revolution?

by jaredmoshe
October 24, 2005 8:32 AM
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In my short and continued love affair with slate, I'm point everyone to another of the great articles by Edward Jay Epstein. This one on Mark Cuban and his plan to revolutionize the TV and video windows.

Enter Mark Cuban. Along with his longtime business partner Todd Wagner, Cuban became a multibillionaire selling his Internet company, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo for $5.7 billion. Cuban and Wagner then created an entertainment conglomerate that includes controlling interests in a movie production company (HDNet Films), a distributor (Magnolia Pictures), an art-house chain (Landmark Theatres), a television and video library (Rysher Entertainment), and a high-definition television network (HDNet). Cuban believes that Hollywood's distribution system requires radical change. He wants to do away with artificial windows so that consumers can buy a movie, as he notes in his blog, "How they want it, when they want it, where they want it." He argues that movies should be made available simultaneously on cable television, DVD, and in movie theaters, letting consumers decide whether they prefer to see it at home (even if it means paying a premium for a new release) or in the theater.

This is not mere theory. As Cuban writes, he's using HDNet to lead "the charge in collapsing windows all the way to Day and Date releases of Movies in theaters, on TV (HDNet Movies), and soon, on video." His company released The War Within on Sept. 30 simultaneously in theaters and on HDNet TV channels. Cuban plans to make this option available to other movie producers. The Hollywood studios can hardly ignore Cuban's experiment. The movie audience has a finite amount of time, or "clock," to spend on movies. If more and more independent film companies follow Cuban's lead, the studio system of artificial delay could cost Hollywood a significant part of both its movie and its DVD rental audience.

Read the whole article here.

I haven't yet come to an opinion in the whole day and date argument. If and when I do, I'm sure it will be posted here.

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