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Music must be listened to on CDs. They’re a perfect format, a perfect listening experience and we spend a lot of money to make those productions and that is the way the creators want their music to be heard.

HUH?

We heard this rubbish twenty years ago. When the audience yanked the music industry into the twenty first century. Funny, all the youngsters are happy with the new world order, it’s only the oldsters who continue to complain, bitching that the old methods of compensation were superior and they must be restored.

Move fast and break things. Wasn’t that the motto of Facebook? And now Facebook is so big the government wants to break it up while the movie studios fight for survival, at least in the theatrical business. Statistics, they were and continue to be ignored in the music business and now the same thing is happening in the movie business. Theatrical attendance is DOWN! People just don’t want to go to the movie theatre, it’s a crappy experience. Sure, the screen is big, but the audience is rambunctious, talking and typing, and the floor is dirty and tickets are overpriced. Don’t argue with me, you’re just gonna appear to be an old fogey, like those who tried to argue the value of music decades ago, to rationalize the price of a CD. How did that turn out? Recorded music revenues sank until the industry aligned with the new paradigm, provided by outsiders, like Apple and Spotify, it’s always been outsiders, until now, when Warner Brothers wants to jet into the future and the establishment just can’t handle it, is crying like it’s two years old.

Let’s start with Covid-19. The movie industry is run by oldsters. How many of them have left their domiciles to go to a movie theatre? Yeah punk, you want everybody else to go, but you wouldn’t be caught dead there, because you don’t want to be dead. This is the coastal elitism many Americans have contempt for and despise. The truth is America is mostly locked down, and the movie industry could do a service and make shows that reinforce the danger of the virus and the need to take it seriously, but instead it argues for just the opposite. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

So, let’s hold back the productions until theatrical is flourishing once again. What, do you want to be the touring business, shut down completely, begging the government for relief as its workers starve? What ignorant bozos are protesting the distribution of these flicks. Furthermore, not every movie will survive on the shelf, motion pictures become dated just like food.

BUT THEY’RE SELLING THEM TO HBO MAX, IT’S INSIDER DEALING!

Yes, you’re exactly correct! This is one of the few real issues at play here. But we saw the same thing in the music business, is streaming a license or a royalty and how should artists be paid…when the truth is in the old game they were underpaid in an opaque world. This is still a problem in the music business, low compensation on indecipherable terms, just the way the majors like it. But the youngsters can circumvent the majors and go directly to the distributors, with their transparent payments…yes, all that bitching by artists who are signed to major labels with bad deals but somehow it’s Spotify’s fault? They’re just demonstrating their ignorance.

Not only do people not want to go to the movie theatre, they don’t want to pay for streaming an individual film on the flat screen, that ship has sailed. Would have worked five years ago, certainly ten, but the movie industry waited too long. Now customers are already paying for streaming services and they don’t want to pay the equivalent of a monthly fee just to watch one movie, films must be baked into a service, and not everybody is willing to pay for every service, no way, so it’s a race to see who survives, and not all of them will, this is not cable television, where the provider pays obtuse, small audience channels to keep them alive…in streaming people pay directly, they either want your product or they don’t.


Self-dealing… That’s another reasonable question here…what is the value of said Warner Brothers movies distributed by HBO Max? They’ll argue about it for a long time, meanwhile AT&T/WB/HBO Max will have achieved one of their goals, propping up, hopefully building their overpriced individual system, HBO Max. Yes, HBO is making the same mistake the major labels did, they think their customers are the cable systems just like the majors believed their customers were the retailers, when the truth is in digital the customer is the end user, THE CONSUMER! HBO Max is so overpriced, it’s a laugh. Drop the price immediately or be prepared for death. Disney+ raced to equivalency with Netflix with a low introductory price, which it just raised by a dollar, which is still nowhere close to that of HBO Max… HBO must drop the price today, before any of the films in question play on the service.

So, AT&T/WB/HBO is being vilified for pushing a moribund industry run by self-satisfied wankers into the present, never mind the future. The industry should be lauding AT&T/WB/HBO, those who resist change will be left by the wayside when it finally arrives.

Oh, I know, it’s hard to rationalize those giant costs to produce a film! But, once again, the music industry is a beacon…SPEND LESS! Turns out you don’t have to spend five hundred grand or a million to make an album, that was just allowed because of the economics of the old system.

