Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Cameron Diaz and “Bad Teacher” Come Early to Apple, Amazon

Can’t bear to wait six more days to watch “Bad Teacher” on DVD? You’re in luck: Sony is already selling digital copies of the Cameron Diaz movie via iTunes, Amazon, Xbox and other platforms.

As Variety (registration required) notes, it’s the first time a big studio has done this with a widely released movie — normally Hollywood puts out digital copies at the same time as discs. The idea with this test is to see if an early window for Apple, etc., can goose sales.

It’s one of a series of experiments the studios are conducting with distribution windows (see: $60 Eddie Murphy movies), and I can sort of see the studio logic here: Digital “sell-through” is one of the only growing parts of a slumping home entertainment market.

But the bigger trend in home entertainment seems to be that people aren’t interested in buying movies, period. If they have a choice, they’ll rent them instead, via one-off video-on-demand or subscription services like Netflix.

Some studio guys are trying to figure out how to take that choice away from consumers, but I think that’s wishful thinking. More practical: Learning to live with a diminished home video revenue stream.

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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