This cartoon from The Oatmeal does a pretty good job of summarizing what media companies still don’t get about piracy – fundamentally, it’s about convenience as much as it is price. Pirating movies and TV shows isn’t just cheap (although it is), but it’s infinite and portable – you can get practically anything, at any time and watch it on any device, forever, period.
The for-pay world of media doesn’t even come close to that. As the cartoon points out, even if you’re a member of Hulu+, Amazon, Netflix and have the highest premium cable package and a maxed-out iTunes account, you still can’t find everything you might want to watch. What is available to watch is riddled with protections preventing you from watching it on various devices and formats, and you have to track down where it’s at – the movie you want is on NetFlix, the TV show you want is Hulu+, etc.
So my question is this: How much would a subscription to Infinite-NetFlix cost? One service that gives you access to everything – movies, TV, music. All in one place, available on all your devices. Because that’s the only way that major media will ever compete with piracy – people are willing to pay for stuff, but most would prefer not to have to wade through endless layers of bullshit just to gain the privilege of paying for it.