I considered putting this in my “Idiot Marketing” category, but in this case I think they truly are just clueless.
I was busy tonight and didn’t catch The Office while it was on TV. A year ago, this wouldn’t have been a big deal. I could just download it on iTunes the next day. In fact, it would be even better now since I could sync it to my Apple TV and watch it on the same screen I would have normally. Unfortunately, NBC has stopped selling their content on iTunes, so that is not an option. The next best thing I can do is get it on my computer, and hook that up to my TV, although that requires getting off of the couch. NBC does offer the ability to watch the episodes right on their website, but even if I went through the trouble of hooking up my computer, the image still wouldn’t be full screen. This is what “full screen” mode looks like on NBC.com:
See the unnecessary border? Annoying. And why do they have to promote the name of the show in the upper left corner? Obviously I am aware of the show; wouldn’t their marketing people want to put the NBC logo or something else there instead? I could put it in that mode and then make creative use of a the “zoom” accessibility feature ins OS X, but it’s hard to get it aligned just right.
I thought for a brief moment that I might be able to get a better, fuller-screen option of the show when I noticed that NBC now has a download option. But before I even clicked, I remembered NBC.com’s historically poor treatment of Mac users, and guessed that they don’t offer Mac support. I was right. According to their site, “Support for Apple and Linux systems will be coming in early 2008.” That’s a somewhat positive sign, but I personally would only consider Q1 to be “early,” and we’re now approaching the end of April. I’m sadly used to it, but this lack of Mac support is ridiculous, especially today when Apple’s consumer market share may be at 21% in the U.S. Its market share of consumers who have computers that actually work and like to do things with them like watch TV shows may be even higher.
I’d gladly pay for an HD download of The Office, but nobody is selling. Oh, and did you notice that the screenshot isn’t from tonight’s episode? That’s because it’s not available their website yet. It’s times like this that I consider going to the dark side and finding a nice high-quality HD download on the Internet. The same thing happens when I try to watch a DVD and get frustrated by the piracy warnings that they disable the skip buttons for. You know, the piracy warnings that only people who purchased the DVD get to see.
I wish an executive from every network would just sit down and listen to someone like Alex Lindsay for 5 minutes and trust that he knows what people want. But that probably won’t happen until it’s too late.