I don’t normally look to the Huffington Post to provide me with meaningful media analysis any more than I look to a rainbow trout to give me meaningful advice about the stock market. But today they gave me something interesting, and it’s something I have to pass on.
There’s a new premium online / cable channel coming around, and it’s brought to us by major content providers like Paramount, MGM and Lions Gate called Epix. It’s essentially a gigantic movie and television clearinghouse, and right now, it’s not much in the way of news. But it’s what it represents that could be a SERIOUS problem to places like Netflix.
Okay, here’s the rundown. Basically, right now, in order to rent movies, Netflix has to buy them from the studios which is essentially a license to rent. That’s why the FBI hasn’t landed on every Blockbuster Video in the country because they’re violating that terms of service agreement in the beginning of every movie. But what if the studios got to figuring that they’d make more money offering digital download themselves?
No more printing DVDs. Just make a master copy to upload to the server and let everyone download it. It would invalidate the format wars forever, and put a whole bunch of home entertainment companies, especially those that specialize in players, out of business if they didn’t react fast enough.
This could be the beginning of something big…but will it be good? Time will tell.