05.What CHOICE thinks
Australians are discriminated against when it comes to accessing content, release windows and price. CHOICE thinks this should change. The movie and TV industry must adapt to cater to how and when consumers want to view their entertainment.
Legal access not piracy
Consumers understand that paying for content is necessary to keep high-cost TV shows and movies in production. In many instances, illegal downloading has become commonplace because media companies have failed to keep up with changing consumer viewing habits and technology.
The success of legal music streaming services such as Spotify in Australia shows that consumers are willing to pay for content if they can get it when and how they want it.
Spotify offers a free ad-based service, as well as a premium ad-free one. Australasian managing director Kate Vale believes that Spotify provides a legal alternative to piracy, which contributes to its success.
“[Piracy] was huge in Australia,” Ms Vale said in May this year. “What has been shown in other markets is that when we do a launch, piracy does go down."
TV and movie studios need to adapt to the changing world and give Australian consumers better access to content at more competitive prices. This presents new commercial possibilities for them, and is also the best way of taking incentives away from piracy.
Appealing to governments to crack down on illegal downloading through punitive measures such as the three-strikes law - which can strip consumers of important essential services - is the wrong path.
Provide consumers with an accessible, affordable and legal alternative to piracy, and they will take it.