Should The Entertainment Industry Be Spending On Product Or Protection?

from the get-with-the-times... dept

These days, it appears that the entertainment industry is spending a lot more time and money on coming up with systems to protect their content, rather than on improving the content or the manner in which people get to use that content. So, for example, rather than improving the movie watching experience to make more people want to go to the movies, the MPAA is looking to invest in expensive, but not very good, high tech systems to prevent people from filming movies. The end result is going to be the same. The industry will spend a ton, and a few people will still figure out a way around the system (better technology, finding theaters that don’t use the system, etc.) and the copies of the movie will still be made. In other words, the end result won’t change, but the industry will have less money. A much more intelligent option is to try to improve the experience for movie viewers, so that they don’t even want to view unauthorized copies of movies or (even better) that unauthorized copies only make them feel compelled to pay to watch the movie. This isn’t hard. Going to the theater is a social experience. The screen is much bigger, and the sound system much better, than most people have at home. On the video rental front, the convenience of things like Netflix (along with its recommendation system and large supply of movies) clearly seem to outweigh the experience of downloading unauthorized copies of movies.

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Comments on “Should The Entertainment Industry Be Spending On Product Or Protection?”

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RJD says:

Not enough credit

Don’t think you’re giving the movie folks enough credit for the things they’ve done. They’ve upgraded most technologies used in movies (sound, video) so you now have richer experiences than you have in the past. About the only thing they haven’t improved is the quality of the stories which is probably a reflection of lack of new material / experiences to draw upon.

And I sing the Praises of the studios that understand we want more on the DVD than the movie. The behind the scenes, deleted scenes, bloopers, etc are great and they were under no obligation to add them. They understood the idea of adding value to the DVD to sell more.

Your commentary seems to focus mostly on the ‘theater experience’ and that’s becoming a declining business due to numerous things (cheaper home systems, expensive movie tickets, crappy theaters, etc). The IMAX theaters are the only serious high end upgrades going on here while Theater owners are trying a variety of things to lure watcher’s back in. Personally, I only go to theaters to watch movies that have to be appreciated on a large large screen (think star wars). Movies that don’t require large visuals to be appreciated (think Big Fish, Monster, etc) can be better watched on my tube.

The studio’s/MPAA are right to want to protect the content of the movies. It’s where they make thier money. Venues and formats, etc will come and go.

Guess my point/observation is they are/have been making improvements where they can within their business model.

Chris (user link) says:

Re: Not enough credit

“About the only thing they haven’t improved is the quality of the stories which is probably a reflection of lack of new material / experiences to draw upon.”

This is a common, and disappointing, impression. There is no lack of new material in Hollywood. In fact, there’s almost too much of it. What there is a lack of is people willing to take a chance on it. Instead, we see the risk issue I talked about above. The evidence is obvious as you see thousands of writers and producers with original ideas not working, but “Fat Albert”, “Bridget Jones Diary 2”, “Polar Express”, and other pre-existing content coming to a theatre near you.

Chris (user link) says:

Risk and Perception

To increase the quality of content does not require more time or money. In many cases it probably requires less. But what it does require is “risk”. And it seems that risk is a hard thing to get a hold of perceptually.

Protecting content is tangible and familiar. Fathoming that people can find ways around it? Not so much.

Once perception changes and people place there risk in the right areas, we may see some changes.

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