NBC/Apple

We’ve seen this movie before. MANY TIMES!

The only difference is now the MAINSTREAM press ain’t falling for the copyright holders’ protestations.

Old spin: He who owns the copyright not only controls the right to distribute his product how he sees fit, it’s one of the benefits of ownership, distribution is an entitlement that the creator retains.

New spin: How in the hell can the TV and movie businesses not get it when they can look back over the past eight years and see what the RECORD COMPANIES have been through. You’ve got to harness the advantages of the Net, you’ve got to increase volume, you’ve got to give the people what they want.

Hulu. Yeah, now THAT’S gonna work. About as well as Universal’s Pressplay and the Google Video Store.

Universal delivered a product no one wanted, all in service to the goal of protecting their copyrights. What happened? Online theft WENT UP!

Google felt it could squash YouTube like a bug. After all, wasn’t it GOOGLE?

In case you missed the memo, Google shut down its Video Store this week. This is after spending a FORTUNE to acquire their vaunted competitor, YouTube. And all those honest citizens who purchased from the Google Store? They now own videos in an obsolete format. At first they were granted credit, now refunds after Google realized it had a public relations disaster on its hands.

Digital assets? They’re not forever. Sell ’em cheap now, and then sell ’em all over again.

If you haven’t had a hard drive fail, you don’t own a computer. And most people don’t back up. And the formats change. Files get better. Do you really think we’re going to be listening to 128 kbps rips ten years from now? No, we’re going to BUY THE MUSIC ALL OVER AGAIN! Which means it behooves the rights holders to sell it NOW! And to make it so cheap that people don’t CARE that it’s disposable.

We used to think TV shows were completely disposable. But it turns out there’s a demand on DVD. And a demand at the iTunes Store. But the producers say the online demand is de minimis, that it doesn’t really matter. Tell that to the record industry, now that CD sales have cratered in excess of 15% in 2007, after years of significant declines. You’re gonna get your TV shows when you want ’em, online. And you’re gonna either pay cash, or with your time, watching commercials. This on demand viewing will only grow. Wouldn’t it behoove the producers to get on the boat NOW?

No. They’ve got to protect that behemoth known as Wal-Mart. You want to know why movie studios aren’t selling their wares at the iTunes Store? Because they’re afraid of pissing off Wal-Mart with regard to DVD sales. So, you can’t BUY most of these flicks online.

I guess they’re fearful of the day Apple holds a similar power as the Arkansan giant, but they’re fucking with the Cupertino company now, in advance, when they’ve got NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE!

Sony gave up on not only Connect, but its whole ATRAC DRM. And, speaking of DRM, there’s none on the Torrent sites that have all the TV shows readily available ANYWAY!

The reason Apple wins is it’s got the best player, aligned with the best design and easiest interface. Unless you battle them on THIS level, you’re never going to succeed. Look at the blood on their click wheel, everybody from Rio to Dell. But the TV COMPANIES ARE GOING TO TEACH THEM A LESSON?

NBC/Universal is way out of its depth here. It thinks this is an inside job, akin to a battle between studios and agents. But, it’s not. It’s a battle between producers and viewers, and the studio DOESN’T EVEN KNOW IT! You’ve got to make your product available cheaply, in a usable form.

Hell, look at history. Littered with the laserdisc, and soon the DVD. Tell me how selling low quality video today, playable on a tiny screen, is going to hurt sales tomorrow. Did people not buy DVDs because they’d already built a laser disc collection?

Please.

If only the producers/studios led. If only they came up with something innovative. If only they asked Apple for a LOWER price. If only they swore OFF DRM. Then maybe the press would be on their side. Instead, they’re fighting to hold on to a model that’s dying, all in the service of their lifestyle.

The only way to win a war against Apple is to beat them at their game. And, Apple is winning. Just ask those in the computer business.

Go against Apple and you freak out the public, which has sworn fealty to the Silicon Valley company. Apple is on a plane above "Pirates Of The Caribbean". It’s U2 and Jack Nicholson and "24" combined. Everybody else bitched, and Apple innovated its way out of the doldrums.

Come up with a better solution media companies, then we’ll abandon Apple. But, until you do, you’re in an unwinnable war.

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