Yeah - we're definitely in the middle of a paradigm shift that started about 10+ years ago in both the music and film industries. That was probably the beginning of the end for our traditional idea of media "ownership", which can be especially difficult for those of us who grew up in the era of record and movie collections. I spent hours (days? weeks?) ripping both my CD and DVD collections to digital files that I could access from my iPod, iPad, etc. For a few years that was how I accessed my entertainment - loading actual files onto my devices.
However, in recent years I've converted to streaming probably 90% of my media consumption (via Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, etc). I appreciate the ability to access a lot of content without having to buy everything individually while still understanding the desire to "own" certain media that is special for some reason (favorite bands, favorite films, etc).
It brings to mind Sting's great bridge from "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free":
"Forever conditioned to believe that we can't live
We can't live here and be happy with less
So many riches, so many souls
Everything we see we want to possess"
I've thought of those lines many times in my life when faced with my ingrained consumerist tendencies.
There's likely a long philisophical discussion to be had related to the pros and cons of different digital media distribution models. The small portion of that discussion that relates to this concert video is that it was something that was started years ago with no distribution plan in mind, and no intent for any great commercial gain. Once the film was done, Neil wanted to make it available to fans, so his team looked into the options that are currently available. Physical media (DVDs, BluRay) are a dying concept - especially for a niche release like this that likely isn't going to sell 50,000+ copies. I suppose one could make the case for selling the files via direct download from a website (ala buying independent music releases from Bandcamp) and maybe that will be an option at some point in the future, but for now I'm guessing that a lot of fans are actually happy they can view the concert for free on Amazon (assuming they have a Prime account) or rent / buy the platform video for a reasonable price.
I appreciate (and share) your passion for the music, Stew, and I completely understand the desire to own a digital file that you can move around at will. However, I think the release is far from a fiasco. It's been an opportunity for Neil to test out current distribution avenues that everybody is still trying to figure out, and I'm sure that he and his team will learn from the experience. Feedback like yours is important. For now, I hope you're able to enjoy the concert film without letting your frustrations about file ownership cloud the experience for you. We're all ephemeral... "streaming", so we might as well look for the good wherever we can find it for as long as we're lucky enough to be around for it.