In the year plus I’ve been working in the entertainment business’ bastard stepchild world (read: Wireless/Mobile entertainment), a couple of thoughts have begun to form. In my last month or so with CBS, these thoughts have really crystallized.
From both a business, and content creator standpoint there a number of elements that kind of keep me up at night thinking.
1. Audiences want to watch whatever they want, on any device they want, any time they want.
To this end, it is stupid and cost and time prohibitive for content providers and distributors to create file type after file type after file type (Quicktime here, Windows Media files there, 3GPP2 files over there). What we need is a backend/backbone that we can place on one (or several) file servers, preferably in HD resolution, and an application that can sit on top of that and serve out real-time scaling to users dependent upon the device type AND LICENSE TYPE that they purchase. Yes, I know this is a massive computing challenge. Get to it.
2. Instead of selling FILES or copies, we should be selling licenses to consumers. Licenses whose pricing structure correlates with the device license they are buying (not what the tech actually costs per device). The license billing would be scalable depending on what kind of device they watch it on.
If it’s a cell phone, it should be cheap, because it’s *not* a high-quality entertainment experience.
If it’s being watched in a home theater, with full HD download and a 5.1 digital audio, it should cost more, because it is a high-quality experience.
3. Audiences should be able to purchase these over their phones, and if they want to download an HD file to their phone, they can. I can currently hold 1GB on my phones SD card. A LOT more memory is coming.
4. Audiences will one day be able to SYNC their mobile device to their home entertainment network. So if I want to buy and download an HD movie so that I can simply sync it and watch when I get home, I can do that.
5. If I were say, Citibank, or Chase, I would be heavily considering BUYING companies like Cingular/AT&T; or Sprint. The REAL value of wireless devices is NOT in the voice minutes or the data minutes, it’s in TRANSACTION FEES. This is the holy grail of wireless devices as far as I can see.
Whoever enables reliable, EASY wireless purchasing and transaction management wins, and wins big.
Or, we can all just be happy to sit back and pay vCast 15 bucks a month to watch “highlights” and commercials for the TV shows that we won’t watch anymore because we have Tivo.