What Are You Missing? Jan 29-Feb 11
1. While movie industry revenues are down, one study finds that BitTorrent piracy isn’t responsible, at least for US box office declines, and the media conglomerates overall have had a good decade. Winter box office numbers are up, even as the average price of a ticket got slightly cheaper.
2. MGM is attempting yet another comeback with a new infusion of credit, while Disney is trying to take on India next. But I’m sure what you really want to know about is what Lionsgate is up to: its president of production is leaving in March and is being replaced by new partner Summit’s production chief.
3. Netflix agreed to wait 28 days for Warner Bros. DVDs, but Redbox has balked at that, while Disney is working out options. Redbox is now the largest DVD renter and continues to grow, as DVDs aren’t quite dead just yet despite Netflix’s best efforts. VOD is clearly the future, though, and some studies show VOD has even bigger revenue potential without windowing than with it. The VOD take for Bridesmaids has been big, but many are most surprised just by the fact that Universal released the numbers on it.
4. Kickstarter is grabbing a lot of attention lately, even just within 24 hours: it was a presence at Sundance, has helped two projects reach $1 million in pledges, has facilitated funding on a wide array of projects, and has the potential to change the gaming world. And you know it’s a good model when a new competitor, Crowdtilt, has popped up already.
5. Barnes & Noble is fighting with both Microsoft and Amazon, but it has to get in line alongside many others in regard to the latter, as other booksellers have joined in to not carry Amazon-published books, Goodreads is abandoning Amazon, and one state after another fights to pry taxes out of Amazon. With the taxation seeming inevitable, Amazon is moving forth with plans for brick-and-mortar stores. It should chat with Barnes & Noble about how well those are doing lately.
6. Some artists worry that digital music is ruining sound quality, but more are worried about it, or more specifically digital music services, ruining their profits, and Paul McCartney has accordingly pulled his music. (Now where will we find “Silly Love Songs” when we really need it?) Sister Sledge and others are taking Warner Music to court over missing digital sales revenue, while the iTunes Match service could be a big money maker for indie musicians.
7. Though game and console sales continue to drop, gaming in general has greatly risen as a pursuit over the past few years, as mobile and online gaming have spread, and the Kindle Fire looks to be a pivotal new outlet for that. One thing that hasn’t declined is politicians getting undie-bunched over violent video games, while a few gamers are voluntarily choosing non-killing games.
8. Printing out a year’s worth of Facebook status updates would require 11.5 billion sheets of paper. Printing out a year’s worth of complaints and concerns about Facebook would probably take 15 billion. But luckily there aren’t too many examples of people shooting their laptops or, for Pete’s sake, each other over Facebook.
9. Google and Facebook are removing content in India due to religious censorship warnings, while the Iranian government is pretty much just blocking the whole internet to keep content it doesn’t like inaccessible to its people. In regard to piracy, the UK is testing out new protection measures, while Europeans are planning protests against limitations.
10. Some of the finer News for TV Majors posts from the past two weeks: New Netflix Rival, Liz Lemon Problem, James Murdoch’s Fall, Amazon Plans, Ellen Stays, Internet Viewing Rising, Youth Spectatorship, News & Twitter, House Ending, Cable Beats Broadcast for Politics, Apple HDTV Specs, Super Bowl Stuff, ABC-Univision News Channel, Seeing Smash, Revolution Ratings, Race & Cable Ratings, Sky Developments.