Hollywood Has Adjusted To New Technologies Before

from the why-can't-they-do-so-now? dept

Every time we bring up new technologies, and how they challenge current business models, someone says “but I just don’t see how so-and-so can make money when competing against this new technology.” It’s a standard refrain, and the simple answer is that markets and industries change with the times. If they don’t adapt, they die – but very often, they learn how to adapt. As an example, here’s an interesting NY Times article about how the movie industry changed the aspect ratio of their films, making them wider, in order to compete with television. The simple act of extending the width of the films made movie going more of an “experience” that simply couldn’t be duplicated on the tiny box in your home. It shows that Hollywood (at one time) realized the value of offering something that differentiated the movie going experience from watching it at home. Now the entertainment industry is complaining that they simply can’t come up with ways to compete against free copies on the internet. I would bet if they spent a tiny fraction of the time and money they’ve put into legal responses to online file sharing, they would discover many more business opportunities in letting the file sharing continue, and offering up something with more value to consumers instead.

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