NY Times Buys Bogus Movie Industry Complaints About Piracy
from the let's-get-real... dept
How he has any credibility on these issues is beyond me.
But, the NY Times reports, without a hint of skepticism, about the fact that The Dark Knight was so widely available online, representing a huge failure for the industry. You know which important part the reporters left out? That it was also the highest earning movie of the year. In other words, piracy is not the problem. People are plenty willing to pay to go to the movie theater if you give them a good reason to do so. In fact, The Dark Knight did a good job of that, offering special IMAX showings that you absolutely couldn't recreate on your computer screen or big screen TV.
Did the NY Times point this out? Nope, it said that the downloads were "a visible symbol of Hollywood's helplessness against the growing problem of online video piracy." No. That's not true at all. It was actually a visible symbol of the fact that the existence of free downloads is not the problem so long as the industry actually makes an effort to give people a good reason to pay.
Then, the reporters note that "each episode of "Heroes," a series on NBC, is downloaded five million times, representing a substantial loss for the network." Substantial loss? Really? Can they actually back up that statement? The people who are watching this show are fans of the show who want to consume the product from NBC. Downloading the show is a way for them to stay engaged -- making them more likely to later watch the show on TV (with commercials) or on sites like Hulu. It makes them more likely to go out and buy a DVD later. Or to engage in any of probably 1000 business models that could create compelling tie-ins with the show. Those business models aren't difficult to come up with, and we'd be more than willing to help, if NBC Universal just gives us a call. Nor does the NY Times mention that one of the big reasons why Heroes is downloaded so frequently is because NBC's braindead decision to not let Hulu be watched outside the US. Only an entertainment industry lawyer could think that having more people want to watch your show represents a "loss."
It's an opportunity.
It's really sad that the entertainment industry keeps trusting execs who view such opportunities as threats, and that the media takes their word for it.