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Kevin Spacey wants TV networks to give you control

House of cards
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a cord-cutting revolution afoot.  A practice that was previously limited to pirates and a narrow field of  frustrated cable/satellite TV subscribers has grown to include a much larger demographic of viewers, who not only want to save money, but crave more control over when and how they watch TV. New data shows that what was once a grass-roots movement has now taken flight, with major networks and big tech companies preparing for a dramatic shift in how TV works. Now, it would seem, the cord-cutting nation has a celebrity spokesperson in the form of “House of Cards” star, Kevin Spacey.

Spacey, a double Oscar-winner, delivered the  James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival on Thursday, Aug. 22. During the lecture, Spacey calls for the TV industry to give control to the viewers, citing the success of “House of Cards” as an example of what TV could and should become. 

“Clearly the success of the Netflix model – releasing the entire season of ‘House of Cards’ at once – has proved one thing: The audience wants control. They want freedom. If they want to binge as they’ve been doing on ‘House of Cards’, then we should let them binge,” said Spacey. 

Spacey also suggests that adopting a new distribution model could actually curb piracy rather than encourage it, stating, “…give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price, and they’ll more likely pay for it rather than steal it.” 

Later in the speech, Spacey points out that today’s new generation of viewers don’t see a difference between watching YouTube on a TV, “Game of Thrones” on a computer or Avatar on an iPad. “It’s all content. It’s just story,” says Spacey, “…and the audience has spoken. They wants stories. They’re dying for them. They’re rooting for us to give them the right thing … all we have to do is give it to them.

Watch key parts of the Spacey’s speech below:

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