Hollywood Continues Its Plan To Kill Netflix

from the jealousy-is-no-strategy-for-business-success dept

It’s really kind of amusing (and frustrating) to watch the entertainment industry look to kill every golden goose that comes its way. Any time a new offering is successful, the entertainment industry gets greedy and either tries to demand a much larger cut, more control… or it tries to kill off the offering because it has “too much power.” We saw it with the labels, when they turned on iTunes (though Apple’s been able to hold that together pretty strongly) and music video games. It’s part of what’s been driving the record labels to give Spotify such a hard time in signing a deal to bring the (rather successful in Europe) service to the US. And it’s not just the recording industry. We’ve noted that Hollywood has now decided that Netflix has been too successful for them, and it’s time to put the company in its proper place.

Thus, we’re starting to see Netflix partners push back and start to limit what Netflix can stream. First it was Showtime pulling back from streaming its content via Netflix, and now it’s Starz that’s pulling back in a big way. That’s pretty significant, because it was the original deal between Netflix and Starz that really jumpstarted Netflix’s ability in the streaming space. The big studios have been complaining about the Starz deal for years, and it’s not hard to see their hands in the company’s decision to scale back its relationship.

It really is amazing. Some new service comes along that drags these industries — often kicking and screaming — into the modern era, and then starts making them lots of money. And suddenly the industry turns on them (and fans and consumers) claiming that these services are simply too successful and need to be cut down to size. It’s really a case of the entertainment companies overvaluing the content over the service. They think that all the value is in the content, and if the services are making money and getting users, it’s because they’re somehow “exploiting” the content in unfair ways. On top of that, I really think there’s a psychological issue, where the entertainment industry bosses still think that if anyone else is making a lot of money, it’s “unfair” — even if they’re making plenty of money themselves.

Of course, these moves will backfire. It’ll just make people on Netflix watch less of these companies’ content… or seek it out from alternative sources that Hollywood probably likes even less.

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Companies: netflix, showtime, starz

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Comments on “Hollywood Continues Its Plan To Kill Netflix”

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98 Comments
Old Fool (profile) says:

Re: Please buy your own studio Netflix

I’m sorry, this is a little off topic, but it drive me crazy that Americans use the term ‘they could care less’ to show how little someone cares, but if you CAN (could) then you must care something in the first place, in order to care less.
The correct phrase is ‘they could NOT care less’ ie, its not possible to care any less than the do, because they don’t care at all.

Back on Topic, Netflix is not available in Europe. I was looking forward to it as I don’t own a TV, not sure if its worth the effort now.

Huph (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Please buy your own studio Netflix

I believe it only became an idiom through improper use. The correct phrase, “I couldn’t care less” is not idiomatic and makes perfect sense in any context. Even if translated to another language.

I suspect the true confusion comes from what I believe was the original phrase, “*AS IF* I could care less.” People just dropped the “as if” but as has been pointed out, that robs the phrase of its meaning.

And people who try to say they’re using the phrase ironically don’t understand *anything* about language.

Old Fool (profile) says:

Re: Please buy your own studio Netflix

I’m sorry, this is a little off topic, but it drive me crazy that Americans use the term ‘they could care less’ to show how little someone cares, but if you CAN (could) then you must care something in the first place, in order to care less.
The correct phrase is ‘they could NOT care less’ ie, its not possible to care any less than the do, because they don’t care at all.

Back on Topic, Netflix is not available in Europe. I was looking forward to it as I don’t own a TV, not sure if its worth the effort now.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Consequences?

…for now, not so much really.

The Netflix model already somewhat insulates a person from release dates. It’s very easy to become completely oblivious to new stuff as it comes out as you already have so much stuff in your online and mail queue.

This is the real problem that Hollywood faces. They have this huge back catalog of material. Consumers are flooded with choices. Prices are being driven down due to the glut. Even if you’re buying your stuff, it’s easy (and relatively cheap) to have more than enough stuff to suitably distract yourself with.

Jon Lawrence (profile) says:

Re: Re: Consequences?

Comment on the back catalog.

