Note to Movie Studios: Don’t Fight the Future

October 8, 2008

What should the movie studios do to avoid a fate similar to the major music labels?

The labels mined and salted the fields of digital music such that commercial success was impossible.  Their legacy will be intractable resistance to and wholesale destruction of the commercial music industry, effectively sending it back to the stone age.

What should the movie studios do differently?  To be certain, they’re starting off on an equally self-destructive course, as this RealDVD episode shows.  But what other card do they have to play?

All I can think of is convenience and a superior experience.  For example, I know how to download pretty much any movie or TV show, but I still rent movies and series’s all the time from Blockbuster just because it’s way more convenient.  Likewise, I go to movies all the time because I am a sucker for the big screen.

The only meaningful asset the movie studios have is people don’t absolutely despise their existence and wish them dead.  (The music labels were never so lucky.)  I wonder if they’ll realize how valuable this asset is before it’s lost, and if they realize how quixotically battling the future one RealDVD at a time earns them absolutely nothing while eroding the popular support they utterly depend upon to survive.

David Barrett

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