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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work