Online Movie Distribution Should Be Widespread, Not Focused On Specific Sites

from the spread-the-wealth dept

There’s a lot of buzz over the fact that MGM has apparently worked out an agreement to put some complete movies and TV shows on YouTube, in an attempt for both YouTube and MGM to build alternatives to things like Hulu. The content selections look pretty weak so far, as if MGM decided to test this program out with its least desirable content (which hardly seems like a fair test). Either way, the point seems a bit silly. Working out specific deals with specific sites misses the point.

You don’t see movie studios today looking to do exclusive deals with one chain of movie theater to distribute their movies. No, the idea is to get the movie seen in as many places as possible to make it as convenient as possible for whoever to watch it. The same should be true of studios who realize that they want their movies available for free online. They shouldn’t just focus on doing a deal with one site, like YouTube, but in setting up the parameters where any site can distribute the movie for them. Otherwise, you end up with a patchwork of different deals, and different sites, and no one really knows where to go to get anything. Why not just set up the parameters, and let any qualifying site serve up the content instead?

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Companies: mgm, youtube

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Comments on “Online Movie Distribution Should Be Widespread, Not Focused On Specific Sites”

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Twinrova says:

Just a note

You don’t see movie studios today looking to do exclusive deals with one chain of movie theater to distribute their movies.
Well, this isn’t entirely accurate. I’m not sure for the reason behind it (maybe other theaters didn’t want to pay for early release), but there have been a few times where a movie was screened early at a specific theater.

It’s rare to see, but this may be due to me not paying as much attention as before.

At any rate, this is another prime example of Golden Stupidity by yet another CEO.

I’ve yet to download/watch a movie through my computer. I really don’t see any incentive to do so. But I’ve also not bought/rent a movie in a long time, either.

My contribution to tell the movie industry: “Kiss my ass, jerks!”

Sorry for the language, but it’s how I feel. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Poor Analogy

Your analogy comparing online distribution to physical distribution is poor. Even if the studios sign an exclusive deal with youtube and no other site, the material can still be conveniently accessed. Signing an exclusive deal with a cinema chain has a real, physical impact on the consumer that the online experience doesn’t.

You make a reasonable point about fragmented deals, however realistically you would find that the studios would strike deals with a very few very well-known sites, meaning the consumer would find it easy to find content.

I think the issue here is more about monopolisation of the distribution channel than about consumer convenience. The former is more in the interests of the studios while the latter isn’t really an issue (at least, with regards to accessibility of content). The benefit to the studios I can see of making it easy for other sites to distribute the content as you suggest would more likely be in promotions.

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