Subscription Services

While content providers in the music, movie and gaming industries have shunned the internet for over a decade. Some of them have found new ways to utilize the internet for distributing their content without having to worry about theft or copyright infringement. New services have been introduced that consumers are willing to pay to use. These services allow users to take their media with them on any device by paying a monthly subscription fee.

Portability has long been the one feature consumers have overwhelmingly demanded. Content providers denied consumers portability in the fear that their media content would be copied and stolen. Content providers have decried the theft and copyright infringement of their products for decades. With the advent of the iPod and mobile phones that play music and videos, however, this view has been seen by many as outdated.

These critics feel that the resistance to portability has actually encouraged piracy, as consumers seek ways to put their media in portable devices, or to back up their media. They point to the success of subscription services like Spotify for music and Netflix for videos. These services allow users to watch videos or listen to music on a variety of devices. These services thrive despite the multitudes of opportunities for “free” music or movies from piracy networks like The Pirate Bay and Demonoid. Customers have consistently demonstrated that they do not want to steal music, movies, and software, but they do want to be able to use the media they have purchased in a variety of ways.

Subscription services fill this need. Content providers receive payment for their products and customers are able to access the music and movies that they want. Some cell phone companies have gotten into the subscription business as well, offering unlimited music downloads with some of the mobile phone plans that they offer. These have quickly become the most popular plans the companies offer.

Subscription services are quickly becoming the legal alternative to piracy. Consumers can load their music and videos onto their mp3 players, mobile phones, tablets and other devices. While they have become popular very quickly with consumers, some content providers such as music production companies are reluctant to allow their music on these services. Netflix has encountered resistance from movie studios, as well. The companies are concerned that they are not getting fair royalties from subscription services.

In the fight against piracy and copyright infringement, subscription services have emerged as a way for consumers to use the media that they purchase, the way they wish. The services have been popular with consumers, but not as popular with movie and music companies. Until content producers sign on to allowing subscription services to stream their music or provide it for download, subscription services will have trouble providing the services for consumers. This gives consumers very few options for legitimate portable media downloading. Consumers overwhelmingly want portable media options, but can find them hard to find or use. Without the subscription services they may download their media through less than legal methods.

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