Last week I made some technology predictions in the Microsoft space. Yesterday I spoke about the mobile space as a whole. Today I will conclude my 2010 predictions with a look into digital content.
2010: Digital Content-The Empire Strikes Back
Already more music is sold online via iTunes then on physical CDs. Add in piracy and there is even more music in digital format. 2010 will be the year where we start to see movies and books move digital. Not much of a prediction. My predictions is that the movie and publishing industry will spend most of 2010 fighting back and in denial much like the music industry and the RIAA did 5+ years ago.
Today Netflix will sell you a device that will stream movies down to your HD TV without a computer involved. You can get unlimited movies for about $9 a month. The problem is that there are only 18,000 movies available and most of those movies are older. That is because Hollywood is stonewalling Netflix and not selling them a license to stream. Actually it is much worse than that. Hollywood is also holding Netflix hostage for new release DVDs. The studios are now planning to withhold new release DVDs for 28 days before they sell them to Netflix. Warner Brothers just inked a deal with Netflix that did just that. Now all new Warner Brothers movies released on DVD will be available for you to buy or rent at your local video store, but not available at Netflix for a month.
This is exactly the type of behavior that the RIAA and music industry would be proud of. Warner Brothers is now actively encouraging its customers to pirate the new release movie instead of getting it legally from Netflix.
Hollywood 1-Netflix 0.
But this is just the beginning.
Seeing what iTunes did to the recording industry, the technology phobic world of publishing may soon follow suit. Amazon is getting some pushback from publishers over pricing of titles for the Kindle. It is only a matter of time before the publishers “Netflix” Amazon. I suspect you will see something along those lines before the end of the year, especially that for the first time more Kindle books were sold on Dec 24th and 25th than “real” books.
Just like Darth Vader in the Empire Strikes back, the movie studios and publishers may win the battle in 2010, but they will lose the larger war. (Yes I am saying that Netflix and Amazon.com are Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.)
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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent
my employer's view in anyway.