How not to think about Video Online

Fox thinks people download pirated TV because it is free. Wrong. People download TV for the following reasons;

  • People don’t want to buy something New because they don’t know if they will like it or not.
  • People don’t like watching advertising every 7-8 minutes on regular TV. Pirated versions rarely contain ads.
  • Pirated versions are easily played on many devices – TVs, portable media players, mobile phones.
  • The TV program is not distributed through regular TV distribution in their country because of distribution windows/deals.
  • People already [think they] pay for the TV program through their Pay TV subscription. Why should they pay twice?

The problem with Fox’s assumption is that it has no strategic meaning. All of the above are nuisance costs to the TV experience. Piracy is an alternative that vapourises the nuisance. Assumptions like this will undoubtedly result in responsive tactics that include publishing free advertising-laden (pre, post, overlay) video online and heavy use of video anti-piracy technology.


With the music industry, DRM (anti-piracy tech) is irrelevant as it only protects a fraction of the music experience and limits exposure of bands. Revolutionaries like RCRD LBL are giving away music for free. Beyond the listening experience, there is so much more value to be created and captured through the community of passionate fans. Merchandise, sponsorships, concerts, exclusives, books, games, interactive media, the list goes on…

The question Fox and others should be asking is,

What experience can I create beyond and around TV viewing?

It’s not easy to solve. It’s hard to do the right thing. It’s easier to keep doing what you do now. But that’s where the money is.

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2 Responses to “How not to think about Video Online”

  1. thehandsomedevil Says:

    This is a really insightful post Gordon, great stuff.

  2. Zucker has no grasp of this “new world” « Gordon Mattey’s Blog Says:

    […] are predominantly pirating because of huge nuisance costs. (sorry to link to my own stuff but here is a previous post on Dan Fawcett at Fox talking about piracy). In summary, people pirate because; […]

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