This is a studio problem.
Ignore Wall Street. That’s a gambling casino for the besuited set. These are the people who punished Apple for not meeting their expectations. Which were out of whack. Because they were the only ones who didn’t know a new iPhone was coming.
You’ll buy last year’s car at a discount, but you’re not gonna pay as much for a 2011 Camry as you will for a 2012, not when you know the 2012 is imminent.
And everybody except for the Wall Street prognosticators knew a new iPhone was coming. And since you have to lay out $200 and you’re tied up for two years, no one wants to blow it. Why do all the old wave people think the public is so damn ignorant? Just because record executives didn’t know how to steal that didn’t mean everybody else didn’t. Kids were tech-savvy and oldsters learned how. Whereas record execs sat on their hineys, with their arms crossed, saying overpriced CDs were the best solution. Huh?
It’s very simple. You can’t stream what you want with Netflix. If you could, we wouldn’t be having this debate, there would be no hoopla. Don’t shine the light on Reed Hastings, shine it on the studios who make these movies and television shows, they want to live in the land of darkness, just like the record labels, and they’re going to get hurt by it. Hell, they’re already being hurt, DVD sales keep falling. What’s their plan? Hell, they can’t even figure it out with exhibitors, the studios want VOD day and date of the release in theatres and the theatre owners don’t. And who’s left out? THE PUBLIC!
Going to the movie theatre is a heinous experience. Forget the lack of focus and the sticky floors, what I hate most about the theatres is the other patrons. Who talk and text and think they’re in their living rooms. Hell, that’s why I want to stay home. If you’re a teen and you want to neck, if you want to get out of your parents’ purview, I get it. Or if you’re a couple with young children. But most of us have first rate exhibition systems in our homes. We’d rather see the movies at home. But this doesn’t comport with the interests of the studios and theatres, so what do most people do? STEAL THE MOVIES! And the music business taught us that this cannot be stopped. You can play Whac-A-Mole, you can piss off your customers, but you cannot win.
The art should be edgy, the music and movies should lead the public to uncomfortable places. But the distributors should be all about giving people what they want. Isn’t that what made Steve Jobs king? He gave people what they didn’t even know they wanted. The content industries want to jet us back to the past, they want us to live in the last century when we’re already in the second decade of the twenty first.
Used to be you had to get into your car to buy a book. Or deal with days of waiting for mail order. But the new Steve Jobs book was available digitally at midnight Sunday night/Monday morning. That’s when I bought it, that’s when I started reading it. If I had to go to the store…I wouldn’t, not for a while. Or maybe I wouldn’t have read it at all.
We want the most desirable stuff. After that, we can live without it.
Even my 84 year old mother complains she can’t stream what she wants on Netflix. Her compadres come over and they scan through the titles via the Apple TV and they whine, say they’re not coming over anymore…
And my mother calls me for tech help constantly. She can barely use this stuff. But she’s got not only an Apple TV, but an iPad, FOR WATCHING NETFLIX!
We can debate Reed Hastings’s mistakes all day long, but the real problem is content industries wouldn’t license what people wanted to see. People want to stream, they don’t want to get mailed discs, and they don’t want to overpay for the privilege of living in the old, material world the studios demand.
If only the content industries were more cynical. Saying they were going to do it the old way and make as much as they could and then close up shop, then I could understand it. But everybody’s living in the future but them. You can stream video on your TV, iPad and phone but the studios won’t let you. Because they’re still trying to figure out how to make as much money as they once did. Maybe there’s not as much money in the future, but I’ll guarantee you you won’t have much of a future if you don’t play in the new world.