of mortgages. You are just assuming the worst and complaining about it."

                            Are you getting a clue now why people are taking issue with this problem? When you hand-wave everything away to appease your corporate paymasters and try to sweep all complaints under the rug, you dismiss the the problem out of hand and invalidate legitimate points.

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                      • identicon
                        RD, 1 Oct 2014 @ 8:56am

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

                        "You guys are assuming you'd have to have accounts at all 34 services to see the content you want. I have accounts at Netflix, Amazon, M-GO, and iTunes, and they have all the content I want."

                        This issue isnt defined by just what YOU want. This seems to be the source of your problem: you can't see any of these issues from any perspective but your own, and then you condemn and question everyone else (who has other considerations than yours) as if their concerns arent valid because they dont align with your own, narrow view.

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              Andrew G (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I can add some insight here. The misleading part is that the analysis is incomplete without ‘weighting’ availability against real subscription numbers. To be honest, the consultants should have known better.

              Consider this: the study says that 95% of titles are on Hulu Plus and 17% are on Netflix. What if we layered on data to show that only 1.6% of the population uses Hulu Plus, but 10% use Netflix. By weighting the calculation you realize that to the general population, the 95+% availability really doesn’t mean very much in terms of absolute access to content. Not to mention that when you consider that most people will only want to pay for a few subscriptions (at most), saying content is available in at least 1/34 services is not conclusive enough to be able to call it 'widely available'.

              It would have been far more insightful if we saw availability by service, or weighted availability against total subscriptions. Otherwise, I have to agree that the conclusion is misleading.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It is misleading to imply that a movie is "widely available" when it is, in fact, not.

          If 80% of top movies can't be found on the most popular (legal) streaming service in the country, there's a big problem.

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            antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It is misleading to imply that a movie is "widely available" when it is, in fact, not.

            If 80% of top movies can't be found on the most popular (legal) streaming service in the country, there's a big problem.


            Here's what the report says: "This report found that the most popular and critically acclaimed films are widely available to anyone who has access to the Internet through dozens of Online VOD digital distribution services."

            Anyone who wants to sign up and pay (the horror!) can do so. That's "widely available" in my book. Saying that only the movies on Netflix are "widely available" makes little sense to me. Yes, it's a popular service, but I don't see how other services which are less popular are any less "available." A URL is a URL. If you can access one, you can access another.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              This is why I say you're being obtuse. You don't even acknowledge that there's more than one facet to the issue of media being "widely available."

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                antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 6:05pm

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

                This is why I say you're being obtuse. You don't even acknowledge that there's more than one facet to the issue of media being "widely available."

                I think it's obtuse to demand that "widely available" = "available on Netflix." I'm still waiting for someone to point to even one single sentence in the report that is "bogus and misleading." The report is very upfront about which services it includes and what percentage of the titles are available on each.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 9:31pm

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

                  ACtually, I agree with you here; however, the fact that Netflix is arguably the largest VOD dite not directly connected to a device chain should count for something in the statistics, because for some people, they cannot botain legal access to those VOD/EST sites.

                  Don't you think that's a supply issue?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 5:45am

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

                  "I'm still waiting for someone to point to even one single sentence in the report that is 'bogus and misleading.'"

                  And this right here is your problem. You've had upteen people do exactly that. It is bogus and misleading to say something is "widely available" when it isn't on the most popular (and likely biggest) service used by the majority of the people.

                  Yeah, they're available, just not widely. That is bogus and misleading.

                  You're basically trying to spin the argument to be "show me a single sentence that can be definitively proven as being a blatant lie". No one can. But you can't actually come up with a proper rebuttal to anything else anyone has said, so you're sticking to your guns and demanding an answer to that one question.

                  Tell me, AJ, have you stopped beating your wife? It really is a "yes" or "no" answer type question. Have you stopped beating your wife?

                  THAT is exactly the kind of argument you're making here and THAT is exactly why people report your comments. You've literally said the same thing I won't bother to count how many times, this is the kind of behavior you pull with Mike regularly and that's why he ignores you as well. You're an idiot.

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                    antidirt (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 6:47am

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

                    And this right here is your problem. You've had upteen people do exactly that. It is bogus and misleading to say something is "widely available" when it isn't on the most popular (and likely biggest) service used by the majority of the people.

                    Yeah, they're available, just not widely. That is bogus and misleading.


                    The report says they're "widely available" and then it defines exactly what that means and tells us what percentage of movies are available on the different kinds of services. And then you guys claim that it's "bogus and misleading"? I don't see it. I get that you would define "widely available" differently, but that doesn't mean they were "bogus and misleading" when they were completely upfront about what they meant by that.

                    You're an idiot.

