Anecdotal: Piracy As An Insight To Consumer Needs
A few years ago I was fulfilling my civic duty and looking at pirated DVDs, when a guy came up to the store and asked, “Hey, is the new season of [something] TV series complete yet?” (I forgot what TV series he was asking about).
The girl at the store replied, “No, we don’t have any of the new season yet.”
To which the guy replied, “What? WHY? Why is it taking so LONG??”
I may not remember the TV series he was talking about, but I do remember thinking, that the TV series in question was off-season hence did not have any new episodes at all, so obviously there was no pirate DVD available.
Pirate DVDs in Asia is a fact of life and people buy it not because they want to infringe copyrights, but simply because they want to buy entertainment, and that it is just cheaper to buy a pirate DVD. But the example above shows, that most people simply don’t understand the work and process that goes behind creating music, movies or TV series. They just want their entertainment NOW, and CHEAP. The quality of the entertainment (i.e. sound quality, picture quality), though, differs and is more a matter of taste or priority.
So the question is, do we attempt to educate the market about the effort needed to create entertainment products and thus increasing appreciation (and willingness to pay for the real product), or do we shift our businesses to consumer needs?
I think many have answered this question already. Example: Lady Gaga goes to Farmville.