Surprise! You’re Paying Far Too Goddamned Much For Your Favourite TV Shows

We’re digging deep into the Der Files, held within the Obvious Chambers at No Shit Sherlock’s for this one. Are you presently paying for premium TV content through channels that are legally accessible in Australia at the present time? SPOILER ALERT: You’re paying too much goddamned money for it.

Legal streaming services available to consumers in Australia like Google Play or iTunes charge local consumers price points for premium series that, in some cases, are 431% higher than American counterparts.
Fairfax Media today reports that if you want to watch Orange is the New Black season 2 legally in Australia via Google Play, you’ll be paying a minimum of $27.26, which is 219% more than what US costumers pay for a standard Netflix subscription. And if you’re getting it through Foxtel‘s on-demand streaming service, Foxtel Play, you’d be paying $45.45 for it, which is a disparity of a staggering 431%.
Consumer watchdog group Choice levels the blame squarely at the providers, claiming that in a lot of cases they’re either charging customers too much, or simply not providing them with the choice in the first place. Choice’s chief executive Alan Kirkland explains thusly.
Time and again we are seeing consumers hit with the ‘Australia tax’ on digital content. It’s clear the business models forced on consumers by local intermediaries are subjecting Australians to artificially high prices for overseas content.
The group also expressed concern for the Government’s proposals to help crack down on the “rampant” (read: Industry-created moral panic) levels of Internet Piracy in the country, which includes potentially introducing legislation that impels internet service providers to either block websites that contain “illegal” overseas content, or target individual users who download it.

We are concerned that the government is being influenced by the local cable industry to bring in laws that prop up outdated technology and business models at the expense of cheaper internet streaming services,

Piracy is a problem in Australia but we expect the government to look to the market first for a solution. Australians struggle to pay a fair price to watch what they want at the same time as the rest of the world. The internet has made affordable content possible but Australian providers are not delivering.
Now, we know a lot of you have found ways around geoblocking and are currently paying the low prices for Netflix like the band of outlaw legends that you are. But the problem remains an issue thanks to industry lobbying. Whilst Foxtel did recently drop their subscription fees down to much lower price points, it’s still an all-inclusive system designed to garner additional profit for sought-after content, whilst erasing the ability to pick and choose.
A Foxtel spokesman stated that this was done to focus on packages, rather than individual shows, including more blockbusters. Doing so “maximises the viewing experience,” according to Foxtel.
That’s certainly a nice idea. Until you remember that TV is the only form of media that runs on that model. You’re not required to buy the entire Foo Fighters discography, plus music from several similar bands when purchasing their new album. And you’re not required to purchase tickets to see an entire festival’s worth of Ben Affleck films when buying a ticket to see Gone Girl.
TV works as a package unit because that’s how things worked in the past. But now? Maybe it’s time someone tried doing things a bit differently.
Though risk is forever the enemy of a safe career, after all.