I've long believed that the big digital companies need to drastically rethink both their marketing and pricing models that they apply online. Although it makes sense if your goal is profit maximisation, it's fundamentally unfair to charge completely different prices for identical products based simply on your location.
Not only is this practice unfair, it actually very difficult to implement as the technology used for determining your location is easily bypassed if you use something like Identity Cloaker. If people don't go this route, buying a Hulu or HBO subscription at US prices using a US VPN server, then they simply start down the Usenet or Torrent route with all it's pitfalls but minimal cost.
The multimedia giant Netflix has revealed it has actually a different criteria when determining what to charge in new markets. Now let me first state that Netflix is not the same in every country, in fact due to licensing issues it varies greatly across different places. Having said that it is very surprising to discover that one of the main factors is the likelihood of piracy in a given market. So the argument goes, that if piracy is rife in a particular location the easiest way to compete is to bring your prices down.
It makes sense, there comes a point where it's not worth the hassle of spending ages downloading a dodgy copy of a film with some blokes head covering the bottom corner, and simply pay for a legitimate, high quality HD copy. Obviously they use other factors too, yet the piracy one is important and which is why the Australian's version of Netflix is significantly cheaper than the UK and US versions for example.
Yes despite a history of web censorship projects and legislation (most of which have failed), Australia has one of the highest levels of digital piracy in the developed world. A large number of Australians happily torrent whatever they need online, they access most restricted channels like BBC iPlayer like this, and in fact hundreds of thousands have already subscribed to Netflix using a US VPN
So that's it encourage your friends, neighbours and family to torrent as much as possible and watch our digital subscriptions come tumbling down! It would be good if companies like Netflix could just let us miss this piracy step and just charge a fair price equally for it's subscriptions.
It might be that this price changes in the future, who knows. Netflix is certainly making a huge impact in Australia, with some reports stating that it is now using up 25% of Australian internet bandwidth !