                    And my posts here are being reported as abusive and trollish. Sigh. I know you guys can't stand dissenting points of view, but the amount of abuse you all regularly dish out is just terrible.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 5:51pm

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

                      Stop beating your wife, then maybe you'll stop getting reported.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2014 @ 3:04pm

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

                      The report's definition of 'widely available' is the canard. It isn't really widely available if I have to scrounge multiple, expensive sites just to watch movies. That's slapping the customer in the face and telling them they like it instead of listening to what they have to say.

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              Rikuo (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Anyone who wants to sign up and pay (the horror!) can do so."
              Again, as others have said, the problem is that this then means that to get as close as possible to legal access to most movies, you'd have to pay for MULTIPLE services. So are you really suggesting that people should pay for the 34 different services here? Do you honestly think the vast majority of people can afford that?

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              • identicon
                Baron von Robber, 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:04pm

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

                Which if the avg is $20/month comes to ...
                $680 per month or $8160 per year.

                Guess you need to be MPAA member to afford your own availability.

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                  antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 6:03pm

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

                  Which if the avg is $20/month comes to ...
                  $680 per month or $8160 per year.

                  Guess you need to be MPAA member to afford your own availability.


                  I watch all the movies and TV shows I could possibly ever want (and do so legally) for one-third that much. Your math is off.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 3:37am

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

                    One third of that... so about $220 per month? So let me see - I live in South Africa and there are 11 Rand to the Dollar, so that puts your monthly entertainment cost at effectively R 2,420. Nice. There are families living on less than that per month over here.

                    So you think that it's reasonable for people elsewhere in the world (and less moneyed than yourself) to pay that for legitimate content? Personally I can see where the piracy comes from then. Nobody over here would pay that much for "TV and series" per month. And I'm certainly far from living on the bread line.

                    Idiot!

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                      antidirt (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 5:40am

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

                      One third of that... so about $220 per month? So let me see - I live in South Africa and there are 11 Rand to the Dollar, so that puts your monthly entertainment cost at effectively R 2,420. Nice. There are families living on less than that per month over here.

                      So you think that it's reasonable for people elsewhere in the world (and less moneyed than yourself) to pay that for legitimate content? Personally I can see where the piracy comes from then. Nobody over here would pay that much for "TV and series" per month. And I'm certainly far from living on the bread line.

                      Idiot!


                      My point was that I pay that much and I get way more movies and shows than I can possibly ever watch. It's a luxury item that I can afford. I wasn't always so fortunate, and I'm sure there are many people less fortunate than me.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 6:26am

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

                        I see your point antidirt. With enough money, everything's available.

                        The report should have just said that 100% of movies are available (to those with enough money to buy movie companies and set up their own streaming services).

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                    Baron von Robber, 1 Oct 2014 @ 10:43am

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

                    $20 x 34 = $680

                    $680 x 12 months = $8160

                    God you suck at math as well as reason.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:56pm

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

                There is also the problem of guessing which service a movie is on this week, like when its is pulled from streaming services and put on cable.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 2:14pm

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

                  As is the case with a number of shows and movies as of this past week and today on Netflix. A number of classic and popular films and shows are leaving it, where are they going? Who knows. Guess what I won't be watching til then come back to Netflix? All of those. Nor will I pay for another service to access them or buy them for all of one or two total viewings, even if I do enjoy them.

                  Profits lost. And they complain that piracy causes them losses. No, they're outdated business model which denies me access to their product when I pay for a service that would give it to me otherwise is what causes them losses.

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                  antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 6:07pm

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

                  There is also the problem of guessing which service a movie is on this week, like when its is pulled from streaming services and put on cable.

                  This site is pretty good: http://wheretowatch.org/ I think they can (and will) do better. Things are moving in the "right" direction, IMO. Just give it time.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 3:58am

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

                    That is a fat lot of use, when the kids at the party are ready to watch the selected film from a VOD service, which your child selected a week before, and you find that it has been pulled, and is now only available on cable.

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                antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 5:54pm

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

                Again, as others have said, the problem is that this then means that to get as close as possible to legal access to most movies, you'd have to pay for MULTIPLE services. So are you really suggesting that people should pay for the 34 different services here? Do you honestly think the vast majority of people can afford that?

                Only a few of the services listed are subscription services, such as Netflix. Many, like iTunes, require users to purchase each title individually. It's not like someone has to have 34 Netflix subscriptions, if that's what you're implying. I see no problem with going to different services to get different content. I go to different stores to buy different things. I don't freak out when the grocery store doesn't stock blades for my table saw. I get that a one-stop-shop would be nicer. That's one reason I like my Roku box. I can watch Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon, etc. with one piece of hardware. Things are getting better, and they're moving in the direction that you guys all want. I just don't get the constant whining. And I especially don't get the victim-blaming.

