Netflix is not dead, and not in a Norwegian parrot sort of way – it’s actually not dead

Yeah, sorry Robert but I agree with Dave. Just because someone came up with a cool P2P movie distribution service does not mean Netflix or even Blockbuster is dead or dying. And that all goes back to the lack of innovative thinking that the studios have done.

See I think when anyone at a high level in the studios hears “P2P” they have a knee-jerk reaction that involves a knee actually being jerked into the gut of whoever said it. This system will never get corporate buy-in because, if it’s truly open to this sort of distribution, it likely won’t be DRMed. While, yes, there was a lot of forward movement on the part of content creators at CES the focus seems to have been on using corporately created and approved channels and devices to distribute corporately controlled content. It’s progress because at least some people are thinking along these lines but these are all gadgets, it’s not distribution channels. That’s a large difference in thinking.

The point is that online distribution has a long way to go before the needs of the corporation are in line with the usage desires of the consumer. Until that convergence happens Netflix and Blockbuster will still have a place in the movie pipeline.

Hits, yes. Blockbusters not so much

Chris Anderson once again does a very good job of defining what he means when talking about the Long Tail and its impact on, among other things, the entertainment economy. This time he clarifies that while “blockbusters” aren’t necessary (and increasingly aren’t even achievable) there are and always will be “hits,” or items/products that are more popular than others. He reminds us that the long tail isn’t possible without the short tail, or the part of the distribution curve that contains those hits. Some things will always be more popular than others but in an environment with equality of distribution those hits matter less and less. That’s because the total dollars being spent is, more or less, finite whereas the amount of choice is, more or less, not.

LOTD: January 11th

  • Mack Collier talks about how a bad experience at a department store has led to it being used as a case study at a trade group presentation. He then asks how much the impact of this might have been lessened if someone from the company were reaching out to the community.
  • The next election will fought on TV, in print and on candidate blogs.
  • Who the heck is standing in line to get tasered at CES? I mean, not counting Peter Shankman and Amanda Congdon.
  • We here in Chicago as well as folks in Washington are about to get WiMax thanks to Sprint.
  • The limited amount of users and the recent showy announcements from Apple have turned Microsoft’s Zune player into, as MSNBC says, a really expensive paperweight.