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An Open Letter to TV Execs

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So I’m heading to DC in a few months for a few months.   There are many things I’m excited about, but one of the most exciting is that I’ll have access to regionally-restricted digital content. Which brings me to the point I have been forgetting to make for ages: region restrictions are now totally technologically arbitary, they alienate international users, and they are actually rather counter-productive.

Here’s the thing, TV Execs: we don’t live in a world with market segments anymore.  They are artificial.  I can’t get online and *not* find out what happens at the end of season 2 of X show.  So restricting access does nothing but frustrate.  And encourages international users to resort to illegal means to access the content.

And Australian TV networks  in particular are great at screwing viewers around, playing with time slots incessantly.  So why not cut out the middle man, and let me buy your show on iTunes.  Or watch it with your advertising on Hulu.  I’m happy to pay $10 for 16 episodes of The Daily Show since full episodes are no longer available free online in Australia.  Make it easily accessable, cheap and- most importantly- timely, and you’ll still be relevant.

There are not media markets anymore.  At least, not ones that can be separated.  Stick to your 1980s model and you’re only going to lose.  And attempting to continue to enforce them by prosecuting your audience is not a long-term business model.

Also, if you’re not going to let me see your content, I’d really appreciate it if you tell me that before I watch your stupid advertising.

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