It is such a shame that old media companies do not play the game as well as Apple and pirates do. You could download latest episodes of House or 24 via piratebay in few minutes – or hours, where as it will take from days to months to get same episodes from Amazon on DVD as it will usually take quite a while before on going seasons are published on DVD. You can download many of the latest pop releases from iTunes with few Euros or listen some of them in Spotify with your subscription. You can read thousands of different technology books online on O’Reilly’s Safari-service for a fixed monthly fee.
At least from the perspective of consumer on demand services work and as you get instant gratification, you don’t seem to mind so much about the price – as long as the price is kept low for each individual purchase or subscription month. I really don’t mind paying for my entertainment – but I do mind waiting when I would want to see, hear or feel something specific. I do mind having to walk to the store, to the library or to the post office – I am such impatient that I hate it, but then again I have no doubt that future generations and teens today are far more impatient even now.
Sony Entertainment’s CEO described it by saying that Internet has “created this notion that anyone can have whatever they want at any given time. It’s as if the stores on Madison Avenue were open 24 hours a day. They feel entitled. They say, ‘Give it to me now,’ and if you don’t give it to them for free, they’ll steal it.” http://current.com/items/90049647_sony-pictures-ceo-im-a-guy-who-doesnt-see-anything-good-having-come-from-the-internet-period.htm.
With intangible products that are just bits and bytes flickering on the screen or vibrating in the air as sound waves consumers do not subscribe to the idea that they are stealing – as in the end they are also participating in creating the phenomena and value for that product by being an avid fan and vocal supporter. Some TV-series like science fiction series Firefly or HBO’s The Wire did not get their share of fame and fortune when broadcasted on TV, but both series have large following with fans buying DVDs and – most likely even more – downloading episodes illegally.
It is clear that record and media companies have been stalling the inevitable and dug trenches that have allowed them time to develop and try new strategies and ways of working with internet distribution and new business models. In recent issue of The Economist was article about Time Warner, their cable TV-business and emerging internet based offering of TV-shows through – for example Hulu. Hulu seems an interesting experiment, but as it is not available outside US it really doesn’t matter to us europeans yet. Comedy Central did experiment with internet distribution of their shows like South Park and Daily Show — which I loved — until they did cut it off from users outside US.
What I really would wish to happen is to be able to purchase entertainment packages straight from the producers and get them delivered to me through the internet. It would be great to purchase a bundle of channels that I could watch and record through the internet – even though at the moment those shows would not be delivered here on cable or through local satellite offering. It would be even better if producers would work in collaboration local distributors that have cables all the way to the consumers – giving guarantee of fast local downloads and instant gratification when needed, including possibility to watch episodes of shows in better HD formats now – instead of waiting for hours to bittorrent files to download over the wire. It would be great to finally see that media companies would realize that they have global audiences instead of tiered customer groups that can be controlled with areacodes. In the world of global politics and internet memes episodes of Daily Show, South Park or even 24 are contemporary and meaningful now — not so much 18 months in the future.
Give me instant gratification, and I will give you access to my billing information.