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Thomas Krafft

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Streamageddon

Almost 1,800 titles will disappear from NetFlix tomorrow, because one studio wants to create their own streaming service and will therefore be removing all their titles from any other streaming service catalog.

This isn’t the first, nor will it be the last studio hoping to make more money from exclusive distribution, rather than the lower licensing fees they get from third party distribution services. Sadly, the studios have chosen to double-down on the old channel model that consumers have been clearly rejecting for over two decades. Notice how no one buys CDs anymore? And as soon as NetFlix-like services showed up, people gladly switched to watching more movies there – rather than saving up to buy that one DVD from BestBuy on Tuesday.

The NetFlix model was good for consumers, and consumers rewarded all participating media companies by watching MORE movies. Now, by setting up their own walled-off streaming services, media companies are only making mainstream media consumption more expensive and less attractive to consumers (because we’d conceivably need to subscribe to every movie studio, just to catch that latest title from who-knows-which-studio). Good job old media. You’ve just given the independent studios and production companies fewer obstacles to end-run you in a few years, as they focus on distributing content *everywhere*, for a smaller percentage of something – rather than limiting distribution to only your own channel, so you can get 100% (of eventually nothing).

Bravo. And, for the next few years, I’m perfectly happy not paying you a single penny for Hangover or Happy Feet, while the indies continue ramping up their production efforts. At least with NetFlix, the odds were actually greater-than-zero I would have watched one of your cheesy movies, and you would have gotten some revenue, simply due to the ease and pricing model of those third party streaming services.

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Over 15 years of experience in marketing and demand creation, with strategies driving over $500 million in revenue for a variety of companies in several high-growth and competitive markets, including consumer software and web services, ecommerce, demand creation through web and search, big data, and now healthcare.