A friend of mine, a major studio Sr. VP, and I are in complete agreement on the copy protection (CP) issue: If studios did a global, all-media, all-format day/date release, professional piracy would go away.
You like it at the theater? Impulse buy the DVD on the way out, adding to the revenues of the studios and theater owners. Want to buy the movie but not go to the theater? download it in whatever format you want for $20 (or whatever, but low enough not to encourage a black market).
Think about copy protection. Can you print and market a book in N.America and not let people in Europe buy it? Or Asia? That’s what we do with DVDs and region codes. They both are intellectual property, right?
Think about songs. Warner Music Group in 1995 had 20 terabytes of old songs gathering dust on shelves. Rhino records put out weird compilations, but otherwise the stuff just sat there. How hard would it have been to open their digital vault and let people download songs for a buck a track, or two bucks, and give them a piece of SW to create a CD, label and all?
Not hard, and no one would have heard of Napster. It was a business model change that they refused to do because they refused to change album-based financials. So now the music business is suing its best customers — that’s a good strategy.
The movie business can cannibalize itself, or get cannibalized – their choice. Right now they are choosing to spend $B and get cannibalized anyway.
They learned nothing from the home video wars. In those wars, the studios fought tooth & nail against VCRs, telling everyone that the studios would lose too much money. The result 20 years on? More revenue from videos than theaters. Why will this not happened with the above release strategy? It will – -but the studio owners, who are among the most fiscally conservative people on the planet, can’t see their way forward here.
Dinosaurs watching the incoming asteroid….