I’m sitting here at gate 83 at the Vancouver Airport. I’m waiting for a flight down to San Francisco. Sitting off to my right is a very well dressed elderly women and her daughter. I know this only because the daughter used “mom” 4 times in one of those New York sound level conversations.
Anyway, daughter is telling mom about the HBO series called True Blood. Apparently, she heard about it from a friend who said it was amazing. Daughter says she needs to get the DVDs.
This was priceless:
(In a very New York, Brooklyn, type accent)
“Whattaya crazy or something? Go online and just download it.”
Now, I know you are thinking, big deal, everybody does it. The reality is everybody doesn’t do it. Yet. This was average, non-technical, grandma, talking about grabbing a torrent and getting the series. I’m not talking about the philosophical issues of this (Mom tells kid steal it, film at 11), no, this is a bigger deal.
The mainstream (grandma) is now getting into this “download it” stuff and the movie/tv industry has a serious hurt sandwich being served up.
There is only one defense: The industry has to be more friction free than the pirate/hacker.
Here’s what I mean and with apologies to Chris Anderson, it doesn’t have to necessarily be free:
Somewhere in the world as I type this, somebody has recorded a TV show (or movie) and is currently in the process of editing it to remove the commercials, etc, and uploading it. Millions of people wander the internet, play cat –n- mouse games, put up with flaky torrent search engines, bad downloads, etc, all in the name of getting what they want, when they want it.
In survey after survey, it has been shown that if people can get what they want, when they want it, presto, they will pay for it.
If you could simply go to one place, click on the shows you want for an evening viewing and could get them, on demand, in whatever order, etc, you’d pay. You’d pay 20 or 30 bucks a month. You might not but that nice grandma would. I know because I asked her. She ranted about HBO not having it on when she wants to watch it and went on about wanting to be able to simply get some shows and settle in to watch whatever. She’d pay.
I’d pay. Instead of relying on Miro (great app) to grab stuff so I can watch it on the plane or whatever, I’d gladly have a reliable source of the content that I’d pay for. It’s not the itunes store, I’ve looked.
It’s the friction free part that make it so compelling. Like RSS feeds, I’d like to subscribe to my shows, get em put onto a hard drive for my viewing pleasure. Reliably? Good Quality? Excellent, I’ll pay a monthly fee. Or it can be free with commercials, whatever.
My macro point is here is twofold.
One: Highly Personal. Being able to watch “In Plain Sight” followed by “The Closer” with a “Nurse Jackie” chaser makes those 2 1/2 hours personal. I set up my evening with my shows and it’s my way.
Two: Friction Free. As I’ve said, make it easy and reliable, I’m as lazy as the next person, I’ll just get it and not futz with all the P2P stuff.
I know, pipe dream, but who knows….