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Distribution fail

I read an article two weeks ago in the local paper entitled "Pirate Nation" concerning the thousands of downloads of the debut episode of the TV Series "Game of Thrones".

For anyone who has read GRR Martin's fantasy books, or are fans of this genre in books, movies or, unusually, TV, this looks good. Very good. High production values, decent actors, particularly the child stars, and headed by Sean Bean (with many credits in fantasy movies: Lord of the Rings, The Black Death, even Troy).

But the thrust of the article is that Aussies, seemingly more per capita than any other country, are illegally downloading this and other TV episodes. It seems we aren't content to wait weeks, months, a year? for entertainment content available in other countries*. Previously we had no choice, but give someone the option to find their own distribution channels, because the content owners are not providing them, and wow, the public actually dares to take the initiative.

Content owners (and this newspaper journalist) calls it piracy. Australia a pirate nation. (Conjures images of us hoisting a massive sail over Oz and ramming other countries.) I call it a business failure of distribution. It's the age of the Internet, ferfrackssake. Anyone who wants something can get it. Stop ignoring the reality, and be pro-active. Be responsive to this trend that isn't new anymore. Use some basic business sense and offer it through existing distribution channels (iPad, YouTube) or create your own. Ask for a reasonable fee ($1 per view) for your content. Then if your content is still being pirated, have a whinge. Until then, shut your stuck-in-the-past mouth.

And if you don't do that (which you aren't likely to anytime soon), then enjoy the amazing exposure and penetration your product achieves world-wide. Recognise that it is a validation of your brand and work out ways to exploit it.

*Apparently this TV series will be available in July 2011 (3 months after its debut elsewhere) but only available on Foxtel, Austar, Optus TV.

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Reader Comments (1)

I agree - a lot of piracy is simply because marketers aren't savvy enough to realise that the whole world is connected, and if something is good it's mad to give it to some people and not others. So the "others" will take it illegally - but many would buy it if they could.

Louise Curtis

May 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLouise Curtis

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