Studios might use YouTube to sell movies

posted by Michael Zoldessy on September 10, 2009 at 7:54 am

Possibly throwing a wrench into the traditional distribution model, there is talk of studios working with YouTube to provide movies once they’re on DVD.

Google Inc.’s YouTube is in talks with several major studios — including Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate — about streaming movies when the DVDs become available in rental stores and kiosks, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The move represents a bold gambit for the entertainment giants, which have been cautious in embracing the Internet out of fear it would disrupt relationships with major retailers and undercut lucrative DVD sales.

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

Comments (10)

markp on September 10, 2009 at 8:31 am

the end is near…..

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 10, 2009 at 8:51 am

It is amazing how these studios are looking for new ways to further screw their DVD retailers and theatres instead of fixing the problem.

Here’s an idea:

Make a few more movies like “Julie & Julia” all year round. They cost less, do not require 3D glasses or special effects, and bring in an audience that has disposable income and a longer attention span than a fly. You may actually make money off the geriatrics over 30 on the theatrical run alone and then sell a few DVDs to help offset the cost of the next TRANSFORMER sequel.

markp on September 10, 2009 at 9:50 am

Great idea Al. Couldn’t agree with you more. BUT…never gonna happen. And that’s the sad part.

KingBiscuits on September 10, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I can’t see this happening. Part of the appeal of YouTube is that the videos are free. I can’t really see anyone wanting to pay to watch things on YouTube.

MPol on September 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I don’t know, KingBiscuits. There’s such a sense of entitlement in our culture today that an awful lot of people want something for nothing, and movies are among them. I fear that this kind of piracy can only go on, and will be another way to just kill the movie business and drive movie theatres, including and especially Indy movie theatres out of business entirely. This is scary to me, because I like going to movies., and, btw, ALAlvarez, although I’m well over 30, I don’t consider myself a “geriatric”.

KingBiscuits on September 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Though piracy is a big deal, I don’t think it’s that big. I mean, how did Transformers 2 made $400 million in the US alone?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 12, 2009 at 7:29 pm

KingsBiscuits, the real question really is:

How is $400 million not enough to break even?

What other stupid projects are these idiots pouring money into and do they deserve Wall Street level blood bath?

MPol on September 13, 2009 at 9:20 am

Obviously, at least part of that $400 million made here in the USA alone by “Transformers 2” and other movies like it was due to this kind of piracy. The question is; why was this kind of piracy ever even allowed to begin, in the first place? So, yes, it is a big deal, in a way.

danpetitpas on September 15, 2009 at 8:57 am

Blaming piracy deflects from the fact that the motion picture studios (and the recording industry) has done a lot to ruin its own business.

By deciding to concentrate on the kid/teen/young adult market with their offerings, they literally push away a large segment of the moviegoing public – just about anyone over 30 without kids.

For example, my wife and I use to see 50-70 movies in theaters a year. Last year, I think we saw six. Why? We got tired of the teen sex comedies, the teen horror movies, the teen action pictures, etc. It’s very discouraging. There are very few pictures we want to see.

The recording companies did the same. With all the merging and budget cutting, they cut hundreds of musical acts from their rosters, and concentrated on hip-hop and country, which are the genres that sell the most CDs. Then they complain that sales are down. Well, of course, sales are down, because you cut hundreds of acts that sold in total tens of millions of CDs.

I’m reminded of the story that the studios were surprised that “Driving Miss Daisy” was able to gross over $100 million. They didn’t know there were so many adult movie-goers! Duh! Give them something to see, and they’ll go to the movies.

Unfortunately, after about a decade of catering to the kid/teen/young adult market, adults get out of the habit of going to the movies, which creates a feedback loop where the the studios can say, “see we made an adultish movie and audiences didn’t show up. So it’s back to the kiddie films.”

The whole piracy issue is a red herring. Most people do not want to see a shaky, dark, hard-to-hear cam copy of a movie. And most people do not buy bootleg DVDs from some guy selling them on the street. Likewise, they don’t want to spend hours downloading 300 zip files that then have to be reassembled into a movie file.

The real thing hurting the movie industry is that adults simply know that whatever movie playing in theaters now can be rented from Netflix in 3 months or is going to be on cable TV in a year or less.

Why bother going to the movies? Why bother buying DVDs? They can get their entertainment basically for “free” without piracy.

MPol on September 18, 2009 at 7:40 pm

The fact that the movie industry allowed this kind of piracy to happen in the first place is what helped almost kill its own business. The fact that the SCOTUS, under Reagan, voted to allow movies to be taped on video and on VCR, is also what lead to the present situation overall. Sad, indeed.

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