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              jupiterkansas (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I can walk into any store that sells DVDs and expect to find all the latest top titles for sale. Any store!

              But I can't pay for any streaming service and find the latest top titles available to watch.

              This is the problem.

              They're making it so I have to shop at multiple stores just to find the movies I want to see. Imagine wanting to see the latest blockbuster movie, and having to figure out if it was being sold at Walmart, or Target, or Best Buy, or Barnes and Noble, and having to do this for every single movie.

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                antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 5:56pm

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

                They're making it so I have to shop at multiple stores just to find the movies I want to see. Imagine wanting to see the latest blockbuster movie, and having to figure out if it was being sold at Walmart, or Target, or Best Buy, or Barnes and Noble, and having to do this for every single movie.

                From what I've heard, they're working on getting things more centralized. You have to understand that Blockbuster can stock whatever it wants because of first-sale, while streaming requires complex licensing negotiations. I applaud the industry for the changes it's made already. Give it time.

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                • icon
                  jupiterkansas (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 10:02pm

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

                  Tell the average Joe they can't see the movie they want because of licensing negotiations and they're not going to have much sympathy. They're just going to pirate.

                  The only reason it takes so long is because they make the licensing so complicated to begin with. It's middle management at its worst and it's nothing to applaud. The industry should have taken the lead with this years ago, but instead they had to be dragged kicking and screaming.

                  And what did they end up with? Netflix runs the show and keeps all the precious streaming data while the studios were worried about losing Blockbuster's business.

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                • icon
                  techflaws (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 10:08pm

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

                  while streaming requires complex licensing negotiations.I applaud the industry for the changes it's made already. Give it time.

                  Another 15 years or so, maybe?

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                  • icon
                    techflaws (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 10:10pm

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

                    New try:

                    while streaming requires complex licensing negotiations.

                    And whose fault is that?

                    I applaud the industry for the changes it's made already. Give it time.

                    Another 15 years or so, maybe?

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                • identicon
                  teka, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:53pm

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

                  Blockbuster can stock whatever it wants because of first-sale
                  Something the industry hates and tries to erase at every opportunity.


                  streaming requires complex licensing negotiations.
                  Created by the very same people/organizations to divide money and power amongst themselves.

                  So the bad situation, created by middle-men and abusers of truth, will be fixed by those same middle-men and liars so that people can have a situation more like first sale and the simplicity people want even though it's something that the middlemen hate and fear, because it removes layers of -middle- for them to inhabit. It will be fixed right up so it's important that we wait patiently, accept what we're given and never ever question the steps being taken.

                  Seems legit.

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 5:48am

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

                  Give it time.

                  Yeah, it's not as though anyone could have seen this coming in time to do anything about it.

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                • identicon
                  RD, 1 Oct 2014 @ 5:50am

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

                  "From what I've heard, they're working on getting things more centralized. "

                  Oh, fucking HORSE SHIT. I call you out on your specious BS. The industry (music and movies) have had over a DECADE to "work on getting things" more centralized and available to the public. They DO NOT CARE what the public wants. The only thing they care about is how far they can get the public to open their wallets for with the least amount of effort and service. Period.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Again, he already pointed to it.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think you are confusing the term "misleading" with false. Misleading means "giving the wrong idea or impression," whereas false is simply incorrect information.

          They are definitely being misleading by stating that 94% of the films are available. While that may be technically true, by choosing to make them available only on the online equivalent of the library basement between the hours of 4:55 pm and 5:00 pm.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Forgot to include the last half of my sentence:
            While that may be technically true, by choosing to make them available only on the online equivalent of the library basement between the hours of 4:55 pm and 5:00 pm, they are being misleading.

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              antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              While that may be technically true, by choosing to make them available only on the online equivalent of the library basement between the hours of 4:55 pm and 5:00 pm, they are being misleading.

              But it's not equivalent to a library basement that's only open for five minutes. Netflix is just as available as Hulu. Just because you prefer one service, that doesn't mean the other service is somehow less available.

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              • icon
                art guerrilla (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:34pm

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

                conveniently eliding the point that we then have to sign up/pay for -what?- a half dozen, a dozen services, any one of which is a mere fraction of the titles we want to see...
                well, gee, might as well keep my teevee cable since that now ends up being cheaper than paying 10 online services 10 bucks each so i can get the 5% of the movies *they* have in their library...

                but they're 'widely available', you know, just like gold is 'widely available' in seawater...

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              • icon
                JMT (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 4:35pm

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

                "Just because you prefer one service, that doesn't mean the other service is somehow less available."

                So as asked above, does that mean you think people should have to sign up to multiple services in order to get the range or movies they want? Can you honestly not see how nobody wants to do that? It would be expensive and inconvenient, the exact opposite of what the studios are claiming.

