Saving Hollywood

Photo from jorgemir via flickr

Photo from jorgemir via flickr

Poor Hollywood.  Still can’t figure out how to stop pirating and make money off the internet.  But I believe there are may untapped avenues that Hollywood could take to generate money and not stop…rather to encourage pirating of their shows.  And here is how:

Embedded Advertising within your shows

OK, I agree this is not revolutionary but here me out as I don’t think it has been looked at through this lens.  And I believe that the infrastructure is already in place…it is just bringing them all together (along with a revamped Hollywood).  Let me walk you through an example and then I will break down the three pieces that are need for this to succeed.  I will use Amazon for the example below (though the other players above could do this just as easily):

You are watching a TV show/Hollywood movie and you want to know what kind of leather jacket the main character is wearing. Put your mouse over the jacket (or character), click and (the scene continues) on the right hand side of the screen (think of the Hulu setup with the black on the left and right side, or the full screen is pushed over slightly to avoid having the text block the scene) and information detailing what that character is wearing appears on the screen. If the jacket is from The Gap, on this click, Amazon gets a eyeball click $$ payment. What it also allows is for the user to click to the 1) Gap website 2) Gap store; potentially purchasing that jacket immediately or 3) since this is Amazon, go directly to the Amazon store to buy the jacket (do everything in one place).  Additionally, to make the experience better, the viewing public can engage a setting in the video player that enables when you click, the information is sent to your “Viewing Basket” so when the show is over, you can review the product information and shop without interrupting the entertainment experience. And for a mobile strategy, you could have a GPS awareness that could notify you know when you are within 1 mile of a Gap Store that has that product in stock.  And, since this is Amazon, you would not need to be a big retailer as you can setup an Amazon store.

1. Infrastructure:  The Content is Being Broadcast Already

On-line, there are many places where content is available to stream or download such as Hulu, You Tube, Amazon Video and of course iTunes to name a few.  Great.  They all have a purchasing system setup so the public already trusts their purchases.  Most have also done a good job of making it dead simple for the public to view, sample and purchase a large variety of content.

2. Embedding Technology Exists

YouTube is already going down the path with Annotations but I prefer the technology by a company like VideoClix as it makes for  a nicer viewing experience.  Great, we now have both the infrastructure and the technology.

3. Hollywood…and their willingness to change.

This is the real place where the money (and the change) happens and has the potential to change the whole pre-production of the Television and Movie industry.  And that is the key point – pre-production.  It changes/influences not only the costumes/clothes for actors, but furniture, food, dishes, etc. You can auction off every single thing that will be on the screen to people who want product placement before production. For example, if your star is listening to an ipod, you can hover over it and find out what songs they are listening to – link straight to iTunes/Amazon mp3 and buy the song. People are sitting in front of the computer, why not have them be interactive?

How about “Lost”?

A question I get a lot is “what about a show like Lost?”  Well, besides the obvious Dharma swag they should be selling (who wouldn’t want to crack open a Dharma Initiative beer on the weekend in their Maintenance overalls?), there is an opportunity to grab your audience in so many other ways.  Lost followers (me included) love the mysteries of the island.  So, why not embed more into the shows?  For example, during the show, what if you could click on the hatch and walk around and look closely at the books on the shelf, records and past training tapes.  You could have a show within a show.  Possibly sell membership to see be able to check out different parts of the island yourself.

Remember:  there is a difference watching things on your television versus your computer.  On a computer, you have a keyboard and mouse in front of you…rotting away.  Utilize it.  And I believe  eventually that all television controllers will act like laser pointers for our screens.

A New Distribution Model = Open Season for Spammers?

Of course there can be negatives such as people putting in spam links, virus links, etc.  But if movies play on the Amazon site, then there is trust in the links.  But looking to the future, viewing movies in the browser using such as the soon to be released Google OS or the updated HTML 5, the browser can detect the source (such as the FireFox 3 secures sites check).  Peer to peer sharing will now be embraced by all involved as it will help get content get distribute more widely.

So, there you go television and film industry honcho’s (Or Amazon).  A whole new model waiting to be tapped into for profit.  Are you ready to try a new business model or are you too busy locking everything down and suing your customers?

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