The Studios CANNOT RELEASE much of their back catalog due to the fact they don’t even know if their old rights deals allow them to release a lot of it digitally.

In particular, they are not sure that the music deals on old tv and films are cleared for digital releases, AND they are not willing to spend the legal $$$ (a lot) to find out. In many cases, the physical paper rights records simply don’t exist anymore. And if they can’t prove they have the rights, they can’t get E&O insurance coverage, and if they can’t get E&O on the digital releases, they simply won’t release it. It’s too big a liability for them.

I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of older back-catalog content until it falls into public domain, a very long time from now.

Anonymous Coward says:

Netflix and others just need to cut the studios out of the equation go direct to the producers and finance them.

That would be the end of those muppets. After all they don’t do anything other than promote and say who gets what.

Microsoft is already financing producers, Google may fallow suit, Yahoo is an unknown. Instead of dealing with studios that do nothing go direct to the source and offer better deals to the producers.

Also make a partnership with Google that is building the physical infra-structure because they already saw the writing on the wall, that is why they are buying and putting fiber on the ground and across the atlantic and the pacific.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Microsoft experimenting with content production.
http://community.watchtheguild.com/forum/topics/microsoft-orders-third-season

Netflix experimenting with content production.
http://netflix.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=361

Quote:

Netflix and Relativity Media Announce Groundbreaking Deal to Stream First Run, Studio Quality Theatrical Movies to Netflix Subscribers

Google submarine fiber cable plans.
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2008/02/googles-submari/
http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20000715-265.html

There is no dealing with those schmucks from the entertainment industry they are to greedy to be dealt with, go around them with a coalition of the willing LoL

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

ps: Apparently Microsoft doesn’t care how you do it they just give the money and the producers do what he wants at least in the case of The Guild also there is Red vs Blue that Microsoft have a deal with those guys so they produce that funny series and don’t get sued out of existence for using Halo IP.

Jon Lawrence (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

You mean this deal: http://www.deadline.com/2011/03/netflix-to-enter-original-programming-with-mega-deal-for-david-fincher-kevin-spacey-drama-series-house-of-cards/

Yep. And I have friends who are queuing up to pitch original content series to Netflix like there’s no tomorrow.

If producers can get better production financing deals, and less pain from a Netflix deal they’ll go there in a hurry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

And lets not forget the pioners in the field.

– VODO
– Flattr
– Bittorrent.
– Vuze(I don’t like this one but others do)
– Wreckamovie
– Archive.org

Tech companies should be talking with those people specially VODO and Wreckamovie.

Google does have a movie section on Youtube but is about talking with those middleman that don’t produce things they should be doing more to attract real talent.

When the tech industry gets enough leverage you will see the tone of the deals change in the meantime I will just seat back and enjoy the show.

The industry don’t want partners they want subjects but they neither have the expertise to be successful on the internet nor the money to make it happen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You’re still completely missing the point (emphasis my own):

Under the deal with independent studio Media Rights Capital, Netflix said “House of Cards”?a political drama to be executive produced by Mr. Fincher and star Kevin Spacey?will begin playing exclusively on Netflix’s Internet streaming service late next year.

So, you’re getting pissed that movie execs want to claim ownership over their own content, but praise Netflix when it creates is own virtual monopoly on an exclusive series?

Anonymous Coward says:

Hum…Netflix was making the studios a ton of money because people thought it was convenient, useful, cheap, etc, but, above all, it was legal and hassle-free. Therefore, a lot of people used the service.

By killing it, the studios will force people to resort to the next most convenient alternative: piracy.

If you think about it, it’s inevitable: how else are you going to get that kind (netflix) of convenience at that kind price?

CommonSense (profile) says:

Re: Re:

That’s exactly what I’ll do. I already cut my cable cord in favor of Netflix/Hulu. Maybe I shouldn’t have answered honestly on that Roku customer satisfaction survey when it asked if I had gotten it to cancel cable, because I told them that was exactly why. It has been great, and I’m saving a TON of money. Go ahead, make Netflix a little less useful. I won’t cancel that, it’s cheap enough to keep anyway. But what I will do, is buy the more expensive box, pirate the stuff that I really want to watch that isn’t available, and plug my external hard drive into the new box and watch from there, still on my TV.

Go ahead studios, if you really don’t want me to spend my money on your stuff, then I won’t. But that will not stop me from watching your stuff if I want to. I am trying to be reasonable, and you are not. I will not feel bad at all for not paying you.

charliebrown (profile) says:

I've given up on them myself

Seriously, first the networks screw over Hulu and now the studios are screwing over Netflix? Where’s the alternative? Will we have to subscribe separately to see content from Fox and Universal and Sony and Disney and Warner and Viacom? Maybe that’s the plan. Make us subscribe to a different service for each studio. That’ll work…. in their dreams.

We can bitch and moan all we like, though. They won’t listen. Why should they? They hold the rights to do whatever they wish and they reserve all rights. They reserve them in the vault until they corrode beyond use. So I give up. Won’t you join me in giving up? ๐Ÿ˜›

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I've given up on them myself

stop buying their stuff. i know it sounds easy and isn’t, but it is worth a try. hell even switching to netflix instead of buying DVD’s is a good place to start.

if we stop consuming they way they are demanding, they will have to listen.

so read a book, go for a hike, learn to paint. cut the chord, turn off the TV

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: I've given up on them myself

The trick here is that you don’t need to “deprive” yourself in order to cut the media moguls off. You can buy your own Disney favorites and put them in your OWN vault. After that, your need to interact with Disney (or any other arbitrary studio) is considerably lessened.

Stopped buying Disney material because I bought the back catalog already and their new stuff just isn’t as exciting as it used to be.

CarlWeathersForPres says:

Re: I've given up on them myself

Charlie,
I actually think that model would work if every content provider made an easy to use system that worked on most platforms for a relatively low price. Say every major content provider said you can get what we put out for $1/video and $3 for a year of TV content w/ commercials, $8 without commercials. Their books would probably look the same(maybe even better because it might drive some people who download illegally into the payed market because of ease of use), and people would be happy. If you told me I could get redbox prices from my house and not have to deal with Comcast cable prices I’d ask where I could sign.

jilocasin (profile) says:

Re: Re: Relative 'low' price isn't actually....

A problem I see with your proposal is that ‘RedBox’ level of pricing isn’t really reasonable. It’s the same problem with ‘Itunes’ level of pricing.

Sure $.99 a song ….sounds reasonable. Until you realize that people are carrying around players (that can cost less than $50) which are capable of holding 10,000 songs or more. To fill up that player at $.99 a song, you are looking at around $10,000. Suddenly that $.99 a song isn’t all that reasonable.

It’s the same thing with video/TV. $1/video $8/year for television content, sounds reasonable. If you watch a couple of ‘videos’ a day (and who decides what constitutes ‘a video’? A movie? An episode of a television program? A single music -video-?) You’re already talking $60/month.
$8/year for what? Everything by CBS & affiliates (not terribly likely)? Everything for a single television channel? Every episode for a single show?

Wow, in that world high priced digital cable television, complete with bi-annual increases, looks down right thrifty.

Right now you can watch as many movies or television shows as you like on up to six devices for less than $10 a month. That’s the price level that people expect. Low price, flat rate, and they get to pick what they watch and when.

It’s almost completely opposite of what the old guard wants. They don’t get to dictate how or when, and they don’t get anything per view (and especially not per viewer).

CarlWeathersForPres says:

Re: Re: Re: Relative 'low' price isn't actually....

In reality, how many people on netflix watch enough online content that $1 to rent a video would cost more than it currently does(and there would probably be unlimited plans anyway)? And a movie is completely different from music, most movies now can be digested in a single sitting, where as music is typically personal, and is a background to what you do.

If each provider(CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, TBS, etc) were subscription based over the internet(and didn’t go through Comcast) and consumers got to choose which channels they’d subscribe too instead of paying $1 for each channel of a massive bundle, you’d get more directed content(and probably directed advertising). I just don’t necessarily think that unlimited content models are really that sustainable and the only reason they were allowed to begin with is that they were viewed as revenue streams which they never would have got before.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I've given up on them myself

I don’t buy their blood products anyways. So torrents are not lost sales, if I cant torrent i’m not gonna buy it. Suck on that studios. I don’t care so strongly about movies anyways. If they all die and there are no more movies being produced(cept for indies) i’ll be happy.

jilocasin (profile) says:

Re: Short answer: Yes

The short answer to your inquiry is: Yes.

The longer answer is that they want you to pay them, both individually and collectively, every time you watch anything. Not only that, they would really love it if they could figure out how to charge you per person. (i.e. If 1 person is at the TV charge $x, if three people are sitting on the couch then charge $x + $x + $y).

Solution:
Change the laws to actually benefit the country and its citizens instead of greedy, increasingly obsolete businessmen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s getting a little better, but I don’t get why the imaginary line between the US and Canada should have an effect on what Netflix can stream to Canada.

Everything that is shown on Netflix in the US I am able to either watch on TV now if I subscribe to the right cable package, get at a video store, watch on demand via cable if I was dumb enough to pay them for their stupid box, or find elsewhere if all else fails.

FredB says:

Re: Re:

I have Netflix in Canada. It is weird what movies we have and don’t have. For example, I can watch Blade 1 and 3, but not Blade 2.

But it is so convenient, even versus pirating. I actually prefer to watch movies, even ones I’ve downloaded, on Netflix because:
– it remembers where you were watching,
– you can rate the movie and then it suggests other one,
– foreign movies are guaranteed to have subtitles.

So I’m a perfect example of a pirate who will pay for content, even though it is available free elsewhere, because of some added features. If they added things like movie extras and kept slowing adding more movies, I’d be hooked for life. But I’m worried they are just going to stagnate, and I’ll eventaully go back to downloading.

BigKeithO (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I had Canadian Netflix for a few months. We watched all of the old stuff that we wanted to catch up on, then ran out of programs. There isn’t anything new on the service (or at least there wasn’t at the time) so we cancelled the service.

When you cancel Netflix asks you to take a survey, they want to know where you will get your movie and TV shows from now, pirating is an option. I picked that hoping it would be shared with the industry exec’s, in truth I couldn’t even be bothered to waste the bandwidth downloading that crap.

I’ve just stopped consuming what Hollywood has to offer completely instead. THAT is a lost sale in my book.

me says:

At first I had a gut reaction of HA HA! but that’s just the part of me that’s still pissed about losing an 8 year gig at Blockbuster. Hollywood is losing it’s mind. No, wait. It’s long gone. None of this surprises me anymore. Despite my hate for Netflix, I’m not gonna lie and say that whats going on doesn’t suck. I’m just gonna get all the Neener Neener out of my system first.

jeff (profile) says:

HBO and Showtime are middlemen with old technology (cable). Netflix and Amazon are middlemen with new technology (streaming). As long as companies like HBO and Showtime continue to hold on to the cable only world, they will fail. Netflix is to HBO what HBO was to NBC. The future is Internet only. No cable. Plus Netflix has completely disrupted the price structure set by HBO and Showtime. They want over $20 a month for service thats only available on cable. Netflix wants $9 a month for streaming service. Netflix gives you access to way more movies. HBO and Showtime gives you access to more original shows. But now that Netflix is entering that game, HBO and Showtime are scared. HBO and Showtime need to decide whether they want to be a “channel” or a producer.

Jay says:

Re: Re:

I’m not so pessimistic as to say that the future is internet only, but you do have a few good points.

Some of the shows on HBO or Showtime I won’t ever be able to see (Rome) simply because I don’t have access. Also, there’s the entire PPV model that is affected with the free streaming that’s allowed.

So of course, the big boys are scared for Netflix. What if they offered streams? What if they get consumers to change their habits?

All that money on the table is affected because technology is making the world a lot more efficient through the net.

CommonSense (profile) says:

Re: Re:

When I got my new box that enabled me to cancel cable, I actually wrote emails to HBO and Showtime, because I loved their original shows. I practically begged them to do what Starz was doing, and allow their stuff on Netflix, and I even told them I would be HAPPY to pay more for that. I would have no problem paying $9 for Netflix, and additional money for my Netflix account to also give me access to their stuff. I will not over pay in the same way that I was with cable however. Never again.

John Doe says:

This is the crux of the matter

“On top of that, I really think there’s a psychological issue, where the entertainment industry bosses still think that if anyone else is making a lot of money, it’s “unfair” — even if they’re making plenty of money themselves.”

They know how unfair it is for themselves to make the kind of money they do and they don’t like when someone does it to them.

Phil Bowyer (user link) says:

I think Netflix should just bail on the major studios, and put those $millions into developing/supporting indie content.

There’s a lot of great stuff out there, but it needs financing to get traction.

Netflix has a great opportunity to change the landscape, put Indies on the map, and let the studios know they aren’t as smart as they think they are.

Anonymous Coward says:

Dear Hollywood:

The fact that online streaming scares you so much without a thought to the fact that if you take it away we can still rent the DVD for cheap, rip it then share it shows you are drooling halfwits who don’t know what end of your iPad is up.

Protip: We’re not going to get off your lawn. Stop waving your cane at us and learn to adapt or we’ll take over the house too.

If you leave me no choice for enjoying your content online legally I will find my own ways of doing so that cuts you out of the equation.

In short, either join the game and participate or lose and have your future defined by a world that changed without your consent.

Regards,

Someone ready to rip and p2p once you force me to.

Bizzaro Superman says:

Re: A bunch of TV Series are missing episodes lately..

Some series have been doing this for years. I never really understood the reasoning as you can still get the DVD from netflix and it not being available to stream doesn’t make you buy the DVD. All it does is make you wait and piss you off. I feel like this is probably a move enacted by the industry and not netflix but I do not know for sure.

TheGeek (profile) says:

Netflix reduces piracy!

Netflix does more to reduce piracy than any amount of silly lawsuits ever will. ($75 TRILLION lawsuit vs Limewire comes to mind) If you provide your content where its easily available (Netflix is on many different devices) and where its cheap, people will just watch Netflix because its easier and its legal.

My internet friends all say they watch Netflix for most of their content, and then anything they can’t get on Netflix they torrent! People don’t want to pirate, they are forced by high prices and limited access. People pirate because they want $60 for a Blu-ray of some movie, and it isn’t available in their country!

If content creators were serious about piracy, they would do one of two things:

1. Stop using Blu-ray and DVD (its been cracked, and BD rips on torrents are widespread). Invest billions for research for new DRM methods using some new disc technology. Force consumers to buy new players for big money, and only release new movies onto this format. After 4-6 months, this new DRM scheme will be hacked/cracked into oblivion. Invest billions into a new DRM scheme and start the process over again. IE If you are “serious” about fighting piracy, then invest in the technology to protect your content.

2. Put their content on Netflix or other streaming services. Or, if they are serious enough, start their own streaming service. Create an iPad app, Android app, and apps for smart TV’s and blu-ray players. IE compete directly with Netflix. I for one would be glad to pay per network. If a network had compelling shows that I want to watch, and had enough of them, I would gladly pay a monthly fee ala Netflix. Price your service too high, and it will fail. Don’t produce enough good quality content, it will fail. Let me pick and choose what I’m willing to pay for. IE Compete DIRECTLY with Netflix.

ts says:

HAH!

I just made the greatest movie EVER! But you can’t see it. And if you do see it, I will sue you. Want to complain about it? I’ll sue you for that, too.

I would be very curious to see a breakdown of several “businesses” to see how much revenue they generate on their own vs how much revenue they make from law suits. If they can make more money by restricting access and suing people that “steal” the content than they can by selling the content.. why wouldn’t they? Sadly, I’m sure that’s been a real discussion in several board rooms.

vastrightwing (profile) says:

Plastic media is dying

The outcome is not hard to predict:
1) Build a model that gets around the licensing problem of content distribution: setup a bank of DVD players and continue to rent plastic discs with holes in them connected with a long cable to each renter’s computer.
2) Netflix or some other production company will produce content with the intent of licensing the material for digital distribution.

