Digital Content: People WILL Pay

An article from Wired shows how real-time entertainment — Netflix, online pay per views, etc. — now account for the most traffic on the Internet.

Sandvine report graph

In other words, people are willing to pay for the digital media they consume. If Hollywood and the networks will just suck it up and deliver their content the way we’d like to have it, we will happily hand them money.

I’ve cut the cord and now my family and I watch all of our movies and television online via Netflix on our Roku box. I also keep my Xbox Live subscription active because my wife likes to watch tennis on ESPN3. Shows I can’t get via Netflix I purchase on Amazon Instant Video. Total up all of our payments, it’s still less than our old DirecTV bill. I don’t pirate shows and I have no desire to.

However, it’s becoming tempting.

For example, UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter is apparently only available on Spike. I’m happy to give the UFC money by subscribing to their online content, Roku channel, or Amazon, but they don’t give me that option. They have all kinds of extras and post-episode interviews, but that does me no good without seeing the show.

I’d also like to see Game of Thrones, but HBO doesn’t have it up on Amazon or Netflix, either. I thought maybe I’d luck out with the HBOGo app when it hit the iPad, but you have to be an HBO subscriber to access the content, and of course you can’t subscribe to HBO without being on some kind of cable or satellite service.

Content providers: this isn’t the ’80s! You can now become your own content delivery service. If your contracts with cable and satellite providers prohibit you from offering services yourself, it’s time to start breaking (or at least not renewing) those contracts.

I don’t want to pirate your stuff. I want to give you money.

Why does this have to be difficult?

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.


  1. Can you give us all a better idea of what kind of shows you watch and any snags you have run into? My dad has been considering this kind of switch (at my prompting), but I gotta prove that the things he wants are available.

    Any kinks you ran into other than HBO and UFC? Thanks for the insight Mike.

    • Mike says:

      Honestly, that’s about it. Some of the older HBO shows like The Sopranos aren’t available, either, but just about everything I want to watch is available in some form or another. I don’t watch a lot of network shows, though, and I think NBC puts a lot of theirs up on Hulu or something instead of through Netflix, but I haven’t checked Amazon to be sure. I’ve been meaning to post a more detailed follow-up to my previous cord-cutting posts, but in the long run, we’ve been very happy dumping cable. We haven’t even bothered to put up an antenna for locals yet.

      Unexpected bonus: our kids pick and choose shows off Netflix or play our DVDs rather than mindlessly watching whatever’s on.