WB Not Happy About Successful Demonstration Of New Business Model

from the unpleasantly-surprised dept

Talk about timing. Just hours before the Grokster ruling, Wired published a story about a rejected TV pilot that gained a following through (gasp!) a P2P network. The WB passed on the pilot of a show called Global Frequency, but after it was “leaked” (always with suspiciously insider overtones), it now has lots of fans. This sort of thing has happened before, as recently as Sony’s miscalculated snubbing of a new Fiona Apple album, and will probably happen again and again. Of course, the entertainment industry probably thinks it has the upper hand with the Grokster decision and the new Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, which (respectively) ban this kind of file sharing and criminalize the act of sharing content before it’s released. The suits at Warner predictably lashed out at the copyright infringement that led to their unintended success. It seems they’d prefer to be in denial about the inevitability of file sharing, which recent events will only drive more underground and make harder to stop, rather than exploiting this medium to do some cheap market testing, build buzz, and make money from consumers who are willing to pay for more good content. Listen to Global Frequency’s producer — that’s exactly what he’d do if he owned the full rights to the show. “I would put my pilot out on the internet in a heartbeat. Want five more? Come buy the boxed set.” This is not rocket science.

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Comments on “WB Not Happy About Successful Demonstration Of New Business Model”

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Chris Reuter (user link) says:

It's all about the suits

It makes a lot more sense if you realize that the people complaining about piracy are only concerned about their jobs.

Network execs live or die by their ability to “predict” which shows will be hits and which won’t. That means that the shows they pick need to do well most of the time but it also means that the shows they reject have to fail. Otherwise, they look bad.

If Global Frequency gets picked up and becomes a hit, that’s going to be pretty embarrassing to whoever decided to ditch it. I suspect that’s what the griping’s really about.

Permanent4 (profile) says:

Re: It's all about the suits

It makes even more sense when you realize that most of the people concerned about their jobs are making six- or seven-figure salaries. If the entertainment biz changes too much for them, they’ll have a really hard time making that much money and keeping up with the other millionaire Joneses living in their neighborhoods. Image is everything in Hollywood, after all…

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