Peter Kafka

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Hollywood Goes Digital — But Not Too Digital. Sony Boss Michael Lynton’s Candid Dive Into Media Interview.

LyntonTechnology is driving huge shifts in the way we consume media. But some parts of the media world aren’t changing much, or soon.

The only way you’re going to see a blockbuster movie like “Skyfall,” for instance, is if a studio like Sony foots the bill. And once they do, they’re not going to let you see it anywhere but in a theater in the first few months it’s out.

Sony boss Michael Lynton made that clear during his interview at D: Dive into Media. There are plenty of reasons why people like me (and maybe you) would like to see “Skyfall” at home while it’s still in the theaters. But Sony has very good reasons for keeping things the way they are.

That said, Lynton is happy to experiment when it comes time for other windows — perhaps there’s a way to charge viewers a premium for home viewing before the movie makes it to DVD, for instance. Hollywood has tried this before and failed, but Lynton says it will likely come back.

And Lynton, who is thoughtful and candid onstage, has lots to say about the other ways technology is affecting his business, from the rise of cable dramas like “Mad Men” — if you love Don Draper, you have Netflix and the DVR to thank — to the way it is grappling with the gabbers on Twitter and Facebook, who can sink a mediocre movie in record time.

This one was a lot of fun to do live. Now you can enjoy it on your own time:


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When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post