How to fix TV

A lot of folks ditched cable in favor of streaming services because it was cheaper and you had more control over the content. But now it’s about the same cost and your favorite shows jump from one platform to the other or disappear completely with little warning. I have a fix that no media company will ever do – but should.

Instead of trying to get us to subscribe to your streaming service, let us purchase the shows we want digitally. And I don’t mean through the Google Store or Apple, I mean, I want a DRM free copy of the show that is not bound to a specific player or media reseller. “Buying” any content from the online stores, currently, is just a rental with limited flexibility and the possibility that down the line, even though you bought it, you won’t have access to it anymore.

I want DRM free, no restriction, files. Then, I can set up a media server (Emby or Plex for example) and create my own Netflix style system with the content I want, obtained legally, and in high quality. Why won’t companies does this? Because they still fear piracy. Seems to me that’s an easy solution (some sort of digital fingerprint that ties the file to the buyer would work) to a not huge problem.

Music has been available DRM free for years in HD quality and, I’d wager, music piracy has about as much negative impact on the bottom line as legal Spotify streams do. So, for TV, just charge me $2 an episode and let me do with those files as I please. If your show is good, you’ve made more off of me directly than you would from any subscription platform, it’s WAY cheaper for the media companies, and it can promote smaller shows or legacy shows by “charting” based on sales.

If a million people bought every episode of Ted Lasso for $2, that’d be nearly $70M in revenue for Apple. They’d need 7M subscribers to make the exact same amount of money.

And this can all take place alongside the subscription platforms that currently exist for folks who don’t want to be bothered with it but I guarantee you, I’d spend more purchasing my favorite shows than I’ll ever spend subscribing to seven different platforms.

What are your thoughts?