Recognizing The Inevitable

from the holding-back-the-tide dept

While Om Malik correctly notes that much of Web 2.0 certainly looks and sounds like all the big names of Web 1.0 coming back and saying, “no, wait, this time we got it right,”, it looks like there are a few interesting points breaking through. Jason Kottke points to what sounds like the most perceptive quote I’ve heard come out of Web 2.0, from Danger Mouse (of Grey Album fame). In discussing the music industry, he said: “Artists are responsible, because for some reason we think we should be millionaires for making people smile. But I don’t worry too much, because it will be over soon. There won’t be a market for making people smile because kids will just do it for free.” He gets what all these industry insiders are missing. What’s happening with content is inevitable. Sure, it would be great if their old business models and legacy systems would keep working, but they won’t. However, that doesn’t mean (as the less creative folks imply) that the opportunities to make money go away. As we’ve been finding out, they actually start to expand in unexpected ways. The trick is to recognize the unstoppable trends, and figure out how to ride the waves.

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Comments on “Recognizing The Inevitable”

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Chet Kuhn (profile) says:

I couldn't agree more, but...

A thousand salutes for writing down intelligently what I’ve been thinking for months. The music industry is in the business of distribution, but distribution is now essentially free. Musicians are far more likely to earn a little bit of money on what they create now (through online sales or other avenues), rather than the hit-or-miss game of superstardom that makes a very, very small minority incredibly rich. Since the process of making music is also quite inexpensive, this allows us all to make, share, and enjoy music as a ‘community’, rather than as a ‘consumer.’
The problem starts when we begin to apply this distribution model to films. Films are NOT cheap to make. Incredible investment is needed in even the most basic low-budget dreck, and profits must be realized. Once P2P speeds begin to allow the same file-sharing ease that MP3 currently enjoys, we run the very real risk of crippling the industry that produces our content. I, for one, am already contributing to the problem on the netflix/DVD burner plan, and my ranks are growing.
The music industry will survive, albeit greatly changed, as DangerMouse says. I agree this is inevitable. Is the wholesale dismantling of the movie industry far behind? How can that industry continue based on the same model?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: I couldn't agree more, but...

Ah, but the movie business has some interesting other possibilities. Yes, there are people who just want the content, but movies are also social experiences. The winner in the movie business is going to be whoever figures out how to improve the social aspect of going to or watching movies…

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: I couldn't agree more, but...

I see what you’re saying Mike but having gone to a couple of movies lately after a long(ish) hiatus, theaters are going to have to improve that “social” experience.

Going to a movie these days is pricy, unless you still have second run theaters in town (large movie conglomerates bought them out a few years back…so all the movies are 10 bucks a pop, 13-14 downtown…which is ridiculous when you can purchase the DVD for about the same price when it comes out).

At the movies you have to put up with the other components that make this a “social” experience, other people. The majority of people are quite mannerly and cordial, however, the minority of jackasses and morons is growing and is large enough to ruin many if not most moviegoing outings. There’s always the one doofus who thinks its funny to use a laser pointer, and they never seem to tire of it. There’s the 4 or 5 *ssh*les who not only don’t turn off cellphones, but some actually make calls right in the theater. AND if you happen to catch a showing full of teens, there’s bound to be some “kids will be kids” behavior (said sarcastically, these kids I’m talking about need a serious beating at this point) such as food throwing, shoving, fighting, loud cursing/chatting. Last but not least there’s the harried new parents taking their VERY young (usually wailing) offspring, in the hopes of enjoying a night out.

Only the last I’ve mentionned has received an attempt at a solution around here (special showing for parents and their babies, with a small discount…yet still many do not partake and attend the regular showing, which is usually scheduled at the same time..go figure). The rest, nothing is done, getting a refund from management is chancy at best and managers are basically useless and unwilling to deal with any offenders unless actual damages to property are occuring or the disturbance is such that many cinemas are affected. Unfortunately, since most theaters are owned by a small group of large corportations, taking my business elsewhere to see movie is not an option as the experience is quite uniform across the major theaters.

Seeing a movie on the big screen with a lot of people, sharing in the boos and cheers IS something special. However, its been ruined by idiots and needs a LOT of improvement if its going to make up for lost revenues should P2P movie distribution ever gets as much as MP3s.

eponymous geek says:

Anybody remember...

Anyone remember those ‘choose your own adventure’ books? Where you’d read a section and then flip to a different section based on your decision. I’d like to see a movie like that. Give the audience voting buttons like ‘Americas Funniest Home Videos’ and let them choose how the movie ends. No more shouting “Don’t go through the door”, now vote on where the hero goes. And people will see the same movie over and over again to see a different ending.

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