Originally Posted by hmurchison
Blu-ray != freedom. There's more DRM in Blu-ray than any other popular media format. It's not a problem if you are fine with the old school way of popping a disc in a player and watching the content but we really should be moving towards universal content that can be purchased in a form that automatically sizes for the playback device so if we buy the universal version of a movie we'd thus get a version that plays on smartphones all the way up to our full on 1080p HDTV display. Blu-ray doesn't appear to be on a path to offer this anytime soon.
You're dead on the mark...
While I want BluRay playback for the ability to play back the titles I do own.. Digital is clearly the way to go and I don't quite understand the seemingly terrified reaction the studios have toward supporting it fully.
- MEASURABLY LESS production costs
- ZERO duplication costs
- ZERO packaging costs
- ZERO shipping costs
- ZERO loss prevention costs*
- ZERO long term inventory costs (and this is NOT cheap!)
- ZERO inventory product TRASHING costs**
* This includes the theft of the actual product while still warehoused by the studio as well as the cost of equipment and personnel to keep said theft to as palatable a level as possible. This cost *is* paid one way or
another by the studio
, either when they run their own warehouses and have to deal with the issue first hand OR if they contract out to a 3rd party, the fees charged by warehouse facility to the studio WILL include the costs of securing the product usually rolled into the price of the service.
** Yes believe it or not trashing an item you've warehoused will have a price associated with the action of 'trashing it' and that doesn't just mean loosing the money spent to produce the item thats about to be trashed the cost to trash is an entirely separate issue if you've ever outsource warehousing of product you'd be amazed at all the little 'costs' that pop-up as a result.
- The removal of possibly NUMEROUS 'middle men' wholesalers, distributers, International Channel Partners (etc etc) each with their own hand out waiting for a slice of the pie. Now what comes with wholesalers, distributers and International Channel Partners (etc etc) is hiring your OWN staff 'to deal with them'.
- The product would still have a normal 'wholesale' price paid BY the online distributer of the content/movies and a agreed upon 'retail' price that the product would be sold for under most circumstances. Where the difference between wholesale & retail must be enough to actually support and sustain the endeavor. What I mean is, the the profit potential to the digital distributer has to be more than just the overhead costs (data-storage (data center) & maintenance/personnel + bandwidth cost distribution to the data to the customer but also include a respectable/reasonable profit for the reseller for maintaining and marketing it.
For any of this to really succeed we need several thing to happen:
- DEEP catalogs of HD content and no restriction
to level of quality, if the studio offers 1080p then it should be available to all and not reserved just optical media or only 'certain' online partners.
- REASONABLE priced rental strategies.
--) One that allows for unlimited views on unlimited TVs in the renters home for a defined time period (24 hours, 48 hours). This is perfect for the rug-rats rainy weekend.
--) One that allows for a FIXED number of SHOWINGS from as little as 2 or 3 to perhaps a more reasonable 4 or 5 but a MUCH larger window of viewing opportunity. I'm not talking a week or even two weeks... I'd like to see a rental offering that allowed say 4 individual showing* over the time span of say 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.
* A criteria would have to be defined and agreed to and easy for the customer to understand when we talk about what constitutes a showing. Clearly pressing play and stop 4 times in a row would not count as 4 showings but at the same time watching the entire movie pressing STOP 5 minutes before the end wouldn't mean 1 SHOWING wasn't used up a basic and easy to explain criteria is mandatory and must be universally agreed to (a different criteria for each studio would surely end if total failure).
Either of the above rental options would be same price: $3.99 across the board or maybe $2.99 for catalog titles (older then 6 months) and $4.99 for the new releases since the content owners seem hell bent on gets an up-charge for the new movies....
Since there's no physical product anymore I don't see the point in charging more but old habits die hard.
But yea I see so much WIN for everyone in fully embracing digital distribution but the really STUPID game the studios are playing TODAY where they provide severely constrained access to their catalog and only at the lowest levels of quality, well that better STOP or people will begin to associate 'digital distribution' with 'less quality' and once the association is made it's a hard thing to reverse.
What's the saying? You only have one shot to make a great first impression...