Does Anyone Who Develops New Products In Hollywood Ask 'Would I Ever Actually Use This?'
from the you-do-what-to-do-what-now? dept
For all the lip service the MPAA has been paying to the claim that it loves tech innovations and wants to work with the tech industry to build cool things, why is it that every new “innovation” the industry comes up with only seems to make life complicated for people in ways that make no sense at all? For example, we recently talked about Warner Bros. ridiculous disc-to-digital offering in which people who want a digital version of movies they have on DVD can drive to a store where someone will rip the movie for them. In a world where the ability to rip your DVDs in the comfort of your own home is commonplace, that makes no sense at all.
I think we can add to this “huh?” discussion: the new effort from Fox, in which the studio will be putting up giant murals in malls to try to make it “easier” for you to buy DVDs. Here’s how it works according to Deadline.com:
As part of an exclusive one-year partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, the malls will have a wall with cover art and QR codes for many the studio’s home videos. People who want to buy the movie or TV show can download a smartphone app called Fox Movie Mall, available for both iPhones and Android devices. It will enable them to scan an image and go directly to a Web site to complete the purchase for a DVD or Blu-ray disc shipped free to their home.
So, yeah. You go to a mall (physical) and download a special app (digital) which you then use to scan a silly QR code (digital) to be sent to a website (digital) to order a DVD (physical) to be shipped to your home (physical). There are a bunch of ridiculous extra steps here and I can’t figure out how any of this makes sense. If you have people in a mall already and you’re trying to get people to buy physical product, why not just let them scan and pick up the physical product? If you’re focusing on the digital components, why require a specialized app that no one’s going to want to download, and then not offer a digital version of the film?
Fox execs claim that they expect this new effort “to reach as many 60 million people over the next four months with the mall wallscapes.” I guess that depends on your interpretation of “reach.” If you mean 60 million people may walk by and ignore these murals, perhaps that’s true. Though that suggests Fox must be spending a ridiculous amount of money to get these murals pretty much everywhere. If you mean that 60 million people will actually pay any attention at all to this convoluted system to buy an obsolete product fewer and fewer people actually want, well, then someone’s done a miscalculation somewhere.
Seriously: how hard is it for folks in Hollywood to ask this simple question: “Would I ever use this product that I’m developing?” If the answer is “not in a million years” perhaps it’s time to move on to building products that consumers actually want.