Monday, August 25, 2008

Fox Finally Supports Digital Copy. Is It Too Little Too Late?

An interesting development in buying movies?

I'm watching TV, and I keep stumbling over commercials for 'What Happens in Vegas', a movie I have NO desire to see, but something strikes me as interesting. A large part of the ad campaign hovers around the support of Digital Copy, allowing people who purchase the film on DVD or Blu-Ray to transfer it to their computer and to their iPods.

That's HUGE!

Ok, now I'm curious. It's almost like Fox is listening to how fans of their films are wanting to consume content.

When I buy a film, I want to watch it where and how I want, not where and how the studio tells me I can watch their product. My movie purchasing has almost been completely curtailed by Netflix viewing, and the slow push into hi-def media. I just don't seem much reason to continue investing in a "library". Especially as most of the ways I want to watch movies I've purchased (Personal Media Players, my phone, my computer), technically make me a criminal according to the DMCA. If a studio were to support MY media habit (as opposed to making me a criminal for wanting to buy their stuff), I would be MUCH more inclined to purchase their movies.

Well there's NO way in hell I'm buying 'What Happens in Vegas', but I'm kinda stoked and more than a little curious, so I head over to the Fox Store to see what other movies they might have up with Digital Copy.

There are five.


That's it. You get your pic of AVP, AVP2, Jumper, Juno, and Hitman. That's it. That's not really supporting customers. That's throwing a couple movies out there to say that there are viable alternatives to file sharing movies, but still trying to lock customers into purchasing discs, and having to re-purchase content for different formats.

What could be an incredible sales tactic (getting cranky-pants geeks like myself very interested in purchasing movies on Blu-Ray), is little more than a PR gesture constructed to combat the legalities of how media is consumed today.


I think that's what's really frustrating me. I WANT to buy movies. I WANT to watch movies where, when, and how I decide. There is SO MUCH MORE MONEY to be made by opening up how consumers can use content, but instead studios seem more interested in trying more restrictive locks on content. It's like a wet bar of soap. The harder you squeeze, the faster it splurts out, until people get sick of bar soap and move over to liquid soap (how's THAT for following through on a metaphor, LOL).

For the time being I'll stick with Netflix I guess.
I'll probably skip over Blu-Ray.
No one seems concerned with selling me things I want to buy.

Scott Kirsner has a great editorial over at Hollywood Reporter, discussing the current state of legit movie downloading versus file sharing movies. It kinda ties into what I'm talking about here. Studios are losing tons of potential revenue, but still REFUSE to support a business model their customers created. We're showing them this is how we want to do business. We've led them to their own salvation. We've dragged them kicking and screaming to water, but the stubborn horses wont take a sip...

From Scott:
"Citizen Kane" and "The Godfather" top the American Film Institute's list of the greatest movies ever made. James Cameron's "Titanic" still holds the record for biggest box office take, and "Annie Hall," "Star Wars," and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" are part of Roger Ebert's personal pantheon.
But almost a decade after consumers began legally downloading movies on the Internet, none of those titles is yet available for digital purchase or rental.
Scott Kirsner: Hollywood Classics Ignored Online @ Hollywood Reporter

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