Choice released a report this week explaining what everyone in this country already knew, that we pay too much for television.According to Choice, Australian audiences will pay up to 3.76 times more than the cheapest available price in the US market for the second season ofOrange Is The New Black and the upcoming fifth season of The Walking Dead. Quelle surprise.
To put it in less abstract terms, that’s a price increase that would take the cost of an entry-level VW Golf up to $75,200 and the cost of a BigMac to more than 18 bucks. There would be riots.
This is important because cost is the single biggest driver in online piracy. It is not by coincidence that Australia, where there is a lack of lower cost options, has one of the highest rates of illegal downloads in the world.
Despite this it is consistently argued that people who pirate TV shows are not reacting to price, but are selfishly out for free ride on the hard working studio execs who have so generously allowed their content to be shown in our little colonial back-water.
Village Roadshow entertainment implied in its submission to the federal government on copyright legislation early this month that piracy was comparable to terrorism and pedophilia, which is motivated by pretty transparent economic self-interest. George Brandis has consistently placed the rights of content creators above the rights of consumers for the promotion of a competitive marketplace . The Editor of Appliance Retailer even accused pirates of being fuelled by ‘insane hatred’, and if you think that’s completely outside the purview of a retail industry newsletter, you and I have something in common.