Here's what buying movies and TV shows online looks like, drawn in marker

How confusing is the world of streaming, renting, and buying Hollywood's product in the digital era? It is this confusing.

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There are many fancy software packages that can make a much more sensible version of this chart. But I wanted you to feel what it actually feels like when one thinks about choosing a video service to rely on, a device that can adapt to that service or others you might pick on a whim. Also, I thought it was kind of telling, all that black smushiness, inside of which people are actually trying to give Hollywood money, and Hollywood is just ignoring them.

It also makes clear why Apple, yet again, has an appealing pitch in digital video: start buying things from us, and it will all work. What’s more, the secondary, implied pitch goes: enough people will buy from us that all those services we don’t control will want to reach those things you bought from us, though we will ensure they work properly.

I threw the Nexus Q on the chart because it is made by the owner of one of the content stores (the Google Play Store), even though the Nexus Q has been postponed. It got a bit trampled under by the lines connecting other services to many more devices, but, then again, that actually makes sense.

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