Last week the new President of BellMedia, Mary Ann Turcke, decided to launch her public awareness in spectacular fashion in her first speech – to the Canadian Telecom Summit – by suggesting that what would stop Canadians from using false addresses etc. to access and enjoy the much bigger selection of content on Netflix USA versus Netflix Canada was to essentially give those Canadians a good scolding. »» Here’s the Globe and Mail article about it.
After all, it worked on her 15 year old daughter. Apparently she explained to her daughter that by doing this her daughter was ‘stealing’.
Well, aside from that not exactly being true – the content creators and distributors were being paid, just not the Canadian division of the content distributors – what made me laugh was that Ms. Turcke could be so obviously out of touch with what Canadians think about her company and the other companies that provide us with internet and phone capabilities.
If you will allow me to digress for a moment, I was watching the movie Annie Hall the other night (legally, through Rogers cable) and in one part, where Woody Allen is doing a scene as a standup comedian, he gets big laughs from a bunch of Democrats at a fundraiser by saying:
I…interestingly, had dated a woman in the Eisenhower Administration briefly and it was ironic to me ’cause…I was trying to do to her what Eisenhower has been doing to the country for the last eight years.
I’m hoping you can see the connection to how many consumers perceive what Bell (et al) has been doing to them for some years.
But what is different here is that these people are not intentionally trying to ‘steal’. They are intentionally trying to enjoy their free time by watching what they want to watch in the easiest way possible.
Yes, I know that the reason the Canadian Netflix is different from the American Netflix is because of contracts that are different in one country from another. But most Canadians don’t know, and don’t care. They can go see the same movie as Americans at the cinema (they quite properly reason) why can’t they do it in their own home?
I’m not sure what Canadians can do about the anger they feel about the way they are treated by the big Broadcast Distribution Units, after all it doesn’t appear anyone new is going to come in and save the day.
But I was intrigued by what VentureBeat is claiming AT&T is going to try in the US. It is essentially a shop-for-data deal.(One AT&T spokesperson denies it but another is quoted as having presented the idea at an industry conference.) From VentureBeat:
AT&T will announce a new program next Tuesday that awards subscribers free broadband when they view ads, discover apps, or buy things from participating advertisers.
The carrier will offer the program, called Data Perks, to its post-paid customers who are signed up with a Mobile Share Value plan. There are about 50 million of them
Now that is the kind of thing I think many Canadians would like to see offered by our carriers and distributors.
Carrot or Stick. Carrot or Stick. Hmmmmm.