Taking on the content pirates could be as easy as ABC
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Australian-time, a significant victory in the battle against online content piracy was won. It was then that the ABC launched the new series of Doctor Who via its online iView platform – as soon as the show finished airing on BBC television in the UK.
Doctor Who, like Game of Thrones, is a magnet for illegal downloads, so the ABC pre-empted the issue by making the new series available on iView a week before it appears on television.
Almost 80,000 fans watched the episode, called Asylum of the Daleks, which represents a record for most plays in a 24-hour period. It represents the dawn of a bold new era for the Australian media. Not only is the national broadcaster recognising the importance of online content (and online content that effectively negates piracy), but it shows an awareness – shared by the likes of the BBC in the UK and ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC in the US – that shows viewed online does not represent a lost audience lost, but a technologically diverse audience.
As Michael Idato, senior television writer for the Sydney Morning Herald puts it: ‘By drawing them to iView, the ABC is able to encourage the habit of watching programs from licensed broadcasters, and also exposes them to the broadcaster’s slate of other content.’
In other words, online content is presenting broadcasters with a win-win situation.
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