|Will broadband kill the video store?|
By George Cole
An interesting article from the FT about the implications of increased broadband household penetration, broadband ubiquity [WiFi, etc] and broadband speed on the movie industry.
I must admit that I am getting a little tired of reading about what the FT calls the "troubling phenomenon [of piracy] for the [movie] industry" - an issue which in my view demonstrates less of people's wish to become 'pirates' than their willingness to explore new distribution channels for movies (distribution channels which I am sure movie studios will profit handsomely from in the future!).
However, the FT notes that the movie industry has opted for education rather than litigation to address the challenges of piracy and the industry is further actively working to develop legitimate download services such as Movielink, CinemaNow and more recently the Starz/Real offering. Strong marks on this point to the movie industry.
Also, the article highlights the obvious threat that these movie download services will pose to the high street video rental store. Martin Olausson, senior analyst at the digital consumer practice Strategy Analytics, says: "It won't happen tomorrow, but there will be a shake-up of the movie and video industries. Physical video rental stores are in jeopardy because, in the long run, most video rental will be online". He adds: "At present, companies are making so much money from DVD that the natural thing is to try and defend that position. But the industries should try to adapt, rather than try to stop the revolution."
This leads me to question just how innovative these upstart legitimate movie download services really are and how hard they are trying to reinvent their business. Perhaps we'll simply have to wait for more visionary companies such as Netflix to jump on the movie download bandwagon to get a truly exceptional offering...
Starz on Real: Service to offer movies over the net