And the new game allows people to make even more money, there are more opportunities! In music, you have to go on the road, boo-hoo, at ticket prices so exorbitant people’s jaws would have dropped in the pre-internet era, yet the public is lining up to pay them, looking for a unique experience people just can’t get anywhere else! Let’s call a spade a spade, there’s been no better time to be in the film business, BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY BUYERS! Netflix makes passion projects, like “The Irishman” and “Mank,” both overrated, when the studios wouldn’t lay down the money. Netflix is commissioning films all day long and what is the complaint? Once again, that they didn’t open in theatres first, they’re not entitled to Oscars… Then again, have you looked at the Oscar telecast recently? Ratings are in the toilet and winning is ignored by most of the public. The ceremony and its statuettes are out of date and out of touch. So, what does the industry do? Enlarge nominee pools to try and satiate those who aren’t paying attention while the films now included have no chance of winning anyway…look where half-measures get you, NOWHERE!

Come on, the standard home screen size is now 65″. And the TVs come with such miniscule speakers that almost everybody has a soundbar or system. And not only can you start the flick when you want to, you can pause it when you need to go to the bathroom… Yeah, how many of these aged movie businessmen can even sit through the lengthy productions they release, their prostates are too enlarged! In an on demand culture, the movie business wants us to stay in the past, get to the theatre at an anointed time to overpay to sit through endless advertisements and previews to get to a high concept film that doesn’t appeal to most people anyway! Is this what must be saved, superhero movies? Turns out “The Mandalorian” was a bigger draw on Disney+ than the recent “Star Wars” pictures in the theatre.

And any true artist will admit that consumption is more important than cash. In other words, they create for their work to be experienced! More people are exposed to your product in streaming, more people see it, this is a problem? As for windows…we live in a world where what happens this morning is forgotten by the afternoon, do you really think the marketing survives for a year, never mind the cost of said marketing?

No, the truth is movies are to be consumed on a flat screen at home as part of an overall streaming service. Done deal. WB wakes up and facilitates this and the industry is positively stunned by the obvious and is up in arms, complaining that someone has moved their cheese when the truth is the audience already ate it.

Meanwhile, the backwards news industry, decimated by the internet, can’t stop reporting this story, as if it’s sexy and everybody cares. NO ONE CARES EXCEPT THOSE INVOLVED! Come on, find me a consumer complaining that they can’t wait to overpay a year from now to see a film in the can today. YOU CAN’T FIND ONE!

The history of the internet is disruption. And if you follow the words of the dearly departed Clayton Christensen, the only way for established players to survive in the new world is to disrupt themselves. Disney is now doing this, it got in just under the wire, just in time with Disney+, and has said its future focus will be on its streaming service, because that’s where the future is, that’s where the bucks are. But the artists can’t stop complaining like David Crosby, who doesn’t understand the economics of streaming and doesn’t understand that most people don’t want to listen to his new work, and he’s lucky to be getting paid on his old stuff, prior to the internet, in the days of physical goods, no one would be stocking all those CSN(Y) and Byrds LPs, no way, never mind buying them. Yup, it’s a disaster, those records are going to generate revenue for the life of the copyright…but since they are, Crosby wants to be paid at sixties and seventies rates, not to mention that he’s got crappy deals with the labels?


But you can never satiate everybody, and the old with an audience are appealing to those who believe in conspiracy theories…hell, it’s just like Trump! Does Hollywood believe that Trump was defrauded and actually won the election? OF COURSE NOT! But it does believe that someone, not that they’re sure who it is, stole their industry, their bread and butter, and anybody who tries to address this issue is part of the problem, not the solution.

Soon we won’t be discussing this, only antiques will complain. The audience will expect new movies to stream just like they expect to be able to listen to every new record in the world on Spotify. THE HORROR! And if you want to make mazuma in the future it’s very simple…garner an audience. Major labels and movie studios have funded creators forever, most especially their losing projects. Now, if you have a limited audience, you create yourself, the means of production are in your hands, it’s inexpensive, and anybody can distribute on Spotify, et al. Same deal with the moving image, if you can’t get on one of the pay streaming services, you can distribute for free on YouTube! Or TikTok, which is even bigger than the movies. This is what embracing the future delivers.

Stop listening to old people wanting the old standards to continue to apply. We’re moving to electric cars. Social media is here to stay. Can we all get on the same page and try to eradicate the problems that do exist in the new world? NO, WE MUST KEEP OUR HEADS IN THE SAND!

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