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The Times They Are a-Changin’

2 Apr, 2013 By: Thomas K. Arnold

I was looking at our website today and the top four headlines, in order, were “Dish Launches $1 Billion Bond Offering,” “Canadian Cabler Launches Rovi TV Removes,” “Epix Launches App for PlayStation 3” and “Popcornflix Bows on Xbox 360.”

It struck me that had a Rip Van Winkle-type fallen asleep 10 years ago, five years ago — heck, even a couple years ago — he would be scratching his head and wondering what exactly it is that he's reading.

Years ago, we were talking about convergence. Entertainment existed in silos, but there were signs different channels might converge at some point down the road.

Now, they have — in ways we never imagined possible. Pay-TV and home entertainment used to be bitter enemies. Now, they're part of the same food chain — not just coexisting, but intermingling.

Digital movies you could watch on your computer? They had to be bootlegs, pirated copies ripped off someone's disc. Now, a digital copy of a movie is a key component of virtually every DVD and Blu-ray Disc you buy.

Retailers screamed bloody murder any time studios handed over a movie to a cable pay-per-view service within 30 days of its home video release. Now, window staging is a critical part of our business, with most observers saying the exposure on PPV might actually help boost disc sales because it builds awareness.

Dish, the satellite service, used to be seen as The Enemy, cannibalizing home video sales and rentals. Now Dish owns Blockbuster.

The times not only have changed, but they keep changing — so much so that many of us who have been in the business for years have trouble keeping up with all the latest developments.

We remember when YouTube was launched and studios cracked down on video clips from their movies. Now, YouTube is an essential part of every movie's marketing campaign.

We remember when movies came out for the PSP and we thought it was the neatest thing ever — true mobility, at last.

We remember when words like “prebook,” “turns-per-copy,” “depth of copy” and “late fees” were on everyone's tongues, much like apps, UltraViolet and “combo pack” are today.
What will the future bring? What will the headlines on the Home Media Magazine website look like a year from now, two years from now, five years from now?

We shall have to wait and see …

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