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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Want Greater Access To Our Content? You Must Be a Pirate!

Films are great. 1 to 2 hour long journeys that make us laugh and cry, sometimes that stay with us for the rest of our lives. Most of the time though they can be pretty average. Film, much like TV and music, is undergoing a crisis when it comes to monetizing what it produces. And this is all thanks to the internet.

One weapon the film industry has against the evildoers is cinema. One visit to the cinema and you can see that it is still flourishing no matter how high the prices are. But still, how can they make more money? The answer, 3D! Not only are you able to charge more for 3D but if it ever catches on in a big way, the difficulty that comes with pirating it was something that was bound to have been to looked upon favourably.

This is what I like to call the industry attempting to cram the genie back in the bottle. The internet has made downloading and streaming almost the standard in how people watch content. Don't confuse this with piracy though, piracy and convenience are not the same thing. Torrenting and streaming films, TV and music illegally is still rife but this is exacerbated by a lack of accessibility.

For example, imagine a subscription service with access to the entire HBO content library for £10 a month. Episodes of Sopranos, The Wire and Game of Thrones, all in HD and available at your leisure. It is a dependable, measurable and controllable method of sharing content, with a considerable public backing. Despite this it wont be happening any time soon. Big cable companies investing heavily in the current HBO model and the thousands of people employed to push the service maybe be two of the biggest reasons HBO has to stick with its current plan. Though with HBO's most popular program Game of Thrones becoming the most pirated program of 2012  it can't last forever.

But even when it comes to promoting content using the internet, it seems some the creative industries are still out of step. This weekend the MTV Movie Awards happened and where popular rock band The Black Keys performed live with film star Johnny Depp. This piqued my interest so I went to YouTube to search for a clip of the performance, only to find that all the videos that had been uploaded had been removed. If MTV uploaded the performance on YouTube themselves not only could they have monetized it with advertising but it's essentially free publicity for the show it self.

There is no point in pretending that people don't watch your content online, and if they cant find it, then they will probably find illegal means of watching it. Please can we all just talk about the elephant in the room and give people what they are willing to pay for. 

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