I am sick to death of this being used as a reason not to build the NBN the NBN is not about downloading movies faster there are a great many things for which it can and will be used and yes movies is one. The thing is if you are reading an article and they say you can download a movie in 10 seconds compared to 20 minutes or an hour the reason they use a movie as an example is that everyone has downloaded a movie so it is a know metric.
So using a movie as an example is good because people can relate it to real life experience that is all.
As confirmed a short while ago by the Financial Review Foxtel will be restructuring their HBO and other network shows to move them out of reach of providers like iTunes and QuickFlix. That means that once again it will be Foxtel or nothing when it comes to these shows which means the many thousands of people who have paid to watch GoT this season will not be able to watch next season without paying for a Foxtel subscription.
The issue is with the internet these days there is no need for such an anticompetitive model to be in place there is no reason HBO or the BBC could not say well for IPTV every time someone views our content it costs 50c to stream and $2 to download and anyone who wants to set up shop and sell it or stream it can. This anti-competitive model we have in place now does not hurt consumers it hurts HBO if it is not available it is known what will happen people will pirate it an open market would allow competition and increase profits for HBO.
The anti-competitive behaviour of Foxtel in this circumstance needs to be looked at and with the rise of IPTV and OTT streaming services like Quickflix and fetchTV their needs to be equitable ways for new players to enter the market. We will never be able to have innovation in this country while Monopolies and Duopolies are the norm and anyone who tries to compete gets stomped out of the market. This is a problem that needs to be fixed whether that is with anti siphoning regulation related to IPTV or forcing Foxtel to be Cable only and having IPTV separated.
If we want Australian companies to be able to compete with the Netflix’s and Hulu’s of this world when they come and they will come we need to be in a position for open competition for IPTV because if we don’t local companies will not have a chance.
Arrr me hearties we be Pirates!
Ok now we have gotten that out of the way everyone knows the problems that exist here when it comes to TV distribution they are many and varied but they are the cause of the problem so we will have to delve a little bit into what they are.
1. Foxtel in the USA you can get Internet, Cable and phone for $99 with unlimited downloads. Here for $99 you may be able to get an internet connection with 500GB of data and for an extra $99 dollars you can get Foxtel and for another $30 you get a phone connection so just over double the price if you are lucky and maybe 3 to 4 times if you are not. So what do we get extra for the pleasure of paying so much more delayed shows if they are shown at all.
2. Free to air TV is simply a joke they don’t start programs when they should so they run overtime try and record them and you are pretty much screwed or they move them around from time slot to time slot meaning trying to watch is almost impossible.
3. DRM is probably the worst thing to happen to anything ever not only is it terrible it is ineffective and cracked within hours meaning that the people who have to deal with it are your customers. The hard working people who spent $50 odd dollars on your TV series have to sit through lectures on stealing and then if the DRM plays up have to spend hours on the phone trying to sort it out. The people who pirated it have a copy they can watch anywhere anytime without being told they are stealing all so someone can’t give a copy to their friend.
So how do we fix it?
It is actually not hard let people pay to Pirate get together all the studios and have a monthly fee to allow people to download what you like. Allow people to use their own programs or you can provide a program which allows access to trusted torrents and then based on the % of downloads the profits are shared amongst the rights holders. Speak to ISP’s about unlimited uploads to encourage people to have content available at all times at high speed it may even be possible to have content streamed with this model. There could even be scope for a tipping system say you pay ~$40 a month and then if you really like a show you could tip a couple of dollars if you really like it. Or link it into twitter and facebook and allow people to like an episode which provides the link for others to watch it increasing your studios share and maybe garnering more tips.
At the end of the day no one will listen and we will continue to get overpriced TV with poor service.