A stowaway is defined as one who travels without paying with the hope of not being found out. This is analogous to the attitude that the media industry has to platforms. Whilst media companies rail against both commercial and consumer piracy, they have a shocking unwillingness to pay their own way. Content platform providers rightly want media companies to pay their way.
The intellectual property of consumer electronics companies has always been paid for by media companies, its not even a new phenomena, CDs and DVD duplicators paid a license fee per disk to the patent pool of companies who kicked in technological smarts as a patent pool.
Now consumer electronics are no longer just the hardware and discrete software packages any more, but there is also a sophisticated middleware level like Apple’s iTunes platform. This platform takes the distribution and merchandising load off the media companies so deserves an increased reward. Modern content platforms are an integral part of of the product offering indivisible from the electronics hardware itself in many respects.
Now at this point, the media industry would spend a fortune on lobbying and take Peter Mandelson to lunch in Corfu to emphasise the value that they bring to the economy and the amount of jobs that they create. But let’s be honest about this which has transformed more people’s lives the iPhone and Android platforms or Simon Cowell?