Sunday, July 03, 2005

Piracy?

A lot has been said of internet piracy and illegal downloading in light of recent Supreme court decisions, the whole GLOBAL FREQUENCY bit torrent release and the BBC's decision to embrace the internet and work with other companies to release BBC News content.

Hollywood is bemoaning the whole downloading issue, thinking that the studios are losing Billions in revenue. I understand those feelings of thinking that you're being ripped off and what are you going to do about it, but Hollywood forgets it's own missteps in the internet arena:

1) planting "stories" on sites like Aintitcool News to hype a picture.
2) Planting false quotes in newspapers hyping a movie. These quotes come from studio marketing executives.
3) Hiring companies to create "fan" sites around a picture that hasn't been released yet.

So with that in mind, if the studios are going to act like pirates, they should expect to be "pirated."

But what if they aren't being pirated at all? What if all this downloading and filesharing is actually working in the studios favor? Certainly the case could be made that downloading brought a dead TV show, GLOBAL FREQUENCY, back to life with articles across the world about how the show got out. Warner Bros. now has a built-in interest group for this title, and stand to make money off of a something that was written off as a "loss."

Take a look at the article linked below. It seems to me that an entrepeneurial company could promote a title to the masses, then release a "definitive" version on DVD. But please, don't take my word for it - read what the business experts from Harvard have to say, then make up your own mind.

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=4206&t=innovation

Stay tuned (or should I say logged on?)...

2 comments:

RogerRmjet said...

The solutions to dealing with piracy are so easy, it's a shame that Hollywood keeps ignoring the obvious. To battle Asian piracy (selling DVDs of current theatrical releases), the studios need to realize that this is where the Asian market is. They need to release on DVD the same time they release in the theaters in the US. They are finally trying this with Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. They need to try it with bigger films next.

Same with digital piracy. They need to offer films for download at the same time as they go in the theaters, and only charge about $2 bucks per download. They don't do this because they think it will eat into their bottom line. They need to realize that this would be additional revenue, not replacement revenue. $2 for a download is a fair, comparitive value for seeing something on your computer vs. the $10+ for seeing a movie on the big screen. If I could download Batman Begins or Episode III today for a couple of bucks each I would do it. It wouldn't have stopped me from going to see them in the theater because I also wanted to see them on the big screen with surround sound and stadium seating. I want to see Batman Begins again, but my child isn't old enough and I can only go see so many PG-13 or higher movies. So that $2 would be additional revenue, not replacement. I'm also going to buy the DVDs, because I want the superior quality and the extras.

The times are changing. The market is changing. It's time for Hollywood to wake up and get with the program.

warrenzone said...

I think it shows that the industry knows many movies can't stand on their own, as products people are willing to pay $10 to see and then $25 to own a few months later.

I know this is the argument that people use for downloading mp3s' because only one or two songs on the album appeal to them.

by the way, (off topic) another great mall horror movie is 'the initiation' also, 'biozombie'.