Over the past week or so, I’ve signed up and began to use the free version of Spotify (a little late to the game I know). It offers me a service that I can legitimately and legally use for free should I so desire. So what service is that exactly? Well, I can stream as much music as I please, from a collection of over 15 Million tracks. So far, every track I’ve searched for, I have been able to find. Great stuff! Granted the free version is Ad supported, meaning every so often there are radio style adverts that I have to listen to and there is a banner on display in the application window it’self. To be fair, this doesn’t bother me _THAT_ much. So, I can happily listen and share the music with friends. Infact, writing this post has reminded me that I need to get in contact with my ISP (Virgin Media), who when I signed up for their services, gave me a 6 MONTH FREE TRIAL of spotify PREMIUM, giving me access to a whole host of more features and an Ad-less experience. Now, im not a sales rep for Spotify, so on with getting to the point.
Netflix offers a somewhat similar service for Movies and TV shows. However the problem here is they are not at all up to date. For me, that’s where it all breaks down. These days, there is defiantly more of a trend to download the latest Movies and TV shows through illegitimate sources simply because it’s not available to watch. Lets take TV shows as the example here. I LOVE to watch american TV Shows, I’m a sucker for it. In my opinion They’re VERY entertaining compared to TV shows here in the UK, and I’m sure there are a great number of other people that would agree with me from within the UK or even elsewhere. It’s a fact that TV shows that air in the US, take a stupid amount of time before they become available on Premium TV services such as Virgin media or Sky. And there lies problem number 1.
If it’s available for people to watch on the internet by quite simply downloading a torrent or using a streaming website, then people will do it. What’s the difference between watching it now, as opposed to 3,4 even 5 or more months down the line? I’ll tell you what. Advertising. Nearly all TV channels are funded by adverts during the TV shows. But is this the ONLY reason why it takes so long to air here, after it’s been aired in the US? If i’m missing something else, please comment and let me know!
Virgin Media along with other ISP’s in the UK have recently been given a court order to block user’s access to our beloved PirateBay (click it, try it… if the site is blocked from your ISP, try that link), in a move to combat piracy. But what happened instead? It took a matter of MINUTES before the tech savvy people like myself where able to re-gain access to the website. So what did this achieve? Nothing. Well actually, it did achieve something. In fact it gave TPB 12 MILLION extra page loads, and began an era that we’ve all feared for some time. Internet Censorship is amongst us, whether we like it or not. They’ve blocked one website at the order of the courts, now there will be more for sure.
Is blocking (or attempting to block I should say), these websites really the solution to the problem? Of course it’s not. That’s crazy talk. The real solution is to make them less and less desirable to people, and make more services like Spotify more and more attractive. That way, money is getting put back in to these industries and everyone is a winner.
Charging the quite frankly ludicrous prices that we see today for a DVD/Blue Ray discs is also the problem. Why would I want to spend my money on something that I won’t potentially enjoy and get my money’s worth from? Simple answer? I wouldn’t. I like to know what I’m investing in, and have the option of sending it back if I’m not satisfied with my purchase…. something which simply cannot be done with physical media like discs.
I hope i’ve given at least some food for thought here, and I am VERY interested in your responses. Please tell me what you think… Post a comment, Tweet me (@danashurst), send me a youtube vBlog (eKKoTech), whatever. I feel it’s very important that people discuss these issues, so that a proper resolution can be made to the wider problem.
Until next time, Happy surfing! 🙂