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Should We Pay More for Content Based on Screen Size? Not a Chance

Thompson on Hollywood By Chris Dorr | Thompson on Hollywood May 1, 2014 at 4:22PM

Why DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg is wrong when he says that people will pay more based on the size of the digital screen.
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Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg

This was recently reported by Variety:

DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg thinks the windowing model of feature films will become a "pay by the inch you watch." During the Entrepreneurial Leadership in the Corporate World panel at the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Katzenberg explained what he thinks is the future of scheduling and distributing feature films.

"I think the model will change and you won't pay for the window of availability. A movie will come out and you will have 17 days, that's exactly three weekends, which is 95% of the revenue for 98% of movies. On the 18th day, these movies will be available everywhere ubiquitously and you will pay for the size. A movie screen will be $15. A 75" TV will be $4.00. A smartphone will be $1.99. That enterprise that will exist throughout the world, when that happens, and it will happen, it will reinvent the enterprise of movies," he told the crowd.

Katzenberg is right that the current windowing release model will collapse and movies will be available everywhere ubiquitously either concurrently with a movie’s theatrical release or very soon thereafter. That has already started to happen with independent releases.

He is wrong that people will pay more based on the size of the digital screen. Mr. Katzenberg needs to understand his own customers.

If you are a subscriber to Netflix you can watch on any screen of any size for the same monthly price.  There is no additional charge to see Netflix on your TV. 

It is more expensive to see a movie in a theater because of the real estate costs associated with owning and maintaining a large physical property.  We also get to experience the movie on a very large screen.  As filmgoers we understand this.

Read the rest of the story here.

This article is related to: VOD, VOD/Streaming, News, DreamWorks, DreamWorks, Netflix


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.