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.


Is SaaS Renting?

Emrecan Dogan has a good analysis of content rental business models.  He's created a simple framework for evaluating the dynamics of renting different types of content, and he's taken as examples books, textboks, music, movies, video games and software.

Of this list, the software example has attracted my attention.  I think Emrecan's talking about shrink-wrapped software.  He's attached it an average price point of $90. And he concludes that the rental market potential is low.

This made me think of Software-as-a-Service models, which are frequently thought of as rental models.  But when you approach it using Emrecan's framework, SaaS looks more like a subscription/service model than a true rental model.

Maybe it's just a semantics issue but I have seen so many cases where SaaS is treated like a rental approach that I thought the difference is worth noting.

Future of Filmed Entertainment

Emrecan Dogan has kicked off what promises to be an insightful series on his observations and thoughts on the three areas of filmed entertainment content:

Content Owners
Intermediaries (’gatekeepers’ or ‘middlemen)
End-user Platforms

He's tackling a fascinating area with an enormmous market side, technology attacks from all directions and complex micro-economic forces in play.  I look forward to his thoughts.