Monday, October 22, 2012

Where Cartoons Are Going

This sounds about right.

... We're in this sort of period of transition into a digital world. ...

People are going to pay for what they watch by the inch. ... [E]verything will become available within a very short window after that theatrical experience. ... Take a movie like Madagascar 3. About 150 million people pay us [DreamWorks Animation] about $10 from beginning to end on the movie. Some people go to the movie theater, some buy a DVD, some get it from HBO, some from Netflix, some from Redbox. But you sort of take it through the whole course, whole life of the movie, (it) is about 150 million people, and it's about $10, on an average.

Ten years from now, two and a half billion people are going to pay us, on average, $1.50. ...

I think Katzenberg has his finger on where media is going (assuming our fine entertainment conglomerates can keep the pirates at bay.)

Everybody will choose the platform for how they want to watch movies or tv shows or vintage shorts. Even now, fewer and fewer people watch product as broadcast or cable networks roll them out. They DVR the entertainment. They download it from the cloud. Or go watch it on YouTube at a time of their choosing.

Teenagers and twenty-somethings multi-task viewing experiences, working the smart phone as they watch a Netflix download on the wall-mounted flat-screen. Production companies are all-too-aware that DVDs and Blu-Rays are melting away, that capturing dollars from the internet is where things are going.

When you sit in entertainment industry contract talks, you realize that the Big Four congloms don't have a strong grip on how the various cash flows are going to work out. Are cable networks wobbly? Will anyone be buying the little silver disks five years from now? The companies are insecure and nervous about it, and they do their level best to leverage that insecurity into gains at the bargaining table.

But the changes in the media landscape are real, and Jeffrey Katzenberg is as aware of the new realities as anybody.


T. R. Hale said...

There was a time period before DVD's and even VHS where people only paid at the movie theatre and for HBO. TV was free. When you have industries like film and cable who stick it to the customer with insanely high prices, eventually, people will get tired of it and seek cheaper forms of entertainment. Music got greedy and look what happend to them.

Steven Kaplan said...

Methinks that the flow of money will continue to cut new swaths through the digital age. The internet has brought about lasting change. The pursuit of money will always be there, but now we're watching as a new medium brings about a different way to chase the all-mighty dollar.

Floyd Norman said...

It's fun watching the "big boys" grapple with the new entertainment mediums. Eventually, they'll all be swept away because they're too greedy and short-sighted to move toward the future.

It'll be fun to watch their eventual demise.

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