The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for September 1st, 2010

Piracy Is Promotion, Says CEO of Porn Multinational http://bit.ly/aAqEFN

Not your usual CEO approach to piracy but one that is consistent with his conclusion:

Milton believes that entertainment companies should look beyond piracy, and explore alternatives business models as the battle against piracy is one that can’t be won.

“I think it’s a lost battle,” Milton said, adding: “I look at my own kids, because that’s the best way to know where the market is going. It doesn’t matter if I tell them that it is illegal to download. As soon as they close the door to their room, they download.”

“They are not afraid of someone who’s tracking their IP-address. They just don’t care, Milton said. “It’s a new world and we have to accept it.”

So instead of following the RIAA and MPAA down useless fan-tagonistic approaches he suggests:

In the video Milton says that his company will focus more on selling the ‘private lifestyle’ which includes luxurious vacations with an adult theme, and toys and tools that may come in handy while reenacting pirated videos.

With slow progress on human cloning and the 3D-printer, Milton’s bet on selling the sex ‘experience’ rather than videos seems to be a safe one for now.

Rather Than A Record Label, How About A Musical Affinity Group? http://bit.ly/bKibhF

If the Record Labels have a future maybe it needs to be a different future?

I was reminded of this a bit, two years ago, when Topspin’s CEO, Ian Rogers, penned an open letter to Guy Hands, the head of (struggling) EMI, suggesting that rather than think of itself as a “record label” focused on promotion and distribution (two things that are easier and cheaper than ever before), it could instead focus on being the smart filter for music listeners today, struggling to find the music they love amidst so much musical abundance in the world. The suggestion was to take some of the key, iconic, bands under the EMI roof, and put them under affinity-based “mini-labels” with other less well known bands, that would appeal to people who liked the more well known band. It seemed like a great idea, which, of course, EMI has not done.

Then again, isn’t Apple’s new Ping in iTunes heading in that direction, but with a more social component that doesn’t really require the record labels?

I probably have mentioned that we’re working on a documentary about Bob Muravez/Floyd Lippencotte Jnr in part because we wanted demo footage we “owned” (so we could make tutorials available down the line) but also because I wanted to try it in action on a practical job.

I start work in prEdit shortly – nearly started today, so it looks like Friday now – but already we discovered some ideas that have now been implemented in the 1.1. release.

Along the way I’ve learnt a lot about how well (or not) Adobe’s Speech Analysis works. (Short answer: it can be very, very good, or it can be pretty disappointing.) As prEdit is really designed to be used with transcriptions I also tested the Adobe Story > OnLocation > Premiere method, which always worked.

Well, from that workflow it became obvious that speakers (Interviewer, Subject) were correctly identified so wouldn’t it be nice if prEdit automatically subclipped on speaker changes. And now it does.

If multiple speakers have been identified in a text transcript, prEdit will create a new subclip on import at each change of speaker

It also became obvious as I was planning my workflow that we needed a way to add new material to an existing prEdit project, and to be able to access the work from historic projects to add to a new one.

New Copy Clips… button so you can copy clips from one prEdit project to another open project

Now that I’m dealing with longer interviews than when we tested, I needed search in the Transcript view.

Search popup menu added to Transcript View.

That led to one problem: adding metadata to multiple subclips at a time. Previously I’d advocated adding common metadata to the clip before subclipping in prEdit (by simply adding returns to the transcript) but if it comes in already split into speakers, that wasn’t going to work!

Logging Information and Comments can be added for multiple selected subclips if the field doesn’t already have an entry for any of the selected subclips

Because you never, ever want to run the risk of over-writing work ready done.

And some nice enhancements:

Faster creation of thumbnails

Bugfix for Good checkbox in Story View

prEdit 1.1 is now available. Check for updates from within the App itself. And if you work in documentary, you should have checked it out already.

Does Steven Levitan Also Want A Cut Every Time You Buy A TV? http://bit.ly/cpJzpK

Ahead of a Hulu IPO Steven Levitan – a well respected and talented writer/producer – claimed that he and other content creators should get a cut of Hulu’s IPO. Funny I didn’t realize he got a cut of ABC’s profits when he provides them with content. Oh right, he doesn’t, but he’s effectively looking for the same thing.

What I found interesting though is this part of the article:

The more he argues, the deeper a hole Levitan seems to dig in his reasoning. He complains that if we don’t figure out a way to make his shows profitable, the only thing left to watch will be “sneezing pandas.” This is a version of the movie industry’s “$200 million myth.” It’s the “well, it costs me $x to make this, so if we can’t make that back, no one else could possibly make quality content for less.” It’s incredibly elitist and wrong. Not only is there good content made for less money out there (beyond the sneezing pandas), but if there’s really demand for his shows (and there appears to be), then there are smart business models you can pursue that don’t involve pissing off your fans or demanding an equity pay out from a company you didn’t actually invest in.

The emphasis is mine.

Apple’s new Apple TV and 99c TV show rentals are definitely a step in the right direction but the cost is ridiculous.

Peak, premium, the best there is, content on major networks gets between 25 and 65c per viewer per show in revenue. That’s the top, highest end. So yes, the top of the top could conceivably rent for 99c, but the lesser shows? No way I’m spending 99c to watch a Daily Show (10 to 25c tops).

Last October I did a detailed tracking of what we watched and priced it out in the Apple store of the day. We watched that month an average of an hour and a half a day and the “best price” (taking advantage of Season Pass discounts) was $112.55. With rentals that would drop to $85.14.

Now, Dish (or Cable or whatever) 100 channel plan is around $65 a month, but I can watch up to 640 hours in that month (or record it for time shifted viewing). That’s about 10c an hour, not $1 per show. Of course, no-one can watch or record 640 hours in a month. The American Average is 135 hours a month of viewing (depending on who you ask, this is the conservative, lower end) or around 43c per hour, not per show.

An HBO subscription, with 32 hours of original programming a month equates to about 31c per hour, not show.

Part of what I find egregious about Apple’s new pricing is that it’s 99c for a 22 minute show, 99c for a 44 minute show or 99c for an extended episode. No allowance for the fact that some shows are worth more than others.

I’d cheerfully pay 10c per Daily Show. If I did and Apple took their 35%, that’s roughly 6.5c per show per viewer by 2 million viewers or $130,000 revenue per episode against approximately $35,000 per episode in cost. That’s an improved deal for the Daily Show producers and a fair deal for viewers.  The absolute maximum I’d pay for a Daily Show is 25c and at that I think it’s a rip off.

Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, Burn Notice et al. I’d be happy to pay 50-65c but not 99c. Even at that these shows would be better off with this revenue model.

So, nice try Apple but until watching 4-5 hours a day, every day for a month has to be under $60 a month in total for it to be considered a cable replacement. Of course, this may not be Apple’s doing at all. It’s much more likely that the content owners have some ridiculously outsize estimate of the “value” of their content.

Apple live stream – http streaming – can go full screen.

 

September 2010
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