Happy viewing … if you can get your hands on the movie or TV show you want to watch.
So here’s the memo, though it all should go without saying at this late stage:
- National boundaries have been eroding for decades, and haven’t existed for 15 years in the realm where most media consumers get their information. Don’t window by geography.
- In-home viewing quality rivals that of theaters, so why not try selling first-run product into our homes much sooner? Charge us for timely access, not for sticky floors and toxic popcorn.
- Don’t make us be detectives to find your show. Amazon vs. Netflix is their battle to fight. License everywhere. The most valuable asset is an addicted audience that can find its fix. Ubiquity is good.
- Your product is infinitely replicable and shareable. Senseless windowing invites piracy. Piracy is not primarily about free content; it is about content living where the users live.
It’s funny that the US is finally on the receiving end of annoying international release schedules (Downton Abbey aired in the UK first, with ensuing #spoilers), but these closing points actually articulate the problems with regional restriction (for films, TV, music, ebooks) well.
This year I almost didn’t go totally broke, which for a freelance writer/whatever is pretty good going, or so I’m told. I spent a month having a long-overdue love affair with the place I grew up. I swam. I went to weddings. I started a PhD. And so on. But for some reason the thing I think of, immediately and exclusively, when I think of what I did this year, is ‘write a book’, I guess because this is a thing I’ve wanted to do for awhile (well, forever, really). And then I did it and people kept looking at me funny when we spoke, like, why aren’t you more excited about this?. And I looked back blankly, because I didn’t know what the appropriate facial expression for “I don’t know why I’m not more outwardly excited about this; but also I’m more excited than it’s possible to convey” was.