Monday, November 05, 2012

ARE WE RUNNING OUT OF TIME? get people to think of film and TV as a paid commodity first and free second?

The music business is suffering because they missed the opportunity, as piracy grew, to make people think of music as something you still pay for.

Now, music industry pundits like Bob Lefsetz (who has an excellent newsletter, by the way) are saying that music has missed its chance. For the new generations, music is something that is usually free, with the live show being the commodity worth paying for.

As films become more commonly viewed online and internet speeds increase, the Film and Television industry is facing this same problem. 

The more I see, the more I interract with people, the more I realise this same shift is happening for Film and TV audiences. We are in a watershed moment that will define how people think of their content, and therefore how likely they are to pay or pirate in the future.

This was crystalised for me recently, via the cornucopia of humanity, Facebook.

Someone posted:

Does anyone know of a good site where I can download tv shows? 

I was, of course, both annoyed and curious at this person's motivation so, with some pressing, I received this explanation:

My only gripe with authorised or legal downloading is the price charged for Australian consumers. I will pay for downloads, but not when I'm being gouged. Itunes being the example.

And this is the tipping point. The new audience who feel they can consume film and television content, yet they get to decide whether they should pay for it or not. 

So I responded:

Not your call - price is the price. You don't like it, don't buy. Skydiving is overpriced, but that doesn't mean you get to do it for free

The person didn't respond after that. I don't know if I changed their perspective. 

I doubt it.

But even if I did, this is only one person. We are faced with an entire generation who think it is OK for them to decide whether they should pay for content AFTER they have watched it. If you did that at a restaurant or, like my example, skydiving, it would be considered stealing.

And remember, movies are not like musicians. We can't tour with a live show to make up for the lost income from piracy.

And there won't be DVDs for much longer. It will be all online eventually: both paid and pirated content, side by side.

What then, if audiences don't think film and TV content shoud be paid for?

What then, if we have not captured the audience's hearts and minds?

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