With the technology advancement experienced all over the world, getting media content is proving very easy day by day. This is because of various reasons than boosts access to media content. And even though the content is set for sale, accessing the content without paying a dime is very easy. This is because of various internet related functions such as sharing in social media and personal websites. The platforms share all kinds of content as a way of luring a high number of visitors on their platforms. In this case, the content in their websites can be viewed and downloaded for free. In exchange, the visitors increase in those websites hence making the websites have high traffic which consequently makes the website highly ranked (Jefferson & Tanton, 2015)Also, internet users also share digital content to their friends and followers especially on social media which also makes the access of unpaid media content high. However, in the recent past, there has been an unexpected trend whereby many digital content viewers prefer to use paid media such as Netflix and Showmax instead of using free access to media content. This is because of various reasons which can be attributed to technology, cultural, and demographic factors. In this regard, many viewers today go for the paid media instead of the free to download and unauthorized content which is also easily accessible.
Factors that make people go for paid media
Viewers go for paid media because of various reasons. First is the flexibility of control where one has full control of what to watch and what not to watch. For example, in the media platform such as Netflix, one can open different subaccounts where a parent, for example, can limit the content the children to watch. This can be done by use of passwords whereby the children are left to watch family-related content (Jefferson & Tanton, 2015). In the opposite, before one can be able to access free media on the internet such as a movie, there are many popups of different other websites that come out when trying to access the content as well as when watching the content. Most of these popups are very annoying while others are very dirty such as pornographic materials. The viewers do not have control over these materials most of the times which makes them feel bad and not to like the free content.
As it is a generally accepted concept that nothing is free in this world, free content comes with their baggage (Kumar et al., 2016). For instance, most of the free to download content have computer virus which may damage owns processor in case the downloads are done in that computer. In this case, one must have installed a computer antivirus before downloading such content (Kim, Song & Kim, 2018). The virus in this content may be attached to the content either through deliberate actions or by default. The people who develop viruses attach them to such free content as a way of spreading the virus to other computers. On the other hand, friends who share content online may share contents with computer viruses without knowing. In this regard, such material may prove more expensive to use than using paid media content which is safe from such challenges.
Ease of use while using paid media content is another thing that makes people prefer paid media content than free and unauthorized media. Paid media content is very well structured where the contents are grouped differently. For example, in Netflix, one can choose movies, television programs, documentaries and the like. Each grouping is further broken down into subgroups. For instance, under movies, you can choose family movies, science fictions movies, drama and the like. In this case, one can choose which kind of content to watch depending on the occasion and the age of the viewers. All this is done without any interruptions. The providers also share with their customers what is trending or what has been added afresh in the website. Paid media websites also share compare what one likes with what they have in their websites to make suggestions to the viewer of what might interest them.
Contrary to this, free to download media which in most cases are unauthorized are mostly not arranged in any way, and it is hard to follow say a specific series part by part. The content also does not follow in a logical manner. For instance, if a certain media peace has various parts, one cannot find all the parts back to back and instead have to look for various parts from different platforms and then try to join them to get a full media peace. For example, different parts of a series movie. This makes one spend a lot of time trying to look for a certain media content which could have been a simple search in a paid media platform. In this regard, people use their resources to get access to paid media platform because of the convenience and ease of use. It is also notable that the quality of the free to download media content is usually very low which makes it not preferred (Singh et al., 2016).
