Artificial Scarcity

Hollywood-signI have previously shared my frustration with artificial scarcity around geography restrictions on content (regions), specifically DVDs and video games.  It drives me nuts that I can not watch a DVD I PAID FOR in NYC in Istanbul.  I have two DVD players at home for this problem.  It's idiotic and it sucks.

Today I found myself thinking about another type of artificial scarcity propogated by Hollywood – the movie release windows.  It's a model for premium video content that I suspect is around because "it's always been that way". However, my suspicion is that Hollywood is missing sales opportunities.  The reason I seldom go to see movies in the theater is that it's expensive in time, not dollar, cost.  If I have a chance to watch – legally – the current popular releases at home instead of the theater, I suspect I would.  Once they become available on VoD streaming, etc, a lot of the time, the buzz around that release has evaporated and it's not current and hot anymore.

I can not say I have looked any research on the topic, but my hunch is that this is just another example how content owners don't get the connected economy.  Ripe for disruption.


14 thoughts on “Artificial Scarcity

  1. Philips devices sold in Turkey can be re-programmed through the remote to play multi region discs. At least this was my solution after a brief research last year. I shipped over a thousand DVD’s from Gotham City several years ago and had the same problem.
    Nice spelling here: georgraphy resctictions


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