Studio Embracing P2P While Missing The Point
from the all-the-costs,-none-of-the-benefits dept
Scott writes in to let us know that Time Warner is apparently embracing P2P in parts of Europe, saying that the company is finally "changing" its business model. The actual details of the story show how little things have actually changed. In this case, it's mostly that Warner Brothers is using a tiny aspect of P2P as a publicity stunt. The rest of this is business as usual. They will allow downloads of movies and television shows. It sounds like it will be using a BitTorrent-like system that will share the bandwidth burden among people who already have the content. While the content won't have an expiration date, it will have copy protection that will require the content to "call home" to a central server. Warner Brothers will be releasing content for sale on this system at the same time as DVDs go on sale... but will charge the same amount as a DVD. So, basically, they're using P2P to lower their own costs. By going online, it saves them packaging costs. By going P2P it saves them in bandwidth costs. But, do they pass the savings on to customers? Hell no. Instead, they expect you to offer up your bandwidth to help them out. The only one getting any benefit here is the studio, which makes it seem unlikely that users will come rushing in.