Piracy is the Product of Convenience.

I just recently had cable installed in my house. Against my will. No, literally. I really didn’t have a choice, it was part of a “package deal” for cheaper internet. It seems a little silly that I would get a better price for two services over one, but when you think about it it does make sense. Now, all of a sudden this *undisclosed* cable/internet provider has two fronts that they can charge me on. So, when I decide one day to get more channels, they’ll be right there to facilitate that transition.

I suppose that transition will be all too easy to make, as well, considering they have provided me with what seems like less-than-basic cable. Seriously. I don’t even get Nickelodeon. For some reason, I thought I might be able to get all the major network television stations with the basic plan... but I guess I’m wrong. I’m a little disgusted by that fact.

Here I am, shelling out nearly one-hundred dollars monthly for a luxury service, and apparently that’s not enough. They’d much rather I shell out more cash. That’s more money than my water and electricity bills.... combined. Sorry guys, but Netflix only costs me 9 dollars a month and they don’t limit my content at all. I can watch whatever I want, whenever I want, how ever much I want. I don’t necessarily get to watch what’s current, yes, but I couldn’t really care less– because there’s something out there that’s just as convenient as Netflix, but doesn’t cost users anything monthly.

I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about.

Illegal downloading is about as easy as operating a microwave nowadays. Push a button, wait a few minutes, *ding* done. Compare this to, oh, I dunno, HBO go where you have to prove to big papa Boardwalk Empire that you’re an HBO subscriber in order to access the service. What if I just want to pay a flat monthly fee and get HBO without having to pay for a cable package? I can’t do that? Oh, well then I guess I’m not going to go with the other choice. 

Do you see what I’m getting at, here? No? Let me spell it out for you. Piracy is the product of convenience.

Let’s take a company like Spotify, for example. They have managed to do quite well based on an idea that many companies before them had also tried: pay a finite number of money, receive seemingly infinite content. The difference between Spotify and their predecessors was that they managed to execute at just the right time. It wasn’t until after a significant of piracy impacting the music industry, that the distributors began to adapt and accept the idea of making less money.

The fact of the matter is, giant record labels were once the most convenient means of distribution for the people... because there was no internet. So, walking into a store and purchasing a CD was the most convenient way to get the music you wanted. When the MP3 came around, that was no longer the case. It became: making a trip to your local Tower Records vs. having exactly what you want INSTANTLY. It’s a pretty easy choice.

With wide access to broadband internet, and streaming video being at a new pinnacle of quality, this exact thing is happening to movie and television distributors. Once again, there is just as much resistance to progress.

I just don’t get it. Why not charge more people less, as opposed to less people more? Why not give your customers an option, and make it just as easy to pay as it is to steal?  Don’t you realize that you’re pouring a ton of money into ineffective preventative measures? It seems pretty obvious, but I guess we’ve always had trouble learning from our history.

Until there are massive changes made, I know for certain that I won’t be giving the cable companies any more of my money anytime soon. You can sucker me into a bundle deal for cheaper internet, but don’t expect much more than that.

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