I think this decade will see the theme of “Content vs. Distribution” replayed over and over as the Internet continues to destroy tried-and-true markets.
First was the battle between TV affiliates wanting more money from cable distributors, leading to embarrassing channel outages while disputes unfolded in the courts.
Then just recently the dust up between cable and studios over streaming to iPads, which I just don’t get, since most are limited to customer’s home networks. It’s just like sending it to another set top box. (My take: it will backfire. Disclosure: I work for a distributor, so my opinion is my own.)
Now a battle between close friends, theaters and studios. $30 bucks for VOD? Yeah, a laffer at first glance, until you do the math (it’s actually cheaper than 3 family members seeing a movie.)
Trouble is, there is a pricing precedent already set. Most people like to wait for movies to hit DVD so they can rent. Now they even wait until movies get streamed. These people are already price conscious, so don’t expect them to pony up 30 clams for the honor of seeing it early.
(Attention studios: have you seen the quality of your product these days? Not frackin’ worth the celluloid it’s printed on for the most part.)
So, good luck with that, Mr. Studio. I can see some of the merits of your other fights, but streaming to an iPad in my own house is a great way to get more eyeballs for a growing group who don’t care what they watch your shows on.