One great way to determine whether your digital product is destined for greatness is how many people want to steal it. As the television industry is starting to realize, there's a great deal of positive information that can be gleaned from illegal torrents of the shows. If no one wants to watch it, no one is going to steal it.
The open-source analog, of course, is the download. If you aren't getting free downloads, then it's probably futile to try selling a product. Downloads, in other words, tell us a lot about future purchases, assuming there's a compelling business and revenue model behind the download. According to an article on Last100.com:
Tech-savvy consumers have been boldly declaring that piracy can help and not hinder industry for years (especially when it comes to music downloads), but I was shocked the first time I heard the same claim from some very knowledgeable marketing types one day over a year ago in a boardroom. One of them simply asked, "Is the show on BitTorrent? How many people are downloading it??" The rest of the group looked genuinely interested in the answer from a demand point of view, not from an outraged one. I've since heard the same thing again several times, from different companies.… Read more