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        • identicon
          RD, 30 Sep 2014 @ 7:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Again, can you point to a single statement in the report that is "bogus and misleading?"

          You are trying to debunk the claims by asking for a specific example. The problem is, you are missing the point (again) and that is that the ENTIRE REPORT it misleading in its entirety. No "single" example need be given.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 5:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The problem is, you are missing the point (again) and that is that the ENTIRE REPORT it misleading in its entirety.

            To be more specific, he's missing the point on purpose, which is his M.O.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:52am

      Re:

      What isn't mentioned in the article is what is misleading. Claiming that it's available somewhere is not the same as widely available.

      The MPAA is claiming that if it can be found out there in commercial land somewhere that it is available. What is totally being ignored here is the hoops you are expected to jump through to access that film or material.

      I'm not going to a rental place. There isn't one in town and there isn't one within a reasonable distance. I'm not willing to drive 60 miles for a rental and return it.

      Nor am I willing to search all over the net to find it. It is either available or it isn't where I go. That is what widely available means.

      Ease of access comes in for another negative in the form the hoops to be jumped over to get to the item. I am not willing to go to thirty different sites on the net, give up tons of info just to get in and find out I can't access it anyway. Either I don't have the right credit card, live in the wrong place geographically, don't have the right player and am not willing to install the latest spyware to get it, or can't access it because I am not willing to give up a ton of personal data for each and every site, and am not willing to agree to the insane terms and conditions which seem to vary widely from site to site.

      None of that is in the article. It doesn't change the fact that when narrowed down in those terms, it isn't widely available.

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      • icon
        Rikuo (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:12pm

        Re: Re:

        Case in point - Madoka Magica is a very popular 12 episode/3 movie anime series that has been very well received by critics. I want to watch the English dub of the first two movies on Blu-ray (since the visuals are outstanding, and it would be a crime to watch it at 480p), and potentially pass them onto friends. However, I simply cannot get them. Only one website sells the discs, and only to the US. My only option then is either pay someone in the US to buy them and then ship them to me (too bad I don't know anyone in the US), or to get through illegal means (which, despite me searching very hard, I cannot find a torrent for the English dub movies)

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        antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:25pm

        Re: Re:

        The MPAA is claiming that if it can be found out there in commercial land somewhere that it is available. What is totally being ignored here is the hoops you are expected to jump through to access that film or material.

        Is setting up an account at Netflix significantly more "hoops" than setting up one at iTunes?

        Nor am I willing to search all over the net to find it. It is either available or it isn't where I go. That is what widely available means.

        Do you have trouble navigating from techdirt.com for Mike's content to wsj.com for their content? Different content is available on different sites. This is how the internet works.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't go to a doughnut shop to by screwdrivers. I go straight to the store that will likely have them.

          I don't any Apple hardware. Why would I go to a site that only works with Apple equipment? The same can be said about widely available when it comes to websites. Why would I give iTunes any money or info or for that matter Netflix?

          Netflix is totally unusable to me because my ISP doesn't have a fast enough connection. I live in the boonies, cable isn't available. The whole issue here is a total lack of availability. Your idea is no better than your reasoning.

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        • icon
          art guerrilla (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          you know what's the EASIEST, most WIDELY AVAILABLE, CHEAPEST, AND BEST CONTENT (NO annoying fbi notices, no ads, no crapp, etc)?

          TBP, dingleberry...

          *kaboom* is the sound of your 'argument' exploding all over you...

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What to know the EASIEST way to NULLIFY any point you MAY have?

            First, CAPITALIZE some of the words as if it actually gives them more IMPORTANCE over how your IDEA is STRUCTURED.

            Second, don't have a POINT or IDEA.

            KUDOS to you!!

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              icon
              art guerrilla (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              try this on, ASSHOLE
              1. FUCK YOU
              2. FUCK YOU SIDEWAYS WITH A PINEAPPLE
              3. you MISSED the POINT in YOUR rush TO condemn, DICKLESS...

              ARTguerrillaATwindstreamDOTnet
              have at it, ASSWIPE

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Is setting up an account at Netflix significantly more "hoops" than setting up one at iTunes?

          Is setting up an account with each and every one of these providers significantly more hoops than setting one up at Netflix or iTunes?

          Amazon Instant Video
          CinemaNow
          Google Play
          iTunes
          MGO
          Playstation Store
          Redbox Instant
          Sony Entertainment Network
          Walmart Vudu
          Xbox Live
          Marketplace
          Blockbuster
          Crackle
          Crunchyroll
          Popcornflix
          Hulu Plus
          Netflix
          Warner Archive Instant
          AT&T U-verse Screenpack
          Comcast Xfinity Streampix
          Verizon Redbox Instant

          I'm guessing it's not even possible to sign up for all of the last three, and for many people not even one of them.

