Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Movie Studios (Again) Ignore Recent Music Biz History

Redbox, is a service that is essentially a red box vending machine found at supermarkets, etc where a person can rent movies for as cheap as $1 a day. It's very popular and it generates income for the movie studios. It looks like the movie studios don't want people to continue to use this service on the same level they were used to. A story in TechDirt points out that Redbox finally caved into Warner Bros crazy demand that they not rent films until 28 days after the DVD is released. This is similar to the deal that Warner's made with Netflix recently. Essentially what Warner is trying to do in a very short sided way is make the consumer BUY the DVD if they want to see it as soon as it's released.

This is another completely misguided, uniformed (I say uninformed because these companies are not listening to the consumer, whom they depend on) decision by a media company. The NY Times website is going back to a limited paywall. When people are used to getting something one way for a very long time, such as renting a DVD the day it's released, not paying for the NY Times online, there is no way to go back to the well to try and find water when it's bone dry. I have a strong feeling that these decisions will come back to bite both Warner's and the NY Times.

Why is it so hard for media companies to embrace the consumer? Why do they treat them like the enemy? The recorded music industry has been alienating fans for too long now and look where it's gotten them. We rarely hear from the musicians, actors and journalists whose livelihood is most affected by it all. These companies should all take a page from indie musicians who are making a respectable living connecting with their audience and being creative about how they generate income (while giving the fans something they want). Read Marian Call's blog.

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