I waited nearly a full year to watch Game of Thrones, because that’s how long it took to get from HBO to iTunes. If I had any interest in purchasing a Avatar 3D Blu-ray, I would have either had to buy a Panasonic 3DTV or wait three years just for the right to spend thirty bucks on FernGully with giant blue cat-people having tail sex.
Even content that’s accessible doesn’t often make much financial sense. Amazon’s the most reasonably priced e-retailer in the world (seriously, it’s got 1,000 albums for five bucks each right now), but even it can be fraught with peril and annoyance. Ebooks that cost more than their paperback equivalents. The specter of DRM haunting every click. A layout so unnavigable you feel like you’re being punished.
Want to comparison shop? Forget about it. Ecosystems aren’t just apps and software anymore, they’re movies and TV shows and everything you’d ever want to watch, read, or listen to. On any given day the best price might be on Amazon or iTunes or Google Play or Xbox, but if you want the simple comfort of knowing everything you paid for with your own American dollars lives in one place? Expect to pay full freight for most of it.