Monday, April 03, 2006

Movies and the people who love them

So Hollywood is selling movie downloads, but you can't copy them to a disc for TV viewing even though they'll cost as much as a DVD.

Yeah, that makes total sense. Embrace new technology without making anything actually easier for your consumer. You guys are geniuses!

And sure enough this isn't a thought-out strategy, just a confused but defensive move from Hollywood: "Studios are being cautious about selling films online in part because DVD sales produce more profit than box office receipts. But studios are also preparing for the day when major retailers such as Wal-Mart and begin offering their own movie download services."

Of course the real question here is how this affects Netflix. They don't seem worried. And I'm beginning to think they shouldn't be because Netflix might be the only people in the entertainment business who understand consumers: "Rather than a studio dispassionately selling one picture at a time -- hit or miss -- to a mass market, Netflix builds enthusiasm for movies by catering to each consumer's personal passion. Markets with high Netflix penetration tend to have healthier boxoffice." Guess you can bring coals to Newcastle.

And because Netflix can market a film so effectively and efficiently, that may mean more high-quality stuff. "Netflix is seeking to fill the gap between a good movie that should have an audience but has trouble reaching it." Everybody wins!

Well, almost everybody. For some unfortunate souls, the only thing to do is hope this year's movies wil be better. Good luck with that.

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