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If the Hollywood studios had a brain..............

416 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Cjplay
They make movies for only one reason - to make money.

The movie theaters and the video rental stores take a good portion of the money associated with giving the consumer the opportunity to see the movie. For every dollar that they keep that is one less dollar that the studios get.

The following method would give the studios 99% of the revenues, would likely double or triple the total revenues for each film and would likely eliminate most if not all piracy. I believe that it is also a system that we the consumer would welcome with open arms.

It only cost pennies to make a DVD. When HD-DVDs become a reality that will not change. Picture a system whereby Hollywood sends HD-DVDs to supermarkets for distribution on the day that a new movie is released to the theaters. To minimize the costs of production, the HD-DVDs are in shrink wrapped plastic (a more expensive version with art work and jewel box could also be available). The supermarket buys the HD-DVDs from the studios at cost (pennies).

The supermarket resales the HD-DVDs for a dollar or uses specific DVDs (new releases) as a lost leader or promotion to bring customers to the store (anyone buying $20, $50, etc of merchandise gets a free copy of Spiderman).

I hate to use the word DIVX because many of you including myself still have a bad taste for that experience, but the fact of the matter is the stupid attorneys that put it together just were not businessmen. The HD-DVD players would be a DIVX type, ie they must be connected to the telephone line of the registered user (same system as Directv).

The consumer pays the following for viewing the movie:

1) Pick a number- $10 - $20 - $30? for each viewing of the movie while it is still in the movie theaters.

2) When the movie is no longer at the theater, the consumer only pays - pick another number - say $2.99 (same as rental) for each viewing.

3) When the registered player has a total of - pick a third number - say $12 worth of viewing a specific movie (after it is no longer in the theater) on a specific registered player, there is no longer any charge for viewing a movie on that registered player (the consumer then owns the movie).

4) When the consumer buys a new player, the statistics of the old player is applied to the new one.

Its a real simple concept. The movie studios get virtually all the revenues instead of the theaters or rental stores getting a lot. The consumer can watch first run movies at home for a premium. Alternatively the consumer does not have to pay $15 - $20 for a DVD that is only watched once but only a rental price for each viewing up to a number of viewing's that would equate to an amount that is less than what we currently have to pay to purchase a DVD today.

When a movie is not getting the audience that the studio wants, the studio could advertise discounts for each playing.

If this system where in place, it would take the money out of pirated copies. Why would anyone buy a second grade copy when for the same price or less, you could get a HD-DVD copy?

The studios would not even care if you lent your DVD to a friend, since the friend would only be able to watch the movie on a registered player connected to his own phone line.

In my mind it is the best of all worlds: the movie studios eliminate all the middlemen and keep all of the revenues as well as recovering all of their cost for distribution; the consumer watches HD movies at home for less money than it is costing them now and can have a movie library that is second to none. The only people that lose are the movie theaters (which are already on their last legs), rental stores who do not pay the studios for DVD royalties and the pirates.

Just my 2 cents.

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Somehow the DVDs still have to be distributed to the consumer. Tell me just why Wallmart and supermarkets would want to do this? A DVD with distribution costs will cost them a buck AT MINIMUM. My guess is that they wouldn't use their valuable floor space unless they got at least $5 for it.

Your scheme is the studios fondest dream. They would like even broadcast TV to be on a PPV basis if possible.

You assume the administration of this scheme would be trivial. I worked on a similar idea for Zenith in the early 70's. The technology simply wasn't available back then details were horrible. Just keeping track of PPV movies today stretches existing systems, even for those with phone connections. And DirecTV frequently waives the phone connection requiremens.

Would this make any sense when the technology and security measures are available to simply download the programs we want either to hard disk or to burn a haard DVD on our system.

How many people would go to Walmart or their local supermarket to get a Spiderman DVD if it were available today. Stores are constantly looking for ways to increase their traffic.

The concept is identical to DIVX except it also makes sense from the consumers point of view. Directv only waives phone connection requirements if the customer does not want PPV.

The studios could contract with a Directv or local phone company to bill on their behalf. The players could have a married smart card that stores DVD play information which when directed could remarry to another player.

If a person only has to pay $2.99 to view a DVD (and maybe $1 to buy the DVD if the store does not offer a promotion) who would go through the trouble to burn a DVD or download from a computer when it is that cheap?

The studio's could also offer the encrypted digital file to be downloaded from their site onto your computer which you would then have to burn onto a DVD for playing.

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Yes, it is stupid attorneys who don't know anything about business that ruined DiVX... Get real. Many ideas are great on paper, but the masses don't want them. Sometimes, because the idea turns them off, sometimes because not that many people want the next latest and greatest, and sometimes because they just don't understand why it is so great (like TiVo).

I am satisfied with the priced to own approach that the studios currently use. Also, it will cost more than a few pennies to make a high def DVD. Even if it was free, the packaging and delivery adds up very quickly.
I would never buy a product like that. The idea of having to pay to view a product after I've already purchased it is a no-go. Even when I rent a movie from Blockbuster, I can watch it as many times as I want during my rental period. Forget it.
I've worked with various technology marketing types on various occasions and there is a serious shortcoming they seem to be susceptible to. Many times they like an idea because it seems very attractive to themselves so they become convinced it will also be very attractive to the buyers.

In this son-of-divx case the idea would be maybe attractive to the movie studios if they hadn't already been burned by it. They would like the idea of keeping control of the content even after it has been shipped. But they still don't seem to realize that the same control they keep is the control the consumer gives up. And if the consumer has to ask for permission to use something then the consumer will not feel they own it and will thus not consider it as valuable.

It is the same sort of fallacy that is currently causing the MPEG-LA MPEG4 lawyers to shoot themselves in the foot with the usage fees that may hold up HD-DVD rollout.

- Tom
Instead of Ronald's WalMart/DIVX idea why not have the major studios band together and launch the equivalent of a DirecTV bird which would be dedicated to satellite-to-home delivery of first run films in HD format? I envision a blue-ray based combo PVR/HD-DVD recorder/HD receiver STB which would give the end user the option of a one time PVR style viewing of the requested film for maybe $7-$8 OR (if the consumer wants a permanent archive of the film ) a $20-$25 charge for burning the captured film to an HD-DVD disk. The one DIVX idea I would hold on to would be to require that the burned disk only be playable in the consumer's STB in order to prevent piracy.

I don't consider this proposal as being an eventual replacement for viewing films in the theater, as I doubt ANY technology will ever replace the social aspects associated with going out to a theater. However this could be a very nice way for Hollywood to capture more revenue per film and it likely would spur greater sales of HD monitors.
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Studios = the scarecrow...if only they had a brain

Lawyers = the tin man...if only they had a heart

Writers/Directors = the cowardly lion......if they only had courage
Here's the brain, folks - VOD. No materials distributed, incorporated into your own cable settop box, and with indefinite number of hours available at some point. It's like the Internet for TV. I love my setup. I also get free content (FoodTV, Cartoon Network, etc.). I watch it when and how I want. Downside - limited bandwidth. My cable company has about 4 mbits per user. This would be enough if Windows 9, Real 9, DivX, or a developed MPEG-4 spec actually pulls off a usable HD 24P scheme. Satellite-based PVRs will suck because of the limited storage, non-realtime distribution, and tiny server backchannel.
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