Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Here’s Why Hollywood Needs UltraViolet — Or Something — To Work

Hollywood is rolling out UltraViolet, its homegrown cloud/locker scheme that may or may not compete with the ones Apple and Amazon are rolling out. But the studios very much need one of these things to work — and by “work” I mean “convince people to spend more money on movies and TV shows they watch at home.”

Because right now, things don’t look good at all. BTIG’s Rich Greenfield (registration required) lays it out in this grim chart: In the first half of the year, U.S. spending on home entertainment dropped 5.1 percent.

And it’s not because people don’t like to watch TV shows and movies at home: Spending on rentals, primarily via Netflix and Redbox, is up 10.9 percent. But that’s not enough to counter a 17.2 percent drop in movie and TV show purchases. Note that digital sales, primarily via Apple’s iTunes, barely make a dent.

[Image credit: Fekete Tibor/Shutterstock.]


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik