It’s extremely sad to see how an industry that has “raked in” billions over the last decades has been utterly incapable for the last 10 years to react in any way to the visible paradigm-shift in media consumption the internet has been bringing about.
It had to be Steve Jobs with Apple, a complete newcomer to anything related to media, to come up with the incredibly successful iTunes + iPod combination.
Demand, and (illegal) Supply
And it had to be people ripping and uploading music and movies in their spare time for free who got movies-on-demand working via the internet – for no other reason than that it was possible.
And even though their trials against copyright infringers don’t really seem to be working, and it has been clear for 10 years that there is a HUGE market for online distribution of music and movies, the record and movie companies to this day have been incapable of filling this need or providing even close to the service the customers have been using illegally for years and years. ThePirateBay, and Suprnova before it, are de facto on-demand movie services that happen to be illegal and free of charge, but as iTunes and a few other niche online video stores are showing, people are willing to pay 2 Euros to “rent” a movie.
The Next Logical Step in the Digital Supply Chain
And now we are at a point where not only are “volunteers” ripping and uploading movies, and providing the infrastructure for free, but where it is becoming a more and more accepted hobby to facilitate movie downloading and finding the easiest possible way to get your movies.
You are standing in a store looking for a new DVD to buy. Rather than buying it, you photograph the barcode with your phone and press a couple of buttons. By the time you make it home, the movie is waiting for you in your torrent client. You can with Torrent Droid.
Mobile Computing will lead to Creative DIY Solutions
Mobile computing (a la iPhone or Android), more or less freely available SDKs, a convergence of tech-savvy people with the diffusion of technology into everyday life are creating an incredibly fertile environment for these kinds of DIY solutions.
And the complete lack of widely available, inexpensive offers from the music and movie industry has lead and will lead to a status quo where people will not even be paying for their media consumption even if such offers were to exist in future. Simply because Bittorrent is working so well and there will be thousands of handy solutions already existing.
This is an uphill battle for the for media gatekeepers that I don’t see them winning anytime soon. And it’s not least their own inflexibility and utter incompetence that has lead them here!