I just finished reading a report published today by Leichtman Research Group — the market analyst firm I’ve been following for some time now and whose data I trust. Basically, the report cites the real numbers on so-called connected TVs (Internet-enabled) and what’s going on with them in the home. So far, 38 percent of all U.S. households have them already — or have an AppleTV or Roku box connected to their HDTV — a 10 percent increase in less than two years.
What’s happening is that, instead of 2020 being the year the DVD dies, it appears that it might be as early as 2015. In fact, declines are already happening now. Many are saying that the high was 2011 and that 2012 will see a decline in both sales AND rentals of DVDs — the physical media — and this includes RedBox. That the public will, by 2015, be done with the physical media — the disc.
Well, all I have to say is “go to hell DVD and take Blu-ray with you.”
Well, my angst with Blu-ray is the same as everyone’s. Even with these so-called quick-loading players, they still suck. You never know for sure if the disc will actually load — until you see it playing on the screen, and you certainly don’t know if you’re gonna make it through the entire movie without it freaking out and pausing half way through. And, as for DVD, the format has always sucked. The quality varies, the video noise has mysteriously gotten worse ever since the day Blu-ray won the HD DVD battle (yeah, you thought I didn’t notice, huh, Sony?) and they, too scratch and stop and freeze.
Downloading is awesome. Setting aside the crappy Netflix library of downloadable stuff, it works nearly flawlessly — and the SD stuff looks nearly as nice as Blu-ray. So, why do I still like it even if the library of options is bad? Well, that’s temporary. You can always spend more at the iTunes store — their selection is the world’s best. But, if the dang disc thingy would go ahead and go away, I promise you the selection issue would be solved! Hollywood is doing this on purpose to help prop up the dying format they still gouge us with.
Look, I want them to make money, but I want them to be fair. Their pricing model is left over from the VHS days and they’re not evolving. In fact, if they would, they’d make much more money and the opportunity would be greater.
For example, what about this model? Release a movie in the theater at at home at the exact same time. Many people have home theaters as good as many movie theaters, or, would prefer to actually watch a movie at home anyway. So, instead of missing out on those folks (count me in here) totally and having us pay only $3 or $4 for a movie, give us the OPTION to pay $50, $75 or even $100 to be able to watch it at home the same day as it comes out in the theater. That’s not gouging as I can always opt-out and not rent it, go to the theater and see if for $10 or wait three months later for the $4 iTunes fee or even a year later as part of my Netflix streaming package.
You could even do a tiered-package approach. So, charge me $100 to see it the same day it comes out. Then, two weeks later, lower it to $75. Then, maybe a month after that, $50. And so on. Eventually you’ll capture everyone with that option as most people will wait until the end-price — like they do now — but guess what, that 5 percent that will pay early will garner you a ton of new money — distribution-free profit — that you control!
Seriously, consider it!
I’ll bet you that five percent I quoted above, is a low-ball number, too.