Emerging Technology in Advertising, Product Management

Globalisation of Content and Copyright – #digital #content

There were whispers this week that Netflix are in Australia and are in the early stages of planning their launch. We’re keeping our fingers crossed because the more competition there is in this market the higher the chance of actually getting content when it comes available.  

You see, Australians are frustrated – much of the content that is shown on Australian TV comes from America and many of these shows air in the USA first, sometimes months before the Australian air date. 30 years ago, that was never an issue because there was absolutely no chance you’d be able to see the latest episode of Cheers before it actually arrived on your shores. With the advent of the internet, everything changed and now it’s possible to get access to the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, or Homeland, straight through your pipe and to your laptop mere hours after it airs in the USA.  

What this leads to, especially because of the plethora of spoilers coming from Twitter as shows air every evening, is thousands of people trying to get access to this content illegally. Let’s be clear – illegal downloading is not a laughing matter, it leaves content creators not being paid for work that they have undertaken and that’s not cool. However, rather than simply throwing more legal restrictions around to solve the problem it would make much more sense to strike deals that make the content available to anyone who wants to pay for it – without geographic restrictions.  

Torchwood did this exceptionally well with Torchwood: Miracle Day – airing episodes across the world on a similar schedule to prevent viewers from missing out. We no longer live in a world where country borders prevent digital content from being shared, so don’t fight it like the music industry did, embrace it. I say welcome to Netflix and any others who want to enter the market.   We’d just like a time where we can watch Grey’s Anatomy or The Blacklist in-line with the air dates from the USA so that we don’t find out the spoilers before we see it.