The utopian dream of ubiquitous media access is on the verge of becoming a reality. Consumers can watch TV on their iPods, download sports highlights to their cell phones, and take vast libraries of music with them wherever they go. You would think that all of these new digital distribution systems would be a boon for consumers, but that isn’t necessarily the case.
There are signs that media companies are using the transition to digital distribution as an opportunity to redefine consumer expectations about the value of media products, while at the same time eliminating much of what is currently considered to be fair use.
When consumers buy digital music, movies, or television programs from iTunes, Amazon, and most other digital content sources, they are ultimately paying more, getting less, and being forced to make platform decisions with long term implications.
Here are nine reasons why most digital media products are a bad deal for consumers: