Yet Another (Yes Another!) Study Suggests Hollywood's Problem Is Dumb Release Windows That Cost It Money
from the damn-the-facts,-it's-piracy-piracy-piracy dept
It really was just two months ago that we pointed to yet another study saying that the problem that Hollywood was facing with infringement was almost entirely its own fault for creating stupid “release windows” that make it harder for consumers to view what they want, when they want it. It’s that point alone that is driving significant amounts of infringement. It doesn’t add much new, but a new report suggests that if the studios got rid of the windows, they would actually make more money. In aggregate, people would end up spending more money on movies. Of course, we’ve made this argument for years.
To be fair, a big part of the reason this doesn’t happen is because of the theaters themselves. Any time the studios seek to take away the box office window by releasing something elsewhere earlier or at the same time, the theaters throw a complete hissy fit — effectively admitting that they’re so bad at the service they provide, that they can’t compete with home theaters. Of course, it’s not all the theaters’ fault. As we’ve seen with studios like Warner Bros., they’re so obsessed with the ability to price differentiate through windows, that they keep seeking to add new windows, which only serve to drive more consumers to infringe.
Honestly, I’m at a loss as to why Hollywood can’t do the math here, in terms of how much they’d gain from doing day-and-date release for everything (even if it meant fighting the theaters). It seems like a clear win, with multiple studies supporting that, including this new one. They seem to think the only way to price differentiate is through windows — but, as lots of others have discovered, you can launch a variety of differentiated offerings at the same time and offer them at different prices, and the market self-segregates. Sooner or later, someone at a movie studio is going to figure this out, and make that studio a lot of money.