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          • identicon
            JEDIDIAH, 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:18pm

            Back to 1955 with you.

            It may be a big bother to search them all.

            There have been attempts to get around this but I'm not sure how effective they've been. Most of those are redundant and just offer the same stuff or a smaller subset of it.

            A number of them are proprietary. Some are associated to cable providers. Some are associated with particular hardware vendors.

            It's a little dishonest to include stuff that's bound to a particular hardware manufacturer (iTunes) and gravely dishonest to include the stuff tied to cable companies.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 6:10pm

              Re: Back to 1955 with you.

              "It's a little dishonest to include stuff that's bound to a particular hardware manufacturer (iTunes) and gravely dishonest to include the stuff tied to cable companies."

              How is it dishonest for the poster to include them?

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            antidirt (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 5:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Is setting up an account with each and every one of these providers significantly more hoops than setting one up at Netflix or iTunes?

            Amazon Instant Video
            CinemaNow
            Google Play
            iTunes
            MGO
            Playstation Store
            Redbox Instant
            Sony Entertainment Network
            Walmart Vudu
            Xbox Live
            Marketplace
            Blockbuster
            Crackle
            Crunchyroll
            Popcornflix
            Hulu Plus
            Netflix
            Warner Archive Instant
            AT&T U-verse Screenpack
            Comcast Xfinity Streampix
            Verizon Redbox Instant

            I'm guessing it's not even possible to sign up for all of the last three, and for many people not even one of them.


            I have at least an order of magnitude more accounts online than that. You should see my password sheet. (Yes, I still use analog for that!)

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  • identicon
    JEDIDIAH, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:19am

    A different kettle of fish.

    There are a number of levels here. First you've got the cut-rate rerun cable channel that is Netflix and it's ilk. Then you've got the rental services that are much like the Blockbuster of old or cable PPV. Then you've got "sales" where you will end up paying as much for a download as the BluRay.

    Not only is a new release film unlikely to be on Netflix. It may also not be available for a rental price on any of the other 28 services that this bit of propaganda is tracking.

    "Available" might mean that your download version will cost you as much as the BluRay.

    A common response to that may include expletives.

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  • icon
    Freely_ip (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:46am

    I don't understand, when did netflix become the internet archive for all movies and television shows? I agree that it's a cheap and convenient service, but there are other services out there to fill the demand. Maybe not 100%, but pretty close. I find that if you have Netflix, Hulu and amazon prime, you've covered most media that you could reasonably want. It should not be a surprise to pay a premium for an obscure flick, or for instant access to a new release.
    I do take issue with digital content being priced the same as physical content, especially since I am only licensing it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:02pm

      Re:

      You've had to go to three different places by your mention. You've also had to pay some sort of price to access those different places. Why is it necessary to go to three different places to maybe find what you are looking for and then be left with the idea you may have to pay someone else at some other site because you couldn't find it at the three places you are already paying, either in the form of money or in the form of data mining?

      You've actually come out with a strong argument for why it's 'not widely available'. You should have been able to go to just one and find your item.

      Overpriced is another issue everyone sees and recognizes, not to mention the insane TOS and licensing issues that come with that.

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      • icon
        Freely_ip (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:25pm

        Re: Re:

        I disagree, I've gone to three different service providers as they each had something different to offer and I was willing to pay them what they were asking for as I found it reasonably priced. I believe it's good to have multiple options; I believe it's called a "free market". Would I prefer a cheaper option with more options? Absolutely.However, no matter how great it is to shop at Costco and Walmart, I should not expect them to have everything.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 3:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I believe it's good to have multiple options; I believe it's called a "free market"."

          That's a very twisted example of 'free market'. Free markets don't have IP laws.

          "I've gone to three different service providers as they each had something different to offer"

          but thanks to overarching IP laws (that keep getting retroactively extended) there can't be one place that has everything to offer for a reasonable price. Instead you have to go to multiple places to maybe get what you want and pay thrice.

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      • identicon
        JEDIDIAH, 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:11pm

        Wait. There's more.

        The only outlet where something is available may be completely unacceptable to you or to a large part of the market. The terms may be unacceptable.

        Hulu is notable in this regard as having ads.

        There is ZERO chance I will ever use it. The same goes for any "full price purchase" option or something like the Warner Brother's obscure film archive. There's only so far down the rabbit hole I'm willing to go.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:18pm

      Re:

      As a consumer, it's offensive to me that all digital services can't easily license all movies the copyrights of which are owned by large movie studios. I shouldn't have to subscribe to Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime in order to patchwork together access to some, but not all, titles from the major studios.

