Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Piracy - the New Revenue Stream

From Cynopsis:

" Warner Bros. will be the first major studio distributing its films and TV shows over the internet via BitTorrent peer-to-peer technology, for both VOD and/or purchase. The first offerings from Warner Bros. are expected this summer with titles including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and TV shows including The Dukes of Hazzard and Babylon 5. The whole idea here is to move those who tend to download pirated films and shows, to purchasing. And using BitTorrent as the vehicle is also an interesting move as BitTorrent was once one of the favorite sites for links to popular pirated movies."

This is a step in a new direction.

It won't be long now for a film or show to debut via BitTorrent with advertising attached to pay for it along with VOD fees. Then a DVD set to follow with behind-the-scenes essentials making it a unique must-purchase item. They have made pirate technology and methodology "okay".


Christian Johnson said...

Why spend money hunting down thieves who aren't making any money (but costing you a lot of money), when you can use the same distribution means and better?

I think your observation of the possibility of including ads in the streams is excellent. Heck, if there are enough "product placement" revenue sources, even illegal streams wouldn't be hurting revenues so long as the number of downloads could be measured for ad billing.

Come to think of it the massive server size that most studios could afford would mean download times would be swifter from the studios, and the quality would be guaranteed.

Bill Cunningham said...

Like I said, its a step in a new direction. Mark Cuban seems to think that the bandwidth limitations are going to catch up with us, but I'm optimistic and think that will be awhile.

Start investing in fibre optic cable companies, server farms, and other infrastructure.

Ad agencies need to step up as well and work hand-in-hand with production to solve those financing equations.

CD said...

I heard one thing about the idea of simultaneous premieres (KCRW's The Business, I think) that I hadn't considered before.

A theater owner noted that if My Big Fat Greek Wedding had premiered only on DVD, it probably wouldn't have been a massive hit. That's a movie that needed to find an audience. March of the Penguins is probably another good example.

As far as the bittorrent stuff goes, whether or not it's DRM-ed to death is going to be the key. If it has pretty extensive DRM, I don't know if it's going to be successful.

I have a bit of the problem with the sloppy research for the article. BitTorrent isn't a site -- it's a piece of software. And it's still wildly popular. In fact, I read somewhere that nearly 1/3 of all Internet traffic or usage is BitTorrent related.

Bill Cunningham said...

Actually CD it's both a software and a website/search engine:


CD said...

Bill --

You've got me there. It is a site and software. However, the BT site is an aggregator of all the actual tracker sites where you can find all the pirated files (and still is)...

Still, I've got to get a life...