The entertainment business just doesn’t get it

Let’s face it. It’s easy to acquire video content these days regardless of whether you subscribe to a particular tier from your cable company or even whether you live in the country. Regardless of this the content companies still do not offer a legit path to offer content direct to consumer on a broad enough scale and so piracy continues. The same basic practices occur across media whether it’s movies, music or even books. For some reason the media business still feels the need to limit who gets to see, hear or read something rather than simply enable access to content given that it’s all bits and has been for a very long time.

It’s this type of mentality that has clearly driven Hulu’s content partners to demand that Hulu prevent Boxee from distributing shows across the Boxee platform.  This is an ignornat decision based on old media thinking end of story.  When you consider that Boxee offers Hulu as is – with commercials as they were originally sold, it’s clear this is simply based on believing that the content can be controlled through the old methods.

Boxee is a free software product available to download and install on your (Mac, Windows or Linux) PC or AppleTV and has yet to charge anything more than your time to install it.  Content passes directly to you on the platform and screen of your choice and though instead of using your web browser to surf across a bunch of web sites, you get a clean 10′ UI which keeps things really simple.  Boxee also adds a social layer which lets you share what you’ve viewed or heard and even make recommendations directly to your friends.

Given that network television content remains “free” and culturally we still tend to gather among friends online or at work and socialize about the shows we watch, it’s ludicrous for the media companies to want to stop something that actually enables shared enjoyment of the very content they are trying to promote.  Hulu and Boxee together are just another outlet / channel / option for people to consume the content they want.  An important detail which I’m sure will be lost on the TV creation and distribution world is that while Hulu is working to make it from niche to mass, Boxee is still early in the technology adopter territory which makes it ripe for influential discussion and most importantly spreading the word – whether good or bad.  Ironically, when tech savvy consumers get burned or blocked on one route there always seems to be another which was there all along … still free, without commerical interruption and easily viewable on any platform.

3 comments for “The entertainment business just doesn’t get it

  1. Curt Carmack
    2/19/2009 at 11:48 am

    Hear, hear. It boggles the mind that they are still so very clueless. As you note, it also encourages “piracy” and sheer contempt. Long ago I represented major media companies, but now I abhor them. I just wish their failure to adapt would end their sorry existence more quickly than it has so far. This has got to be the most painful, slow death imaginable.

  2. Curt Carmack
    2/19/2009 at 4:48 pm

    Hear, hear. It boggles the mind that they are still so very clueless. As you note, it also encourages “piracy” and sheer contempt. Long ago I represented major media companies, but now I abhor them. I just wish their failure to adapt would end their sorry existence more quickly than it has so far. This has got to be the most painful, slow death imaginable.

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