      I used to work for Netflix and had to tell disappointed customers all the time that not every movie comes to Netflix's streaming service and many get pulled after the current licensing deal is up because the studios either refuse to license some movies or they want more and more money every time a streaming license is renewed.

      The studios want to have their digital cake and eat it too. They want to sell you a license for a digital version at the same or sometimes higher cost than a physical disc and then say you have fewer rights with the digital version than you do with the physical version.

      You're statement, "but there are other services out there to fill the demand" is exactly what the studios are saying to pretend that they're making things "available."

      Building your store on the other side of a minefield and then screaming that you must not be making the amount of money that you expected to because of piracy is a pretty stupid and disingenuous business tactic.

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re:

        the studios either refuse to license some movies or they want more and more money every time a streaming license is renewed.

        Which is insane, they should be drastically cutting prices after a movie comes out in hopes of making some kind of money on it. Almost all a film's revenue comes at the beginning, and after that it's competing for attention with the next new release. The price should drop sharply.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 4:03pm

      Re:

      "It should not be a surprise to pay a premium for an obscure flick"

      This is exactly what IP is not supposed to be intended to do. IP is not supposed to be intended to ensure that you pay a huge premium for some 'obscure' flick because it's hard to otherwise get a hold of. If something is so hard to get a hold of now, while it's still not in the public domain, imagine how difficult to impossible remaining copies in good condition to ever reach the public domain. and that's a loss to our culture. IP was supposed to expand the public domain so that a wider audience can enjoy a more diverse set of content and there can be smaller sub-audiences enjoying more specialty content that suits them. Instead you want to force generic content on everyone so that you can charge a larger audience more. The public loses out because people don't get content as closely specialized to their specific individual desires.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 11:47am

    They aren't trying to ignore it, they are flat out ignoring it. Just like they have ignored that fact since pirating 'became' a problem.

    They would rather plug their ears and scream that they are losing qungjillions of dollars and have law enforcement step in rather than actually having to spend money and innovate.

    It's the same problem that happened with Cassette tapes. And Beta / VHS. And Recordable CD's. And MP3 players. Now it's streaming services.

    It's the exact same bullshit they have tried to get away with for yeas, and have succeeded.

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

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:10pm

      Re:

      They hate anything new until someone clever figures out how to make a ton of money from it. Then it becomes their precious business model and they will fight anything that threatens it. It's been an ongoing cycle for over 100 years.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:12pm

    A better approach would be to express 'available' as 'number of consumers the title is available to' and to measure the incremental cost for a consumer to watch that 'available' title, and to measure the incremental revenue that the copyright holder receives.

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

  • identicon
    John Thacker, 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:19pm

    What we want is bundling

    If I understand your objection, the problem is that most of these things are only available on an expensive a la carte basis, when many people would prefer to subscribe to a single (or only a few) bundles. I totally agree.

    Then again, that's part of why the frequent calls for a la carte cable access are so silly. Most people want bundles. They want them cheaper than the cable company, and more convenient, and so on. But people want bundles.

    A look at a la carte pricing will show why people want bundles. For example, on Verizon's FIOS TV, NFL Redzone is available a la care for $80/season (which is 4 months long). However, for those four months you can pay $20/month more for their top tier bundle compared to the second tier bundle, and get NFL Redzone added plus Cinemax, Showtime, and a bunch of other networks. And that's how unbundling tends to be priced-- more expensively per item than bundles, partially because the average person doesn't watch nearly everything that they get in their bundle.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:38pm

      Re: What we want is bundling

      If the bundles were always set up conveniently like that, they may actually be better, but it isn't always the case.

      For years the only way I could get BBC America was in a bundle of ~100 other channels, none of which I ever watched. Sure, on a per channel basis it was probably dirt cheap (around $15 for the bundle I think) but if I could have gotten BBCA alone it would have been way cheaper in the long run. I'd never want to spend, say, $5 each for dozens of separate channels, but $5 for the one I want vs $15 for 99 I don't adds up quick. (The lineup has changed recently, so the situation is more complicated now.)

      Frankly I'd settle for keeping all sports channels in a bundle all to themselves. From what I've read they tend to be the most expensive, and if I want almost anything else they always come along for the ride.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 2:07pm

      Re: What we want is bundling

      In reality what is going on is that the cable companies are bundling programs to maximize the number of bundles that they sell each person, and to be able to keep an income for the channels that no one watches. Bundling is only cheaper than a la carte because that how is how things are priced.