People are easily distracted and are not married to Hollywood. It only requires someone to break the mold. I will not subscribe to a dozen different providers just to see 1 or 2 movies. I will simply do without. If you look on Google Video or YouTube, there’s tons of interesting stuff on there. The shift is already happening. The new generation is not interested in plastic media anymore. Plastic media is dying.

Tom Bosley says:

I agree with Showtime

Actually, I have to say I agree with Showtime, Starz, and HBO on this one. They are completely devaluing their product. I got a free trial of starz, and then realized a month in that everything that I liked that was on starz was also on netflix and I had no reason whatsoever to pay for starz. Do these companies need to adapt and move into the 21st century? Absolutely. Perhaps work with netflix instead to add a premium model onto their base package, but why would anyone in their right mind want to pay for Showtime, Starz, or HBO when I can get the exact same content on Netflix for a fraction of the price. Their value is in the high quality and exclusivity of the content. I can ONLY watch Boardwalk Empires, True Blood, etc etc on HBO. Netflix would do good to adopt it’s business model to allow premium channel add-ons IF it wants this content. Otherwise it’s going to have to live without.

Hiiragi Kagami (profile) says:

The only way this ends...

…is when people stop re-purchasing all 12 editions of Star Wars, as well as other movies.

See, this is the problem. Consumers don’t know what’s going on and yet, having just signed onto Netflix, I’m not greeted with a message reading “Dear customer, Despite our best efforts to bring you the best choices possible, our hands are being tied with ridiculous price gouging from monopolistic corporations, including Warner Bros., 20th Fox, Disney, and Universal, just to name a few. We believe our future is dying. They’ve killed off Blockbuster, while conveniently dismissing what was ‘owed’ to them. Now they’re after us. Just how long are you going to sit there and do nothing?”

I’ve a feeling I’ll be closing my Netflix account, and it’ll be because I won’t be supplying those idiotic companies my money anymore. It’ll suck for Netflix, but what other choice do I have?

Oh, right. That one, which is looking more lucrative every day.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: The only way this ends...

I’m not greeted with a message reading … …

Excellent point. It seems lately like once a week I meet someone who has switched to Netflix, and usually they have a few complaints about stuff that’s missing, and they (explicitly or implicitly) blame Netflix for that. I’ve unintentionally become their public defender, encouraging users to point their ire in the right direction…

Anonymous Coward says:

Netflix is getting its own original content, so is this a sign that they are shifting to business model similar to HBO and Showtime, only online? What if they decide to offer original content not viewable anywhere else and roll new movies in and out on a monthly basis much like the premiums do?

IMO, the studios would be more open to an arrangement like that.

If not, Netflix could fail to renew any of its contracts with the studios and implement Zediva’s strategy, assuming Zediva doesn’t get sued to kingdom come first. Heck, they’d already have the DVD framework and any litigation over the matter will be fronted by Zediva beforehand.

Cliff (profile) says:

Netflix

I agree with the conclusion that fans of online streaming will simply find a way around the restriction. Netflix has so much content and most queues are so large, an extra couple of weeks will make little difference (especially at $9/month). Just as the RIAA learned the hard way that it couldn’t control music downloading, the MPAA and the studios will hopefully soon come to their senses. Book publishers should also take note as they begin their doomed backlash against eBooks.

trilobug says:

Not Paying for Movie Channels Anymore

That’s funny I canceled my Showtime/Starz package earlier this week, to see how practical it would be to go without it, then bam this happens. It is very upsetting. Now I won’t go back even if I wanted out of protest.

I imagine this is because of Camelot (I applauded how they did Spartacus) and was looking forward to more programming being handled that way. Oh well, I guess there’s still Starz play if I want to avoid the 90 days, albeit it is live and not on demand. I never really watched Showtime’s programming so that won’t be missed.

