Apple, Disney Studios, Warner Brothers, NBC Universal,Amazon and even George Lucas herald a change in the way movies are made and ultimately delivered to the public.
Apple in recent days has attempted to stake a claim on the movie download market by striking a deal with Disney Studios to deliver movie down loads. Earlier this yr Warner Brothers announced an agreement with the software firm Bit torrent to enable movie downloads to your computer. Bit torrent’s software application has long been the choice of peer to peer file sharing pirates because it allows fast downloads of large files and uses very little bandwidth.
Last week Apple together with Disney studios jumped into the movie down load market and offered two key features to it’s movie download service. First it uses the ipod as the device for downloading. Second, knowing that the ultimate viewing choice for movies for the public will be the television or home theatre. Apple indicates it will introduce a set top box to work with the TV thus bridging the gap between internet delivery and end user’s desired viewing choice.
This puts Apple in a position to capture a middleman role and to make money on a device to ease the process between the down load and final choice of viewing medium. But Bit Torrent is already working with Warner Brothers and will probably leap frog Apple’s device sooner or later by allowing direct downloads to your TV receiver, fast, high quality and immediately playable using a high speed cable line to do it. And to go with this instant down load will be the option to burn to a DVD or store the movie on the hard drive of your tivo box or similar device.
George Lucas in an interview with CNBC earlier this yr and again last week stated that the movie companies and Hollywood would have to adapt sooner or later to the new digital age, of production and distribution. When asked about file sharing and bit torrent specifically Lucas stated that it would be the future of Hollywood and that Steve Jobs and others had already grasped that concept.
The major retailers of DVDs, such as Walmart and Target have communicated to the Hollywood studios that they will not sit still for downloads that would be cheaper than the DVDs they sell. Apple has been responsive and is said to be discussing an agreement on the pricing of down loads from it’s itunes site.
As usual the big players are attempting to control how, where and at what price the next generation of movies will be delivered to the public. All the major players need to control the delivery process but the time for that has passed. George Lucas himself said that with web sites like Youtube, film makers can show case their talent and deliver it to the public very cheaply, they don’t need a Hollywood Studio.
Using the internet as a proving ground for content creation and distribution has finally come of age now that high speed internet access is so wide spread. So get ready Hollywood change is coming like it or not.