“Hammer the Rental Stores”

rentals

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:

 http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/01/how-much-for-di.html

Godin writes:

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…

Stay tuned.

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3 thoughts on ““Hammer the Rental Stores””

  1. Interesting, but this does not take into account the unions.

    Yes, it would be nice as a business to hammer the video stores with cheap, instant access to your favorite movie, but the Writers Guild of America is on strike for one reason; royalties.

    They get very little from a $20 DVD sale, so look for the price not to drop, but to rise.

  2. Not the primary point of your post, but

    “And, next year, we all have to have digital TVs…”

    is just wrong. Unless you change “we all” to

    “Everyone who doesn’t use cable or satellite and would rather buy a new TV than invest $30 or so in a converter box”

    (I’m guessing that converters won’t cost more than $30 after the gummint coupon.)

    Yep. All those folks have to have digital TVs.

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