I’ve been mulling the announcement of Apple Movie Rentals for my Apple TV. Macs and iPod the last few days. This morning, via Twitter, John Blyberg points to a piece by Seth Godin:
No, I don’t think Free is always the answer, but I do think the studios are about to make a mistake of RIAA proportions. I’d charge fifty cents for an online rental. It would immediately hammer the rental stores (which is fine with Hollywood) and DVD replicators (also fine with Hollywood) but would instantly teach people a new habit. Then, once the new habit is set and you’ve earned permission, sure, charge more for new movies and for blockbusters. 300 million movie theatres, all selling tickets every single night–you don’t need to charge $10 a seat when you have access to everyone.
Much to ponder. Because I started in libraries in the AV department, I am always keenly aware how the models for delivery of entertainment and educational content are changing. While you might be mulling over Blu-Ray or HD DVD for your AV area, the big change is on the horizon: HD/digital content delivered right to your TV or device. Of course, there are a few hurdles to overcome and very present digital divide will make this a interesting trend. And, next year, we all have to have digital TVs…