Well to me youve hit the nail on the head with "value to the customer". Media is no longer offering value for money. A DVD released these days will be released often in two version an £14.99 standard version and a £20 extended or special addition with the extra content documentaries bloopers reels etc.
This used to be standard a DVD was £10 15 for a big film and it came with all the extras that was even then pushing value for money at 15 especially when actual production costs are so low.
For example a small record company or a self pubslihed musis CD costs £3.50 TOTAL to make and pay all parties involved in production thats the price the shops buy it for(was in a good documentary a year or two ago on BBC cant remember the name, might have been a panorama or horizon article). Thats for a small company producing small scale 100,000-500,000 disks however the larger companies make these for even less 50p or less for large runs in the millions as is common. And you are buying these disks for £15 on the high street thats huge proftis for everyone involved however the artist rarely gets paid a great deal more than there original advance most goes to the production and sales companies. Thats to much for the product, DVDs are the same they cost only slightly more to make even with extensive extra content(if youve ever used DVD editing creation software you know how easy this kind of thing is to do) yet you are charging £20 for a box and a disk.
Even downloads arent exempt, what they are doing is selling things basically at an average 10 track album divide it by the average supermarket cost is the usuall price so at £1-1.50 a track you dont save any money in fact youre paying more as you dont have a hard copy, you dont have a box with lyrics and cover art youve got a data file packed with DRM and you arent paying less, if you want it on CD you have to pay again for your own CD and the electricity to burn it, doesnt sound a fair deal to me when for the same price as your album of itunes you can go to Asda or Walmart and buy it and you have the hard copy you can rip to your computer as often as you like.
Piracy will be a problem as long as people dont get what they pay for or dont feel they get what they pay for. The media companies drive the consumers into piracy by pricing products out of your average price range, i cant afford to buy a £15 album all the time or £20 for every film i want thats not just feasible for most people, but i can buy the old £5 bargain bin DVDs which often are good films they are just older ones ive got alot of films really good oscar winning films i got for a fiver on DVD and that was a fair price i didnt grudge the money the films are as good now as they were when they came out, i got my favourite film on DVD for that price. And because these are often older i have all the special content as well.
Ive been saying this for a long time if you want to stop piracy give people a reason to do so other than the threat of legal action, if people dont want to pay for it its because theres something wrong with it. If you download a film online then you dont usually get the extras its just the film what you need to do is make these extras good enough for people to want to buy the DVD for that.
You can have DRM but it has to bring something to the product and it has to be initially fairly priced. A good example is Valve and how they released and support HL2 and CSS, these are two games that were much anticipated and are sold together, they are also difficult to pirate because of Steam the game manager used by valve but it is also a highly efficeint automatic updater and they supported the game for a long time and still do not just releasing bug fixes but new maps even developing new content like HDR technology and maps and player models usually something you would have to pay for, and they sold the game for £25 a very good price and offered two more expensive packages that gave you extra games these were also fairly priced. End result a game with very little piracy and good sales over a long time, a game that still sells well and almost everyone who games alot will own or at least knows about. Now the game didnt have a great deal of DRM other than the steam platform which was crackable and you just didnt get updates but they offered a great service, it also protected the consumer, you can install steam on any computer and login and download the games you own on any computer anywhere in the world disk or no disk.
You see efforts on DRM with music and film companies and the actions of MPAA and RIAA and you cant help with drawing the conclusion that they just want to control the market so they can charge whatever they want, they arent protecting there property they are protecting artifiicially high prices. The lengths they go to do this is incedibly far the RIAA lawsuits are some of the worst publicity ever they activley sue children and the poor this is terrible publicity yet they are willing to go through with it even when clearly wrong, recently they sued a family with no computer for file sharing they are continuing with the prosecution, this kind of publicity would kill a small institution yet they feel its neccesary to preserve profits, ironically they only disuade people who would at least purchase some media from them fom buying any at all.