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

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 7:21am

        Re: Re: What we want is bundling

        well, you can ABSOLUTELY tell they set their bundles up so you are FORCED to 'upgrade' to a bundle you don't want 90% of the crap on it, because it has the one or two programs you really do want...
        there is virtually NO BUSINESS in amerika which operates along the lines of responding to and respecting their customers; it is ALL ABOUT FORCING you to make choices you don't want, buy shit you don't want, and making it IMPOSSIBLE to get the same/similar goods/services by any other means...

        the so-called 'free market' is a fucking sick joke...

        IF they had a la carte pricing that was REASONABLE, i'd probably only have about a dozen or so channels; WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY they will NEVER have reasonable a la carte pricing: EVERYONE would get their top 10-20 channels, and they could shove their useless bundles up their cloaca...

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  • icon
    Dave Cortright (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 12:36pm

    "Available" as defined in the new Government and Corporate Deceivctionary

    If you are looking for your press release to describe the way you *believe* the world to be but actually isn't, then pick up a copy of the new Government and Corporate Deceivctionary. In this indispensable resource, you can use terms like "available", "terrorist", "collect", "hack" and others in ways that lead people to believe you are saying one thing, but really mean another.

    Widely available* at popular† booksellers worldwide‡

    * accessible in at least one non-imaginary location
    † as defined by the author
    ‡ somewhere in the world (For example at the CIA Starbucks)

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  • identicon
    Shmerl, 30 Sep 2014 @ 1:24pm

    Where is DRM-free?

    Anything that's not available DRM-free is not conveniently available. So here you go MPAA - practically nothing of what you offer is conveniently available.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 3:24pm

    This article is just moving the goalposts.

    Netflix sucks.

    Get Amazon and you'll have access to basically everything that's out there.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 5:48pm

      Re:

      Cool! I'd like to watch The Winter Soldier as part of my Amazon Prime subscription. Can you tell me how to get to that page on their site? Thanks!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 4:17pm

    Methinks that if Netflix did have every movie ever available to subscribers, then the subscription would cost so much that all of you would be throwing a hissy fit about that. When did it become the movie/TV studios job to subsidize Netflix's business model?

    The general timbre of this article and the comments is bratty entitlement in the extreme. This is like listening to toddlers rationalize their need for more candy; ALL CANDY EVAR RIGHT NOW!!!! While they're at a pizza parlor.

    Perhaps "widely available" means available to many people who want to purchase it? Not as in, "available at every newstand and register." McDonald's is "widely available" but I still can't buy a Big Mac at Burger King. Is that also causing a lot of problems for the people here?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 5:50pm

      Re:

      Has anyone ever told you you're horrible at analogies? If not: you're horrible at analogies.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 6:01pm

      Re:

      the General timbre of your comment is that "I am a greedy fucktard and I want more money, give me all of your money. I did something once, and I want to be paid forever."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2014 @ 5:52pm

    In the end what will happen is the average person - like me - just outright ignores films altogether. That results in no money for the MPAA, which then encourages them to buy shills like antidirt and rant about how the MPAA isn't getting richer, thereby forcing them to use more of their starving, depleted funds on useless studies.

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

    • icon
      art guerrilla (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      yes, exactly...
      i'm a medium tee vee/movie/sports/etc watcher, but SIMPLY because Big Media has fucked people over so long and so hard, i don't want to watch their shit SIMPLY FOR THE PRINCIPLE of it...

      would dump satellite TOMORROW, FOREVER if it wasn't for SWMBO who simply can't live without the glass teat...
      shit, i'm not sure we are 'living', WITH it...

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

  • icon
    DocGerbil100 (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 6:16pm

    UK VOD services

    No idea about US services, but for those interested, here are the UK services currently available.

    While I assume this info is largely accurate (no-one would bother to make it up), it is largely from sites I've not previously heard of -- mostly http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/126129-which-is-the-best-movie-streaming-service-in-the-uk-netflix-v s-amazon-prime-vs-now-tv-and-more -- and the original post is from February, so some details have probably changed since then.

    There are probably more reliable and up-to-date sites for this information, somewhere, but this is the best I could find without a more substantial research effort.

    VOD sites -- Monthly Movies Subscription Costs

    Now TV (the online version of Rupert-Murdoch-owned Sky Movies) - £9
    Netflix - £6
    Amazon Prime Instant Video - £6
    Wuaki - £6 sub, PPV @ £4.50/new film rental
    Knowhow Movies - no sub, PPV @ £5/new film rental
    Blinkbox (from Tesco) - no sub, PPV @ £4.50/new film rental
    Apple iTunes - no sub, PPV@ £4.50/new film rental
    Google Play - no sub, PPV@ £4.50/new film rental
    Xbox Video - no sub, PPV@ £4.50/new film rental

    Readers may wish to note that the UK version of Netflix is generally regarded as an aborted washing-machine foetus of a service, when compared with its US counterpart.

