Friday, July 04, 2008

Marketing Musings: How to Annoy Your Customers

Anyone remember DVD region coding? It’s the annoying, consumer unfriendly technology that entertainment companies put in place as DVD’s proliferated. Its only purpose: stop people sharing digital media throughout the world.

This week a friend in Australia sent me a DVD with documentary he thought I’d find interesting. He paid for it, and put it in the mail. Sadly it wouldn’t play in the US thanks to the region coding which really highlighted for me how flawed these attempts at control really are. First of all they annoy consumers and secondly, they create a black market for the products. Why wouldn’t I now jump not some file sharing service to see the documentary? Because I might get sued. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

DRM sucks, is consumer unfriendly and fast looking like stupidity for any company that still considers it a viable way to control their business.

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