Anonymous Coward says:

If I can’t get the shows I want via Hulu or Netflix then I’ll simply pirate them until somehow they are available in a pricepoint bracket I consider warranted. I had never considered buying the full series of Buffy but Amazon recently offered it up for only $60 so I bought it. That was a 65% discount and that seemed appropriate.

HrilL says:

Netflix cut down on piracy and now they want to kill it?

Honestly these studios are completely retarded. I know many people that used to pirate movies all the time. Once Netflix offered streaming the amount they pirated went down a lot. Simply put Netflix is a great service for a reasonable price. If they lose more movies people are just going to go back to pirating and thus the studios will get nothing again.

Brian says:

delay, who cares...

I find it funny that believing a delay in the release of a program/movie is going to hurt anyone… Hasn’t TIVO taught these asses anything? Lots of people don’t watch the show/movie when it airs anyway, it may take me days, weeks or sometimes months to get around to watching it anyway.

Also, Netflix, Hulu and so on are added revenue sources for these greedy asses anyway. People who don’t want to pay that big surcharge each month for a small amount of value(maybe if they could do some sort of al a cart type deal) would probably jump on the idea of using the above services. I can tell you that I pay less in a year using Netflix than I do using cable/satellite in a month.

Ed C says:

I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that the media industry is run by a bunch of overpaid half-wits. If any of them had any actual intelligence, they would have either seen where the market was headed a long time ago and changed course, or left for a company that even has a clue about the market at all. I’m sure that some would argue that they are not stupid, just greedy. However, if that where truly the case, they would look for every opportunity to create revenue. Instead, these guys are trying to play godfather by taking every source they don’t already own and plant them in cement overshoes!

And that’s the problem: they believe that they control the market, and that the ultimate path to profits is control. In reality, they never have, and never will control the market. The media execs can try to contort the market with all of the laws and enforcement that they can broker, beg and bribe, but done of that can save them from becoming irrelevant. They have the money and resources to remain relevant, but they instead choose to focus single-mindedly on control, at the expense of everything else. Like I said, the media industry is run by a bunch of overpaid half-wits.

DearMrMiller (profile) says:

Here's a novel idea.

(fantasy)

Studios band together, create a consortium of sorts. All studios pays a certain amount into a pot for a separate licensing body to work out rights for all films ‘owned’ by studios. In addition they start a joint web division which would create a service to distribute these films.

All rights managed and cleared films are fed to said web division for online distribution. So when someone say’s, “What do you mean you haven’t seen [insert movie here]?”, you can instantly go to the website and start watching.

Income could be advertising or an all-you-can-eat model or a combination with some freebies thrown in. You watch a film by X studio, X studio gets paid. You watch one for Y studio, Y studio gets paid.

Furthermore, and this is the fun part as the studios now have this playground where they can try things out. But what I’d like to see is worldwide release of a film in theatres and on this service at the exact same time. Want to watch a film that would’ve traditionally gone to the US Theatres > UK Theatres > Airplanes > DVD > netflix.. etc. Sure you might pay a hefty premium, but you could organise a party of friends take a few bucks off ’em and watch at home.

If the film sucked, but the marketing was good, you would get lots of rubes watching a crap film at the same time, maximising your potential income before word got out. Having all these films at your fingertips you might see all of the sudden a heap of folks watching John Hughes films due to some social network buzz… old films could go viral with millions of new viewers opening up entirely new and un-thought of revenue streams due to sudden popularity. Simply because you’re reducing obstacles to consumption.

Think about it, all that content. All those shows and films they could be making even greater amounts of money from but instead they continue create barriers…

(/fantasy)

Now, when someone says, “Have you seen [insert film here]?”, a large percentage of those folks go instantly to a torrent site and start downloading.

CEL says:

Netflix doesn't pay enough money for filmmakers to make $ back.

