Category Archives: Media Consumption

Draconian Downloading Law In Japan Goes Into Effect… Music Sales Drop!

The conventional wisdom from the dinosaurs of the film, TV and music business is that all they need to do is get laws changed in their favor to “stop piracy”.

In Japan they got their way with a new, draconian, law going into effect:

Except, the reality is that consumers are spending less on music than they were before the bill became law. The article actually posits that the government has made some people so fearful of being arrested that they won’t do any downloading from legitimate sources any more — just in case it’s tainted. So even if they can cut out piracy (doubtful) there’s little evidence to suggest much increase in commerce as a result.

When will they realize it’s a business model problem. I repeat that no peer reviewed (i.e. legitimate) study has ever proved any damage to any organization from unauthorized distribution. Those “studies” that the industry produce have been pretty thoroughly debunked. It’s time stop suing and start thinking of new business models that embrace the publicity value from “unauthorized” distribution.

Don’t believe the Hype: filmmaking is doing just fine.

While the MPAA lobby group keep bleating that filmmaking in some way is in trouble because they can’t see how they’ll make “$100 million movies” profitably, the industry is actually doing very well. In fact, there are those who believe that a return to making relevant films people care about is the future of filmmaking. (Movies that people care about, what a concept!)

On the weekend the New York Times published an article – Movies Try to Escape Cultural Irrelevance – that sums up the problem of focusing on the tentpole movie: other than 12-25 year old boys, they’re not particularly relevant:

Several industry groups, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, and the nonprofit American Film Institute, which supports cinema, are privately brainstorming about starting public campaigns to convince people that movies still matter.

It’s a long article and a very good read for those who believe that film is culturally relevant. Personally I’ve long been a fan of Television over Film and I think more culturally relevant Television is being made than film.

But the prospect that a film will embed itself into the cultural and historical consciousness of the American public in the way of “Gone With the Wind” or the “Godfather” series seems greatly diminished in an era when content is consumed in thinner slices, and the films that play broadly often lack depth.

As the awards season unfolds, the movies are still getting smaller. After six weeks in theaters “The Master,” a 70-millimeter character study much praised by critics, has been seen by about 1.9 million viewers. That is significantly smaller than the audience for a single hit episode of a cable show like “Mad Men” or “The Walking Dead.”

“Argo,” another Oscar contender, had about 7.6 million viewers through the weekend. If interest holds up, it may eventually match the one-night audience for an episode of “Glee.”

That must really hurt that your film in distribution can’t out view a cable TV show. But it’s not all bad news.Variety reports that  L.A. filming continues its rise and apparently a recent panel USC Law Program Captures Screenshot of a Tough Business complained that “too many films are being made” as if it was a bad thing. I suspect the problem is that movies are being made outside of the big six irrelevant studios by people who care about movies.

But, like the MPAA and “recorded discs”, if it’s not from an MPAA studio, then it really doesn’t matter. At least that seems to be the attitude of the entrenched dinosaurs of the industry. There are many more financially successful movies now than ever before because not everyone believes the only movies worth making have to cost $100 million or so.

Hollywood Still Resisting The Idea That Cheaper, Better Films Is The Way To Beat TV:

What did strike me as interesting, however, is that the article highlights a key point that many of us have been making. The industry really only has itself to blame for continuing to churn out expensive remakes and sequels, rather than investing in quality — the continued quest for “$100 million films” rather than figuring out how to make good movies for less money.

The entrenched players don’t seem to realize that disruption comes from outside. Never within. Those that do not realize this are doomed to be disrupted out of business.

The Inevitable Disruption of Television

Television as we know it is not going away any time soon, but it is going to be disrupted at some time: all industries are.

But even the largest industries enter periods of transformation — think of once-dominant railroads, wired phone lines, the postal service. The fact of the matter is that periodically, technologies or business model innovations allow start-ups to enter industries offering services that are generally cheaper and more accessible, but of far lower quality. Initially, these innovations are adopted only by the least demanding industry consumers or those who couldn’t afford to participate in existing markets (like the college students who use Reddit to find entertaining Youtube videos instead of paying for HBO). However, over time, these start-ups tend to invest in performance improvements in such a way that allows them to displace industry incumbents (the professionals who are cutting the proverbial cord in favor of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video). This is the essence of what we call “disruptive innovation.” It’s transformed a number of industries and is starting to do the same in the world of television.

Read how Maxwell Wessell cut the cord and transformed his Television viewing.

Web Original News Video Get Twice the Views as TV Clips

Web Original News Video Get Twice the Views as TV Clips

An interesting data point from Stokes Young, and Executive Producer at MSNBC:

Video news created exclusively for the Web gets about twice as many streams online as videos clips from broadcast programming, says Stokes Young, Executive Producer of in this interview with Beet.TV

Note how important transcripts have been to improving the findability of the clips.

More Movies Will Be Streamed Than Watched on Disc in 2012.

More Movies Will Be Streamed Than Watched On Disc In 2012 And that’s the legal viewings!

Legal online viewings of films will more than double to 3.4 billion this year from 1.4 billion in 2011, IHS said today in a statement. Physical viewings of DVDs and Blu-ray discs will shrink to 2.4 billion from 2.6 billion, according to the forecast.

Unlimited-streaming subscription plans, including those offered by Netflix Inc. (NFLX) and online retailer (AMZN)’s Prime service, accounted for 94 percent of all paid online movie consumption in the U.S. last year, Englewood, Colorado-based IHS said. Streamed movies have been replacing video discs, much as streamed music is overtaking compact audio discs.

Of course, that’s little solace if your client(s) still demand shiny discs!

Sweet sanity: 75% of Americans say infringement files should be under $100.

Sweet sanity: 75% of Americans say infringement fines should be under $100 Now to get the message to Politicians

Frankly, when you can legitimately pay $7.50 a month for access to millions of tracks, the current statutory fine – up to $150,000 per instance – are way out of balance.  There are far worse things you can do – criminal acts – that incur less of a penalty.

Actually, one third of the respondents thought there should be no fine for what 70% of people apparently are already doing: downloading content that isn’t licensed to them.