The ever-increasing demand for convenience has over the years pushed consumers to move from static product and service offering to more robust offerings that come with convenience. (Kumar et al., 2016). Netflix and many other paid options are very convenient, and these make them become preferred despite there being free options. It is true individuals could torrent anything they want, but it is very convenient if they can browse that on their televisions as according to their convenienc
es, I could torrent loads of things for free, but in all honesty, it’s just much easier now I have a smart TV to open the Netflix app and browse away. Content from most options that are free are not from reliable and credible sources, and this might prove to become a problem to the viewers (Kumar et al., 2016). Convenience is seen in many other ways because one is not required to know the name of the film they are supposed to watch, unlike when they are getting that for free. Online streaming options are very cheap as compared to downloading content online. In terms of energy, time and internet downloading content might cost 70$ but paying for a Netflix subscription might be less than $70. Individuals in present times are not only interested in the intermediate cost or price but are interested in the increasing cost. Choices are important as they are the oy thing that can help an individual decide on which option to take (Singh et al., 2016). Based on this analogy, it is true that paid options usually have more choices as compared to free sources. The overall global feeling is that people should be the ability to choose between options that they prefer at the expense what they do not or love. The numerous increase in the needs for companies to advertise their products or services makes most programs weak or less preferred by the citizen (Yang & Ye, 2019). Streaming or viewing movies from sources like Netflix is easy as it tends to work on most devices, eg televisions, Google televisions, Blu-ray among other factors. Downloading such content, on the other hand, is not easy and convenient with what that an entire downloading needs. The main reasons that underly are either seen from a personal point of view to a more contemporary approach that occurs when I individuals have to see things in a bigger way. Getting content online is easy and not complicated to do. However with paid options like Netflix, one can decide to have different users using the services, and these builds a network of many trustworthy users whose interest allows them to pay for a subscription over a whole period (Yang & Ye, 2019). I believe that the more it is easy to use the paid services, the more it can accommodate more friends as compares to when it’s free. The ever-growing need for autonomy and freedom in how individuals watch when they watch has made it pat on-demand models to be highly preferred as compared to the free options. Getting the free options wastes a lot of time especially when the content involved is big.
Technology has a significant role in making more people ready to pay for subscriptions or contents as compared to those that get all these at no cost (Singh et al., 2016). The truth of the matter is in understanding that most of these streaking services are only made robust through technology (Yang & Ye, 2019). The fact that the payment options and technology adapt so easily over such a period creates new possibilities for those that are interested in the paying options. The focus is easy to come by if you are using the paid services as compared to the free ones. A good example is Netflix that commits itself to provide quality content to all its users at all times. Most platforms that one can get free contents are not dedicated or focused on the needs of the users. For a majority of them, content to download or torrent is usually based maybe on aspects like popularity or by chance (Kumar et al., 2016). There is a general feeling and perception that free things are not quality and do not satisfy the needs of consumers. This is believed to be the reason behind the collapsing of many product and service offerings with freemium models (Singh et al., 2016). Consumers want to pay for services so that they can have enough reasons to demand better services. Industry players like Netflix understand this concept very well, and it is becoming their basis to compete in new markets. Regulation is another determining factor as far as the way individuals chose to consume their content. Some countries are making it extremely difficult to have consumers download content on their own without authorization or a content sharing company (Yang & Ye, 2019). Consumers in the paid media industry have proved to be interested in options that are flexible and reliable, and this can be attributed to the ever-increasing consumers even though some of these options are expensive to have (Singh, Bansal, & Sofat, 2016). The platforms where content is available for free are only usable on one or several instances while options like Netflix, Showmax and Amazon are available on all instances and this makes them reliable one-stop shops. The industry is daily becoming more interesting and transforming to a demand-based industry and not a supply based industry. This shift means individuals are willing and ready to create time to access content as per their demands as compared to what is being offered in a conventional way (Roberts, 2016). Despite all these changes and need for autonomous, it is important to acknowledge that paid services will continue to become more popular because they stand for customer and consumers values as compared to getting content free of costs online. The industry is evolving, and more players might even make it more difficult for users to download content from the internet.
The 21st century has brought with it technological advancements that have made it possible to get media and content straight to our phones or to our reach without breaking a sweat. How sharing of information is becoming decentralised, and no single individuals seem to be having complete control of this, it is right to acknowledge that streaming services are here to stay with us. With the technology advancement experienced all over the world, getting media content is proving very easy day by day. The overall aim is to make content easily available, and this is the one reason why streaming services will survive the dynamic industry. Consumers, on the other hand, are becoming more sensitive and are only ready and willing to pay for services that are of value or impact on them. Changes in technology and the industry, in general, seem to be favoring the most innovative solutions at the expense of tge status quo. Principles like how safe is streaming content, how easy is it to access content, and how it is flexible to access this content are among the major question that any player in the industry will have to think about if they are to be competitive and relevantly important. The future of paid media seems to be taking a different shift due to the increasing utility of social media platforms to share content. We should not be surprised if individuals begin selling content on their platforms as this is the direction to go in terms of how innovation is disrupting the industry. The ever-increasing needs of consumers of content are indeed shaping the industry in a big way, and this is believed to be the engine by which changes are going to be experienced. Altogether, consumers tend to go for products and services that fulfill their utilities, and as it is currently, paid media options like Showmax, Netflix and Amazon are taking the industry by storm, and this is not going to change anytime soon.
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