First, examine who is Hollywood really? You seem to think “they” are just greedy power players. What about the majority of content that isn’t made by big studios but by indie filmmakers? But, if by “Hollywood” you mean studios and networks, they are just trying to make back their money and pay salaries. They don’t have tons of extra money these days, and are not greedy, they’ve had major layoffs and had to destroy their indie film branches due to the economy. But most of the real “Hollywood”is independent filmmakers who work without any pay for years developing and writing movies, many of which never get made, then when one does, they go out on their own and raise money from investors, family, friends etc and make a film. When they distribute these stories that they made by their will power, expertise, and lots of love, they need to make their money back and many MANY of them do not due to terribly low Netflix streaming deals and the domination of big superhero tentpole movies. Without DVD sales to recoup expenses, many indies never make a profit. Many films even distributed by Studios are Aquired after some independant artist toiled to make it on their own and the general public just assumes that because a studio’s logo is on it, that the studio created the movie from the begining, which they did not. They only bought it after it was shot and edited, and maybe even screened at festivals. These independant filmmakers deserve some compensation, but to my understanding, Netflix offers FLAT DEALS (no residuals and no extra money for extra views). This is not a fair deal. If their content attracts more viewers/ happy customers, they deserve a bigger cut! So before you attack “Hollywood” (which is a figment of your imagination as Hollywood is made of hundreds of thousands of people, businesses, studios, mom and pop shops, independent artists and etc)., please understand that itunes and netflix need to make deals that artists and creative professionals can make a living with.

CEL says:

Netflix doesn't pay enough money for filmmakers to make $ back.

First, examine who is Hollywood really? You seem to think “they” are just greedy power players. What about the majority of content that isn’t made by big studios but by indie filmmakers? But, if by “Hollywood” you mean studios and networks, they are just trying to make back their money and pay salaries. They don’t have tons of extra money these days, and are not greedy, they’ve had major layoffs and had to destroy their indie film branches due to the economy. But most of the real “Hollywood”is independent filmmakers who work without any pay for years developing and writing movies, many of which never get made, then when one does, they go out on their own and raise money from investors, family, friends etc and make a film. When they distribute these stories that they made by their will power, expertise, and lots of love, they need to make their money back and many MANY of them do not due to terribly low Netflix streaming deals and the domination of big superhero tentpole movies. Without DVD sales to recoup expenses, many indies never make a profit. Many films even distributed by Studios are Aquired after some independant artist toiled to make it on their own and the general public just assumes that because a studio’s logo is on it, that the studio created the movie from the begining, which they did not. They only bought it after it was shot and edited, and maybe even screened at festivals. These independant filmmakers deserve some compensation, but to my understanding, Netflix offers FLAT DEALS (no residuals and no extra money for extra views). This is not a fair deal. If their content attracts more viewers/ happy customers, they deserve a bigger cut! So before you attack “Hollywood” (which is a figment of your imagination as Hollywood is made of hundreds of thousands of people, businesses, studios, mom and pop shops, independent artists and etc)., please understand that itunes and netflix need to make deals that artists and creative professionals can make a living with.

Evil Consumer says:

Donate money to the filmmakers or grant them no-interest loans if you don't think it's fair.

The fair deal occurs if content is offered to us and we feel the price is fair for us to purchase it as we manage our own money, making our livings. If we feel it is unfair to us, we will not purchase it. If Netflix forms deals, flat or otherwise, which enable them to offer content that we deem affordable to pay for, then congratulations to Netflix. Perfectly fair. If Netflix makes deals with companies and indie producers which cause higher prices on the content they offer, then consumers can leave Netflix. And if leaving Netflix, consumers should definitely seek the content elsewhere if they want the entertainment. They can seek it through another service, which by virtue of its business model, or of the deals they’ve brokered, meets the price level the consumer wants. That is fair regardless of whether it is equitable to filmmakers or not. As they supply their content they are free to manage price levels and product quality to meet demand, but are responsible themselves if demand evaporates. And you are free to donate money to indies if you wish, or travel to attend multiple viewings of their releases. Netflix and itunes most certainly do not need to make deals that arists and creative professionals can make a living with. They will make a living if their offerings make it through the chain of distribution, are acquired by the certain quantities of consumers who choose to pay prices beneficial to the consumers, and in quantity to turn profits. Fair!

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