Miramax CEO says Apple a bigger threat to movie industry than piracy

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple's domination of the digital media marketplace is more of a threat to movie companies than piracy, according to Miramax CEO Mike Lang.



Lang argued at the MIPCOM entertainment media event in Cannes this week that in order for movie companies to survive, there must be parity in the digital distribution marketplace, adding that iTunes is hurting competition.



"Piracy really is not the bigger issue for our company or for our library," Lang said. "It's been a lack of exploitation, just not getting it out there."



With Apple's domination of media distribution through its iTunes online store, Lang said the electronics maker is hindering movie companies from distributing their catalogs to a wider audience. The Miramax chief believes that more competition is healthy for both creators of media and the end consumer, as it drives prices down and allows for more content to be available in more places.



Lang also pointed out that the movie industry as a whole needs to not let iTunes dominate distribution as it does with the music industry. While music companies were fighting piracy battles in court, Apple slowly amassed an overwhelming presence in the digital music market and now has the largest online catalog with up to 20 million tracks.



"Apple is the strongest company in the music industry, and because there was not enough competition, and still to this day is not enough competition, as an industry it can't then influence packaging, merchandising, all the things that are vital," Lang said. "As the movie business we have to be very cognizant of that."



He thinks the film industry needs to take note of the lessons learned by the music industry and try to foster cross-platform competition instead of focusing on one channel of distribution.



"That's why we did our deal with Netflix, and why we also did our deal with Hulu," he said. "We want multiple players to be successful."



Chief Content Officer of NetFlix Ted Sarandos, left, talks with Miramax CEO Mike Lang, right, at MIPCOM | Source: mipworld



Miramax inked a deal with Netflix in May, that allows the movie rental company to stream "several hundred" of the studio's movies through its service. The company also signed with online video streaming site Hulu in June to allow streaming of hundreds of commercial-free movies on Hulu Plus, as well as 15 commercial-sponsored videos that are rotated every month.



"It's really important as an industry that we try to allow multiple players in markets around the world," Lang said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 73
    ikolikol Posts: 369member
    Add in Apple's refusal to add Blu-ray or HDMI I can see why.
  • Reply 2 of 73
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    With Apple's domination of media distribution through its iTunes online store, Lang said the electronics maker is hindering movie companies from distributing their catalogs to a wider audience.



    How exactly is Apple hindering movie distribution with iTunes?
  • Reply 3 of 73
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    He means:



    "In order for profits to survive there must be parity within the digital distribution markets"
  • Reply 4 of 73
    I don't believe Apple has any exclusivity with iTunes movies- I see the same movies available at Amazon, etc...

    The only thing "hindering movie companies from distributing their catalogs" is their own ineptitude.
  • Reply 5 of 73
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    We should all start to really, really hate Miramax. They are worse then Dell.



    Apple is the only company capable of SAVING the movie industry, and Miramax is too stupid to understand. How dare they!



    They cling to their tired old ways, kicking and screaming as Apple tries to gently coax them towards profitability, but like spoiled children, they think they know better.
  • Reply 6 of 73
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    he means:



    "in order for our inflated profits to survive on our terms only there must be parity within the digital distribution markets, which we really define to be nobody else can have any influence on what we want to charge"



    tftfy
  • Reply 7 of 73
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    With Apple's domination of media distribution through its iTunes online store, Lang said the electronics maker is hindering movie companies from distributing their catalogs to a wider audience. The Miramax chief believes that more competition is healthy for both creators of media and the end consumer, as it drives prices down and allows for more content to be available in more places.



    This is one of the most inane statements I've seen for a long time. Apple is the leader in distributing movies electronically (along with, perhaps, Netflix). Without Apple, there'd be a lot LESS electronic distribution than there is now. Just how is Apple hindering them from distributing their catalogs? Has this executive not learned of the Internet? Apple doesn't own or control the Internet. Then there's Amazon. Netflix. Walmart (or did they drop theirs?). Google. Seems like every month or so, someone else has emerged to take on Apple in this arena.



    I would love to see this exec explain how Apple is hindering distribution. I would also laugh my head off if Apple actually publicly confronts him because of his stupidity.
  • Reply 8 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    With Apple's domination of media distribution through its iTunes online store, Lang said the electronics maker is hindering movie companies from distributing their catalogs to a wider audience. The Miramax chief believes that more competition is healthy for both creators of media and the end consumer, as it drives prices down and allows for more content to be available in more places.



    Yeah, Apple's profiteering while there is no competition in phones or set top boxes is why other movie rental companies are able to offer rental movies so much cheaper - but with nobody using Android phones, TiVos, cable boxes etc there's no-one to rent them.



    If only the competitors renting movies at half the price were able to rent directly to iphones and AppleTVs, then prices would go down everywhere. If only Amazon had a movie tablet too!



    He can't really believe that can he?
  • Reply 9 of 73
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    It just doesn't add up. Hulu and Netflix streaming aren't even the same kind of service, the business model is very different. I doubt those services are paying as much as Apple does for the most equivalent offering. I also doubt that Apple is preventing them from dealing with other services, which I'm pretty sure would be illegal. One of the lines even implies that Apple isn't doing enough for them, which contradicts the suggestion that Apple has too much control. If you want someone to nanny your product at their expense, then you're implicitly giving up control.
  • Reply 10 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    He means:



    "In order for profits to survive there must be parity within the digital distribution markets"



    They've got to make money, too. If they don't then quality will suffer. The cheapest TV they can make are reality shows, that's part of why there's so many and they mostly suck. Movies will get worse, less original, and good indies will be harder to fund even when the economy recovers.



    I think everything should be rentable through my Apple TV, at least moviewise. It's like a blockbuster in your house. As for TV, I think we've all been getting screwed on cable and it had better change soon or else they're in for some trouble.
  • Reply 11 of 73
    "Lang also pointed out that the movie industry as a whole needs to not let iTunes dominate distribution as it does with the music industry"



    Sure...Maybe they should go give away their rights to Amazon, so Amazon can offer multiple plays WITHOUT paying them anything, unlike Apple, who worked for years to come up with a system and deal they are happy with.
  • Reply 12 of 73
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    tftfy



    1000% improvement and spot on.





    I don't know why he would discuss Netflix as a shining example of opening up distribution.



    1. Netflix streaming is missing a whole lot of movies

    2. The minute they raised pricing and split off DVD Rental their stock tanked.

    3. Even iTunes Movie pricing is too high. I've never ordered anything but a rental and

    i'm a guy with 330 movies on the shelf.
  • Reply 13 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    He means:



    "In order for profits to survive there must be parity within the digital distribution markets"



    There you have it... I would add that he probably means gross and extreme as adjectives for his profit also. Any distribution that the studios agree to that is profitable up front is profitable.



    This guy mouths that they want competition and lower prices, but since they dictate price, availability and rights location availability, they can't be really concerned about Apple unless the guy really means that the prices Apple sells at are below their tremendous "Are you shitting me" level of profit. I guess whatever else is going on, Apple must be concerned with keeping prices low, otherwise this goofball would not be running his mouth



    Misdirection and obfuscation seem to be the order of the day for these studio execs.
  • Reply 14 of 73
    As other have pointed out, there are plenty of platforms for media owners to use to get their product to consumers. What really irks him is that, because Apple/itunes is the biggest game in town, the studios have to agree to Apple's terms in order to get access to Apple's user base.



    What he really wants is for more platforms to become viable so that Apple will have less leverage during negotiations of licensing deals.
  • Reply 15 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post


    They've got to make money, too. If they don't then quality will suffer. The cheapest TV they can make are reality shows, that's part of why there's so many and they mostly suck. Movies will get worse, less original, and good indies will be harder to fund even when the economy recovers.



    I think everything should be rentable through my Apple TV, at least moviewise. It's like a blockbuster in your house. As for TV, I think we've all been getting screwed on cable and it had better change soon or else they're in for some trouble.



    You think movies are good now? We're doomed....
  • Reply 16 of 73
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post


    You think movies are good now? We're doomed....



    True Grit was excellent.



    Great films have always been rare.
  • Reply 17 of 73
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,478member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post


    They've got to make money, too. If they don't then quality will suffer. The cheapest TV they can make are reality shows, that's part of why there's so many and they mostly suck. Movies will get worse, less original, and good indies will be harder to fund even when the economy recovers.



    Most of the best movies I have seen are made with the same amount of money they budget for food services on a blockbuster. Throwing money at a movie may make it profitable, but it won't make it good. I'd be happy to see more cheaply made films with great ideas and creativity and fewer formulaic and franchise sequels. Screw the studios. And screw Lang and the whores he rode in on.
  • Reply 18 of 73
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,833member
    Apple may be a threat, but that's not Apple's fault. The competition has just been incapable of creating something that even comes close to Apple's offering.
  • Reply 19 of 73
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Has this executive not learned of the Internet?



    Here's some quotes:



    We believe that cross-platform is key to growing the digital transactions [movie] business,? Lang told his audience in Cannes. ?We believe that all [the] different platforms can be complementary and co-exist together.?



    ?Apple is the strongest company in the music industry, and because there was not enough competition, and still to this day is not enough competition, as an industry it can?t then influence, packaging, merchandising? all the things that are vital,? he said. ?As the movie business we have to be very cogniscant of that. That?s why we did our deal with Netflix, and why we also did our deal with Hulu. We want multiple players to be successful? It?s really important as an industry that we try to allow multiple players in markets around the world? Our goal as an industry should be to have as many as possible, and may the best service win.?



    I think his quotes indicate that he has heard of the Internet. And some more stuff too.
  • Reply 20 of 73
    stompystompy Posts: 367member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acrobratt View Post


    What he really wants is for more platforms to become viable so that Apple will have less leverage during negotiations of licensing deals.



    True, many of his comments support your statement. If there's one thing that every Hollywood exec knows about Apple, it's that "They killed the music industry.... but they won't kill us".
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