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.