John Paul Titlow, reporting for ReadWriteWeb:

It’s been about a week since Fox instituted an eight-day waiting period for users who are not paying subscribers to either Hulu Plus or the Dish Network before they are allowed to stream new episodes of TV shows. Under the new authentication program, only those willing to pay up can watch new episodes the day after it airs. Everybody else has to wait.

I’m not sure who thought this was a good idea, because:

Not all viewers have the patience, it turns out. In the absence of a free, immediately-available streaming option, many of them are turning to piracy, according to an informal study performed by TorrentFreak.

The TV industry increasingly looks like the flailing newspaper business that’s fighting for survival around the world, but in this case it’s self inflicted.  Unlike the news organizations who print and distribute on paper at massive cost, television networks today have access to many forms of instantaneous digital distribution, but they haven’t figured out how to monetize them yet.  The model of selling ad time during the first airing of a particular program is still the most profitable, but also the most flawed.  And it won’t last forever.

I get it- television programming costs real money, and it’s created solely with the intention of turning a profit.  With outlets like the iTunes Store, it’s been proven that people are willing to pay for music, TV, and movies when it’s presented to them in an easy way and at a reasonable cost.  Piracy of content is not a given, but the media corporations are moving too slow to provide a compelling alternative.

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