Viewpoint – Digital content held hostage by services

Juan Ibarra/campus editorHow much of the content that you watch, play or listen to do you own? If you lose access to all your accounts, what will happen?

People don’t own very much content now that streaming is the primary way of consuming content. Downloading content from companies is a risky business as well.

On Jan. 30, the Nintendo Wii digital shop closed down, which made any purchases through the Wii digital shop no longer available if users didn’t download them before that date.

Also, UltraViolet, a service where people could download digital versions of their movies, is shutting down on July 31 with only a small five-month window to save their movies.

The rise of subscription-based business models has taken away the opportunity to purchase many products outright.

Adobe no longer offers their programs like Photoshop as a one-time purchase price only as a subscription.

It’s convenient and often affordable to spend X amount of money a month for a service, but it feels like paying rent because none of it is truly owned by the subscriber.

Digital music, games and movies are in danger of being lost forever especially if they’re digital only. There are some companies that are combating the deterioration of digital content.

Netflix is doing this with physical DVD and Blu-Ray releases of their original content such as Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black.

Limited Run Games is a company with the sole purpose of releasing physical versions of digital-only videogames, which was standard before but is now a novelty.

With the digital age being relatively in its infancy, it is possible more services and programs could shut down in the coming years. Preserving the entertainment everyone uses should be a more important focal point.

Cost-effective, digital-only subscriptions may become the only way to view entertainment in the future.

It may be costly and sometimes difficult to find, but buying physical versions of your favorite entertainment may be the key to preserving the things you love.