For the last ten years the “war on piracy” has been blown out to ridiculous proportions. Completely insane prosecutions and over the top inflation prices among other things have succeeded in nothing but the victimisation of the average viewer/listener/player. In my opinion these movie, music and game studios have created an effect more detrimental to their cause than piracy itself.
We’ve all seen the infamous intro on pretty every single DVD questioning our conscience and worth as a person, wrought with the delicious irony that the people who had pirated the film would never see it. I have heard dozens of people say honestly that this is a factor, albeit a small one, in why they pirate; I can see why. I’ve found that the only thing this ad in particular achieves; is alienate the people who have paid for their service. I’ve also heard even more people say that it’s simply the money that drives them pirate. I do believe this, and it may be naïve, but I suspect that most pirates would buy if there were other, more feasible options available. At the same time I perfectly understand the feelings behind the artists and studios, who have poured their money and lives into their work. I don’t believe people have the right to simply take these tangible representations of intangible concepts. I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s shittyness on both sides here, and both have seemed to accept this.
Recently, since finally getting a very nice pair of headphones, I’ve noticed that my previous MP3 collection really doesn’t cut it. In terms of value for money, quality vs. price, we are being robbed blind. Since, I’ve almost totally abandoned my player in search of a more favourable format. My search has led me all across the internet, frequently passing by sites such as 8tracks, Spotify and Grooveshark, looking for a decent, high quality music service. While the quality of these sites are usually stated as 128kb/ps at the very least; the truth is less far rosy. But it got me thinking, if there was a decent subscription music service, with high quality tracks and a large catalogue, available across multiple platforms, it would be perfect. Then along came Xbox Music for Windows 8 and Xbox only. While they have the foundations for an amazing service, it’s riddled with problems, most notably compatibility. I can’t help but think that the future of all media relies on great streaming and cross platform capabilities.
The perfect example of this at the moment is Netflix. There’s not much I can really say that hasn’t been said plenty of times before, but for arguments sake, let’s take a look at netflix’s availability: Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Vita, Pc, Mac, all iOS devices, Nintendo Wii, 3DS and soon to be Wiiu along with smart TV’s and some Blu-ray players to name a few. I currently hold a subscription to Netflix and I can’t imagine not having it. The best word to describe it is handy. What could be better than a service that provides high definition, high quality movies and programming available wherever you have a device and a connection, oh and also at a great price? Its services like this that are going to save the industry for both sides, saving the consumer from mediocre, overpriced outlets.
Gaming is no exception to this, Steam has done wonders for the gaming industry, providing a great quality, reasonably priced service all while pretty much saving Pc gaming. If you couple this with the endless amount of sales they have every year; we have ourselves a winner. The Video game industry has reported many times over the past few years about their earnings, stating growth and loss, mainly blaming piracy for this issue. I do think alienation is a problem here, almost persecuting gamers with limited disposable income. Big game prices with subscriptions and DLC add up extremely quickly, and the double edged sword here is with the industry pouring out a massive amount of incredible games a year, it only adds up to more.
It’s been proven that companies can find that massive sweet spot in the space between robbery and bankruptcy, it’s not a hard thing to do, I just hope they can find their way out of mansions of gold first.