Will Technology Advances Limit Entertainment Choices?
Hollywood recently told America about the financial problems facing the movie industry. In response, Americans asked Hollywood to start producing movies that are good enough to watch and pay the ten dollar theaters! Over the past four years, ticket sales for new movies have gradually decreased. Why does it happen? Are film theaters gone? Will film studios go outside business and further restrict consumer choice? This article will try to answer these questions by investigating the challenges and opportunities facing both the entertainment industry and consumers.
Why is ticket sales dropped?
Home Theater Systems
In addition to the limited quality of movies produced, many Americans established home theater systems in their homes. The decline in the prices of big screen TVs and theater quality surround sound systems has created a generation of movie watchers who have the resources to create a theater environment in their own homes. When you add the comfort to not tolerate someone’s screaming child and to interrupt the movie when you need to get a snack, there is no question why attendance at the theater is down.
DVD prizes and release windows
For years, the film industry has run on a series of complex release windows:
First, movies in cinemas, six months later, the video panel opens, followed by the opening of the pay-TV and then free television window. (Slate, Download for Dollars)
Since the prize for a DVD is lower than a family from four to the theater, many consumers are only waiting for the movie to be released on DVD. DVD players have lowered prices so much they are almost omnipresent in American households and are an important part of any home theater system.
Hollywood is pressed financially at theaters by these situations. A good opening weekend is a big part of the viability of a movie. Studios spend an average of $ 30 million per movie that promotes stage release. The question asked by analyst analysts is why the studios do not move the release windows, or they all turn off.
Some of Hollywood’s biggest players now test this theory, kind of. The movie Bubble, led by Steven Soderbergh, and financially supported by technology entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, is the first of six films that are being planned to test Hollywood’s windows system. Released January 27, Bubble can be seen in cinemas or pay-per-view on cable and satellite providers via HDNet television. Four days later, Bubble was released on DVD with additional content available on the DVD version.
Bubble is a strictly controlled experiment. The film itself is short (72 minutes), had only amateur actors and was mostly criticized. Theater distribution was limited to Landmark Theaters which Cuban owned and some independent theaters boycotted it. Pay-Per-View is also spread by a Cuban owned HDNet, which has spread by many major cable companies and satellite providers DISH Network and DirecTV.
A few days after the release of the films, Soderbergh and Cuban victory declared in their experiment. While the theater’s earnings were only $ 70,644 on 32 screens, the sales of the DVD had four-folded expectations. A profit sharing model gave 1% of the DVD sales to cinemas wisely called Bubble. The film itself cost about $ 1.7 million to profit after just a week of release.
Are film theaters gone?
Why did Hollywood profits affect US consumer affairs?
If you like economy, the reduced movie ticket sales consultation may be of interest to you. However, most Americans do not really care. Hollywood offers an image of big budgets, expensive cars, homes and movie sites, while most of America is buried under credit card debt and struggling to place gas in their Honda or to pay their heating bills. But Hollywood profits must make matters because if a movie, TV show or documentary does not have a big audience, it will be canceled and nobody will get it to see.
In America we love our entertainment. In spite of the quality of a program, television programs that do not have enough audience for network television are inevitably canceled. In my mind, Arrested Development isone of the funniest programs out there. It has had critical success and a core of viewers, but it will not return next season. Fox will burn the remaining episodes in poor and sometimes random time slots. Even long run, successful programs like The West Wing and Star Trek: Enterpriseget finallythe ax. If Hollywood dedicated to different distribution and income models, they can still make profits and US consumers can still get the programming we want.
Will consumers pay for TV programming?
Hollywood has assumed that consumers do not pay for programming and must rely on advertisers for revenue. But over 70% of Americans already subscribe to cable or satellite TV to get clear programming. The question is not whether Americans are willing to pay, that’s how much they will pay.
Andy Bowers from Slate presents this theory.
The West Wing has about 8 million viewers a week. It costs about $ 6 million per episode. In other words, if every person who watches the show now paid $ 1 a week, TWW would pay more than self.
Clearly, not all 8 million viewers could or could pay for the show. But let’s say a quarter of them would. It’s 2 million people paying $ 3 per episode (or maybe $ 4, which pays a cash for Steve Jobs and cable companies). The episodes can be seen on a PPV channel, downloaded to a DVR, or snoozed on video iPods.
Imagine whether all TV programming can be spread in this way! Programs like Arrested Development will not have to be in a top 20 position to stay on the air. Programming will be a feature of consumer demand. American TV viewers would actually have more choice!
Will advances in technology reduce consumer choice?
Technology creates choice
Technology is the enabler in this scenario. If there was no device for us to record or play programs, we would still be the mercy of TV broadcasters for our entertainment. The 2009 digital TVmigration will make it possible for every household to activate a type of pay-per-view option, even if they do not connect to cable or satellite TV. Mobile surveys will also increase with products such as Apple Video iPod and DISH Networks PocketDISH.
So how is technology going on with the effects of movies?
I noticed that the other day after a Shaggy Dogsequeled brand, most recent movies that are heavily advertised are reproduced,or turned down from comic strips, video games or TV shows. Think of the movies that have recently been released Starsky & Hutch, The Dukes of Hazzard, King Kong and Star Wars: Episode III. I thought it was because Hollywood eventually went out of new ideas, but Edward Jay Epstein explained that they were doing it deliberately!
Simultaneous release on various platforms will use the $ 30 million advertising cost-studios to let consumers flicker on a new movie during the opening week. In turn, Hollywood will be able to give more movies to green light, which even wins with smaller audiences. When theaters get a share of DVD sales, the burden of relieving less movie-makers in their seats is alleviated.
Bubble is only the first of six films released simultaneously by Soderbergh and Cuban. Soderbergh made a preliminary statement in a recent interview. Name any major title movie that has been published in the last four years. It is available in all formats on the day of release. It is called piracy. In fact, the management of piracy is a major motivation behind the industry’s wide shift to digitalize TV. Movie pirates can include various forms, including filming the movie in the theater with a high quality camcorder, or copying the master disc from a post-production facility.
Bubble was just a test. I think the following films released by Soderbergh and Cuban will include A-list actors and really send a message to Hollywood. They need to change their business model, or they can be out of business.
Technology is an important factor for change and consumer choice. For Hollywood studios it is the ultimate profit maker and vehicle for timely delivery. Simultaneous delivery of new movies through various stores such as theaters, DVDs and cable and satellite pay-per-view offer more choice for consumers and more choices for Hollywood to produce innovative high quality movies. These benefits will also be retired after the TV programming.
Hollywood can lead the way to manage digital video content for television and movies while being in control if they embrace technological advancement instead of fighting them. The music industry has already shown that 12-year-olds complain about downloading piracy songs.
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