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Streaming Companies Pushing Consumers Away

Paulo Laureano
Paulo Laureano Opinion

They can become irrelevant, which is even worse than piracy.


I just finished watching “Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 (episode 7)”. It is probably the most “startrekish” 45 minutes created in this new generation of Star Trek, including movies and all TV shows. I loved it. Great job! Sadly there is no way to watch it legally in Portugal.

We used to legally see “Star Trek: Discovery” episodes on Netflix. But, unfortunately, this is no longer the case. So now the Portuguese need to either use a VPN to appear as consumers in another country, where they can (“sort of legally”) subscribe to some streaming service unavailable in Portugal, or they can Torrent their way out of their current predicament.

In this century, when companies alienate anyone, all they are doing is either losing money or creating an inconvenience to consumers. If anyone wants to see any TV show, they will find it on piracy sites. Having a legal and convenient option is way more attractive to many individuals like me. If you take away the convenience or the lawful means, most individuals will fall back to piracy.

While I understand companies desire to have their distribution platforms and cut off any middlemen, it is critically vital that your road to that end does not alienate consumers. Right now, you are doing it wrong.

It is as evident to you as it is to me that there is no way every production company will get to have its distribution channel. The bigger ones will survive; others will vanish into history. Consumers will not pay for them all.

The business model may look great on paper, but it is flawed. People will find a way to keep subscribing and unsubscribing to services, rush binge some shows, and move on. In the end, most “streaming” services will just be selling everything much cheaper than they would otherwise be able to do selling seasons and even single episodes on iTunes.

At first glance, I know the “all you can eat buffet” approach may look good to consumers. But that is if you are the exception, not surrounded by competitors doing the same. Consumers will want to subscribe to a single show for a fraction of the price of the whole service. Or for a couple of days.

You can ignore them, making it less convenient to do so, but in the end, consumers will find a way to do what they want. Make it too inconvenient, and people will steal your content, or even worst, ignore your product. I don’t know if you realize that being ignored and irrelevant to consumers is way worse than having a portion of the market not paying for your products.


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