Story telling is the second oldest form of entertainment (the first is only legal in Nevada, and they shut down that section of Craig’s list). TV and Movies aren’t going away. We aren’t consuming that many fewer hours of them either. But we have changed the revenue model.
We don’t pay $30 for a DVD, we pay $9. We don’t even pay $30 for most Blu-Ray’s because most of us have moved to Pay Per View. Hollywood made a bad bet that by tiering content they would be able to get you to consume more and that the long tail would be even longer. But Disney is perhaps the only studio that has figured out that if you want to sell Sleeping Beauty to the same person for $20 every 10 years, you have to not sell Sleeping Beauty for 3 years before the re-release.
Hollywood isn’t dying because of Facebook, or a Fitness app on your iPhone. Hollywood is dying because they told you, you don’t have to buy a movie the week it is released to get a great price on it. You can wait for it to be free on NetFlix, or Amazon, Or Hulu. Blockbusters aren’t as busty as they were, and cult classics don’t demand that you buy them when you can find them for fear you will never find them again.
YCombinator announced a call to “kill Hollywood with entertaining startups”. Entertaining startups are not a bad idea, but any VC or founder that thinks that SOPA was a wake up call that there needs to be an alternative to Hollywood, missed why Hollywood has thrived for so long. They missed why people left GoDaddy, but didn’t stop watching TV, or going to the movies.
The fools who think Stop SOPA was a success weren’t in Hollywood. They didn’t hear the laughter of the studios. “My Internet is sucky today because of the protests, let’s go see a movie” fed the studios, reignited their vigor, reminded them that “CONTENT IS KING!” They are the story tellers. They control and shape how you think, and how you feel, and if they decide to have a black-out you will be sad. Millions were made aware of SOPA by the Internet BlackOut, but the studios could Turn off the content for an Hour and BILLIONS would feel their wrath.