Of Torrent TV

TV executives, take note (not that any of them frequent this livejournal, but hey… it’s worth a shot).

If you want people to watch a new season of your show and you believe in the quality of what you’ve produced, make a legal good quality bit torrent video of the first three episodes available. People are digitizing the hell out of your shows anyways, so why not be proactive and make those first three crucial episodes available to hook people at the source. If it’s good, people will seek it out… seriously. They’ll buy your DVD box sets. They’ll proliferate the link and content to their friends. Viral advertising working in your favor.

I watched 3 episodes of Firefly on the web through said dubious means and went out to buy the DVDs a few days after. I just watched the first episode of Lost after many friends told me how much it kicked ass – and now I see that it does kick ass. If the next couple are as sharp as episode 1, I’ll buy the first season set no problem. The quality of the content will have won me over.

I gave up TV 3 and half years ago and have never looked back. No antenna, no cable. DVD or online is the only way I’m going to interact with TV content this side of flipping through the channels in my hotel room when I’m traveling. Mind you, watching TV on the road only serves to remind me why I gave it up in the first place.

The pirate happy people who are ripping your shows, not watching the ads and not buying the content are the sort of people who wouldn’t have spent the moolah for your DVDs anyways. You’re not losing money if they were never serious potential purchasers in the first place. If a college student with no money is watching your show and getting hooked on your brand for free but has no money to buy the DVD box set, at least you’ve potentially created a fan who will buy your content once they grow up and become financial capable of doing so.

Does that mean that I think people should pirate the heck out of everything? No.

Do I think that spreading a decent teaser is a valuable marketing tool? Hell, yes.

2-3 free episodes out of 20+ is not money lost… it’s viewers gained.

Video game demos, comic book teasers, RPG core rules… everyone else is starting to understand the potential of near-instant content delivery controlled by the consumer.

The market evolves to changing social trends and desires. Ride the wave of it or be crushed by its undertow.

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