    All PPV prices are for the highest definition versions, which is usually 720p, with a couple of services offering 1080p. Older titles and SD rentals are normally cheaper. TV episodes are usually available - prices vary widely, but are usually cheaper than films.

    As far as I know, all providers -- both subscription and pay-per-view -- require the installation of crapware from either Adobe or Microsoft and all require their users to allow the monitoring and commercial exploitation of their viewing habits.

    Most content available is nearly identical across services. New content - i.e. movies released in the last few years - is heavily restricted. NowTV has a blog post on the subject - http://community.nowtv.com/t5/Movies/Movies-Latest-amp-Biggest/td-p/7604 - which they update monthly:

    "The list below shows the top 100 UK box office films in the last 18 months from 29th August 2014.

    Of the titles on the list available to watch on the relevant services at 5th September 2014; Sky Movies has 44, Amazon Prime Instant Video has 4 and Netflix has 4.

    Wuaki Selection is not listed, as this service does not currently feature any titles in the top 100 list.

    When a movie is first available on Sky Movies it will not be available on Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video for at least 12 months.

    Source: Rentrak"

    The blog post then goes on to list the top 100.

    While the numbers change and have recently shifted in Sky Movies' favour, the figures have strangely consistent ratios from month to month, with retail getting everything, Sky getting a big chunk -- now at 44% -- and Netflix and Amazon both getting the same amount -- now 4%.

    The other 48% or so does not appear to be available, except for retail, the online version of which also shows remarkable consistency of pricing.

    It's fairly apparent that both prices and content are being centrally set by Hollywood, with the intention of driving as much business as possible to their preferred vendors and neutering new services as far as they can get away with.

    This may or may not be legal under UK law, but since there is no prospect of their friends in Parliament ever prosecuting them for anything, it doesn't really matter.

    In any event, it's clear that consumer choice is not on the agenda for the movie industry.

    Not even slightly.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Whatever (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 9:56pm

    So Netflix is the start and the end of digital distribution? Someone call the rest of the player and tell them to stop trying.

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

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 30 Sep 2014 @ 10:22pm

      Re:

      Thanks for proving the point. There's many services with crazy rates, missing titles and DRM none of which is convenient.

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 2:59am

      Re:

      Oh but the MAFIAA would love if it happened considering they are the culprits for this lack of titles. As a bonus this is driving me towards alternative titles in Netflix. So yeah, they are digging their own graves.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 5:41am

      Re:

      No, but it certainly is the most popular and widely used and even available option. As it is accessible throughout most of the world.

      As such, if something is to truly be called "widely available" it stands to reason that it should be on the most popular and used service.

      If, for some (moronic) reason, it isn't on the most popularly used service then it really goes without saying that it isn't widely available. If it's on a service that isn't preferred, much less used by the majority of people then it really is the equivalent of saying, "It was on display at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard."

      Netflix might not the start and end of digital distribution, but it's the biggest and most popular player in the game. Not because of any help from or because of the studios, who do their best at every turn to make Netflix unprofitable and far from enjoyable. If your product isn't there then it's going to get ignored for someone else's who is.

      And your facetious and moronic comments to the contrary really do say it all. You'll defend anyone who tells others lies or tells them to bend over and take it. "It's widely available! It's not my fault you don't want to sign up for 34 different services to really enjoy the one thing you want that happens to only be on that one service and you have to do that for 34 different things spread across them!"

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2014 @ 7:03am

    Which definition of 'widely available' do you think is more accepted by Joe Average?

    A: If a single one out of 34 legitimate online services has the title, it is "widely available"

    B: If every one of 34 pirate torrent sites has the title, it is "widely available"

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

  • identicon
    AJ, 1 Oct 2014 @ 7:36am

    1 bill, any movie I want, right in my house. That is what I want. Figure out how to do that, and "piracy", for the most part, goes away. Most people pirate because it's convenient, not because it's free.. and the ones that do it because it's free, were never going to be customers to begin with.

    It's cost me thousands to set up a home theater, media servers, and movie library's. I've done all that because big media can't figure out how to make it happen for me. It would be much cheaper for me to stream everything than it would be to buy all the Blueray's and computers to run/store them. I would love.... absolutely LOVE, to get rid of all that crap, it's a pain in the ass. But what's the alternative? 20 different subscriptions? Timed releases? Sub-par quality? It's not worth it yet.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      antidirt (profile), 1 Oct 2014 @ 8:01am

      Re:

      1 bill, any movie I want, right in my house. That is what I want.

      That sounds great. I'd sign up for that.

      Figure out how to do that, and "piracy", for the most part, goes away.

      I seriously doubt that. I hope I'm wrong. And even if we had this wonderful one-stop-shop, I'm sure Mike and the pirates would be whining about something. Probably the price.

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


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