As as a head product guy for the worlds largest Internet / Telco In 2000-2006 I spoke with MPs in the UK at the time on the broken model of watching TV. Around that time I had consulted with everyone from the national banks that were offering online banking in a user friendly way for the 1st time, to actually creating a new Internet service for UK TV, that would allow for a new TV show to push content OUT to users online or on TV not have any traffic coming back from people which is the exact OPPOSITE to how internet worked.
People would actually watch these people sleeping or cavorting 24/7 on UK TV or online. It cost them $1m in internet alone and the GENRE called “reality tv” & the UK show Big Brother on 14 July 2000 was born (sorry).
The model for TV – was simple then popular shows would air on UK TV, then go on sale 1-2 months later in BBC shops on the new 1997 medium called DVD and on VHS. Unfortunately at the time, torrents and naughty news groups and other illegal downloading sites were also becoming popular and many of the shows that were going on DVD 1-2 months after airing on TV were on piracy pages right away of course.
I became aware and involved of this, consulting to the BBC that was already thinking about streaming TV shows but the cost from us for the Internet was in early discussions and would cost millions for the server farms, data etc this was 2000 and still pretty new and expensive. We had a relationship with the BBC already as senior managers were actually trained in public speaking by the BBC myself included.
The BBC wanted to know how much bandwidth they would need and other infrastructure but if too little infrastructure was purchased it would take 2 months to get more fibre in the ground in those days, purchase too much and the business is not producing ROI. The question was raised would the business grow if they worked with UK only torrent providers (personal VPN were not a thing then). The torrent site idea was work with one torrent site only even pre-release shows online to the torrent site and measure if it helped or hurt their sales. All I cared about was proving the right service but that could only be done if DEMAND could be quantified. The trial proved successful and the UK TV industry actually for 2-3 years worked with torrent sites to provide shows, then the torrent site would remove the shows that were going on sale on DVD. The increase in demand for buying shows on DVD increased on their own, but it appeared torrent sites improved sales also. It lasted 2-3 years the model evolved and was stopped.
The BBC quickly evolved. It kept and evolved viewership because they listened and stay cutting edge.
Unfortunately what ever this thing is in Australia from 10Plus is perhaps the worse viewing app I have seen in the western world and I have been to 38 countries.
HOW BAD CAN A FREE TRIAL BE?
Well it took 2 days to setup for some reason a bad start I would learn is normal overall and a sign of how bad it is. Starting, that there are multiple account entry points to the site. The sign up site only works with Google Chrome it turns out, not the pre-installed and most popular browser in the world from Microsoft Edge & IE. The computer at hand is a newish Intel i7 -107000k 3.8ghz, with 32GB ram.
Once working – I started my viewing with a live viewing of a Bellator fight – but for some reason the reported local times were wrong showing the main fight was at 1PM and it actually started at 12pm AEST – On the app live events cannot be paused like the UFC is on their app.
Then I tried a TV show it froze part way though the show I tried to restart it but would not allow me to get to where the show crashed I tried this on another show, NCIA LA – same problem this time I tried multiple times each time it played 4-6 commercials before it would start the show 1-5 minutes BEFORE the crash then freeze. Each time forcing the previewing of 2-6 commercials. After 36 commercial attempts or 6 tries I gave up and cancelled my subscription
Unlike every other service when you cancel your subscription you still get to use up any remaining time. Not in this case as soon as you cancel you are out forget about the 4 weeks still owing, a mistake other streaming services seamed to understand this 4 years ago.
Where media companies have done well on preventing piracy is by creating a simple working model, and fair value for new potential customers they want to keep “sticky” so they don’t leave. Introducing an average quality app with amateur needless faults and flaws means unhappy viewers and even appears sponsors are getting screwed here.