Following up on Ideas for Movie Moguls, 1/25/12.
Robert Goldman writes about a nearby cinema that has reserved seats. And has eliminated the non-preview commercials. This is the big idea. Treat your customers like you care about them, and they'll be happier to pay money. The idea of paying $15 to see a movie and then having to sit thru commercials for soft drinks and real estate is really humiliating. Whoever had that idea should be sent off to the glue factory.
Another one. I discovered that somehow I'm not subscribed to HBO at home. That's news to me, since I get HBO on my cable box. So I went to the Time-Warner site to check it out, and if I wasn't paying for it, to pay for it. They want me to call them. Well, I'm not going to do that. You can have my money, but not my time and pride. When they get you on the phone get ready for the hard upsell. Someone calculated that if you don't mind wasting the customer's time, you can get an extra 10 percent revenue from them, as some will pay you to shut up. I don't happen to be one of those people. In any case I'm paying $119 a month, so I'm pretty sure that's covering HBO in addition to the standard cable package. You know that seems like an awful lot of money just to watch Boardwalk Empire and Homeland. Hmmm.
One more idea, one that I was bouncing around with my friend Chris Dixon last year. If one of us had the time to implement it we would. Maybe you'd like to? Here's the idea. Set up a trust for the movie industry. A bank account that we can deposit money into but only movie-makers can withdraw from. When you download a movie via BitTorrent that you watch all the way to the end, deposit $5 into the account for the movie. When the owners decide to accept BitTorrent as a legitimate distribution system, which someday they are sure to, they can have the money. The amount of money in the account is always public info. So it becomes an important statistic, part of the "box office" for a movie. Then you'd probably find a funny thing happening -- independent movie producers who can't get distribution any other way will start promoting this site as a legitimate way to pay for movies. It wouldn't take long before the MPAA realized that there are a huge number of people who want the convenience of watching movies at home on their own timetable, instead of having to deal with the inhumane system the movie industry created for them.