On September 1st, Tencent Video released a statement that it would adjust the unlocking rules as soon as possible to support the unlocking of user collections, and to further optimize its advanced on-demand service.
Last week, the Shanghai Consumer Council said on its Wechat official account that, since users were charged per episode to watch TV series such as “Crime Crackdown” through Tencent’s Video APP, they then had the right to choose the episode they wanted to watch and when they wanted to watch it. The so-called unlocking in sequence, on the suspicion of bundled sales, is a disregard for consumers’ options, which has given rise to a lot of discussion.
Tencent Video explained that the episode-by-episode unlocking rule was originally set to protect the copyright of TV series and to respect the artistic work of content creators. However, the company admitted, the feature could also be quite an inconveniece to users who didn’t want to watch every episode but only some of them. After the upgrade, the company will continue to explore audio-visual service patterns that are more in line with user needs and marketplace rules.
This response was followed by another article from the Shanghai Consumer Council, again on their WeChat official account, saying that it supported the promised improvement of Tencent Video, and hoped that other platforms with similar situations, such as Youku and iQiyi, would also follow up with such a move.
More importantly, however, is that Tencent Video’s advanced on-demand service has already created much dissatisfaction among netizens. Many members believe it is not fair to spend extra money on advanced services with a membership status. Many have begun to wonder whether the video platform engages in duplicate charges.
The TV series “Crime Crackdown” has also been involved in copyright disputes before. In August, Tencent Video sued Douyin and its parent company ByteDance on the grounds that it allowed users to upload clips from this popular TV series and played them without authorization.