The iTMS is going to push through a big change. Movies are coming! Not just the watch-it-once, gee-wasn’t-that-fun variety… You OWN it!
Video on Demand is no biggie. Right? Well sort of. For instance, Cox Cable (who I pay too much each month… grumble, grumble) has a VoD approach for a certain tier of subscriber. Those of us with the “digital” box can draw down videos at our leisure. We tried it a couple of times and it’s ok. I’d really like to have that movie queued up for say 60 days instead of the use it or lose it model they’re peddling. I’d even like to share it with my dad maybe who’s also a Cox hostage er, subscriber.
Everyone’s eyes are now open to the possiblities of the next logical horizon for Apple – Video. And not just 24, or Lost, or Vodcasts. We’re talking full length, feature film.
I’d love to LEGALLY download certain movies and OWN them for my own enjoyment. Especially the really hard to find stuff like Dante’s Inferno (a silent film recently rescored with a Tangerine Dream soundbed) or the life and times of Frank Frazetta. I’ve seen both from the public library’s collection. It’s a PITA to find these esoteric titles (even though I’ve since found these two). Multiply that times a couple of dozen and you have my gist. Furthermore, it irks me to no end the studios are trying to tell ME how I like my video… Lessee, I have the theatre variety, then maybe later I’ll have DVD or VHS. Maybe even later I’ll have it with commercials sprinkled in. C’mon! Get on with it or someone else WILL!
The iTMS put a LOT of out of print & indie material at our fingertips. And, while I haven’t seen stats on the breakdown of sales it’s hard to imagine it’s much different than what we know about Amazon and the Long Tail: You have your popular stuff and then this vast (MUCH larger) load of sales coming in on the non-best seller, semi- sort of esoteric stuff.
So, while Mr. Jobs is in discussions with the major studios… I hope he remembers what gained him such notoriety with the indies: He didn’t forget about them in the inital days of the iTMS. If he said (and I can SEE him doing this), “Fooey on the studios, we’re going ahead with our friends at Disney and in the smaller studios.” I’d bet the majors would scream bloody murder to get back into the hunt (and they think BitTorrent is their savior!? Pfffaaaa!).
See, one of these days the iTMS is going to be a buy it before you can see it in the theatre kind of experience. It’s going to trump Cuban’s digital theatre distribution scheme. Movie TRAILERS are a HUGE draw to Apple.com. HUGE!! Just imagine if people were buying their movies before they were in the theatre. That is what Apple is headed towards. THAT is how powerful the iTMS has become in the digital food chain.
The studios might resist it. But, until they come up with something better… it’s how they’ll eat their cabbage.