You know when you visit a website and read an introduction about something. It looks awesome and you can’t wait to watch the video embedded into the page.
Except when you click the play button, up pops that annoying fuzzy black and white image with the words “Hey asshole, the uploader has decided that this video is not available in your country” followed with a condescending “Sorry about that“.
Why? Why the hell can’t I watch the video because of the country I am in? Where the fuck do you think I am, Narnia?
If somebody in a shop decided they weren’t going to sell a DVD to somebody because they were from a different country, that would be racist but on the internet apparently it’s all cool to discriminate between who can and can’t watch something based on where they live.
Don’t worry, they will still play a 30 second advert first so they can make money before telling you that you can’t watch the video, so you know, that’s alright.
Its really annoying and there is no easy way around this. Well, I mean you could use a proxy to trick the website into thinking you are in another country, but you shouldn’t have to do this. Last time I checked, the internet is global.
Its called the WORLD Wide Web, not the America and Other Selected Countries Wide Web Screw The Rest of You.
We’ve had enough of Geoblocking
Music videos and TV trailers are the worst for geoblocking content.
What moronic business person thought that the best way to increase sales is to stop people from listening to the music. I cannot understand the logic behind stopping people in Australia from watching the video clip to a current chart song or watching the trailer for a new TV show.
What is so different about us here in Australia compared to people in USA or Europe that forbids us from watching the same music videos?
Is it because we like to shorten words so you’re fearful we will refer to Justin Bieber as Juzza?
Is it because you are afraid we will sing it out loud in our silly Australian accents and ruin the song for other people?
Or is it because the corporations which own them have outdated business models which are unsuited for the modern internet era?
It isn’t just YouTube that sticks us Australians with bullshit geo-blocking and stupid rules regarding when and where we can watch content though.
We need about 5000 different streaming services just to be able to watch our favourite TV shows and movies. We are getting Netflix soon (finally) but the rumour is that the majority of content will be missing because other organisations own the rights to them so Netflix can’t show them. I’m sure that people in other countries find themselves in the same situation as well.
Here in Australia, we have to pay 376% more to watch The Walking Dead because of the way content sharing has been worked out. They wonder why people download these shows online. Its not because they don’t want to pay but because the price is insane, and you pretty much need a different subscription service for every show you want to watch.
Get with the times
The fact is that content distribution has changed, therefore these multi-billion dollar businesses need to change with the times and stop treating their customers like shitty bottomless pits of cash. Why the hell can’t these executives, on their million dollar salaries get together and work out some kind of deal where everybody benefits?
Here’s an idea. How about giving Netflix (or any other service for that matter) the rights to show everything and do that for a fair price?
Viewers could go to one single place to watch our favourite shows and then that service can pay the rights holder on a per person basis. Sure, it might take a bit of effort to nut it out and come up with a viable plan, but it is possible and everybody would be a lot happier about it.
Steam have done it with PC games, Spotify have done it with music. So why are businesses which work in video distribution, such as YouTube and the TV industry, lacking behind in their ability to adapt to a global marketplace?
Think about the consumer
Instead of working with the Government to implement new legislation which lets them go after people who download movies and TV shows with an iron fist; demanding huge fines and cutting off their internet. How about admitting that you need to fix your own shit and improve things in line with the way the modern world works.
If they thought about the customer and put the customer first instead of their need to grab every single dollar, they might actually be surprised at the outcome. I would even go so far as to suggest that by doing this, they would cut down dramatically on piracy and actually make money from people who are happy to pay for the content if it is offered at a reasonable price and in a way that is easy for them to access in a single place.