Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Exclusive Rights - And Why They Tend to Screw Consumers

A recent bit of good news actually came out about Netflix streaming and their new exclusive license with Disney.  Now, that is actually somewhat good for me, since I am a Netflix subscriber.  At the same time, I am reminded how much exclusive licenses piss me off and screw consumers.  Let's rewind.

Not that long ago, there were two different licensed NFL Football Video Games available on XBox.  Madden and NFL2K5.  Madden was $49, NFL2K5 was $19.  I bought NFL2K5 despite the fact that I had been a Madden fan-boy for years.  I was amazed by how good of a product NFL2K5 was and was glad I bought that one.  Shortly after that, Electronics Arts inked an exclusive deal with the NFL and the NFLPA, eliminating their competition in both price and innovation.  EA made tons of money, the NFL made tons of money, gamers got screwed!

2K Sports responded by inking a similar deal with MLB.  Surprise, surprise, same result.  MLB and 2K sports - Happy.  Gamers - Screwed!

As different studios sign exclusive deals with different streaming services, that means people who want to stream all of the movies they may want they have to subscribe to multiple streaming services.  Want to get all of the NFL games every week?  You'll be forking over money to DirectTV, even if you are streaming them ONLINE.

So, as a Netflix subscriber I am happy they inked their deal with Disney, but I feel bad for anyone who uses any other online streaming service.  Exclusive licenses mostly suck for consumers, but since they seem to be good for studios*, don't expect them to change.  *Except for the exclusive contract between MLB and 2K Sports, that apparently didn't work out well for 2K Sports.

1 comment:

James B said...

As usual, the only ones *not* screwed over are, of course, the pirates. :D