The Electric Commentary

Friday, December 10, 2004

Mark Cuban on the future of Movies and DVDs

from Marginal Revolution:

Cuban and Wagner plan to buck the Hollywood system of releasing movies over many months, through separate windows for theaters, pay-per-view, DVD, and broadcast TV. Instead, Cuban said, they intend to attempt "day-and-date releases," in which their films premiere simultaneously on Landmark screens, HDNet, and DVD. "We think it's a way of maximizing our revenues, controlling marketing costs, and adding value to our brands," he said. "And we don't think giving people alternatives to going to the theater will hurt us at the box office. It's just like with the Mavericks: We still sell out the games even though they're on free TV."

Even more heretical is Cuban's opinion of DVDs, which is that they suck -- or, at least, that they're inferior to hard drives as a medium for storing digital content. "Why would we invest in DVD," he asked, "knowing that hard drives are going to grow in capacity, shrink in size and price, and can also be erased and rewritten?" He imagines selling HD movies stored on key-chain drives -- or putting multiple films on larger drives, "like
software used to be packaged on PCs." Moreover, he added, "with ever-expanding storage, we can increase picture quality for years to come by taking advantage of new cameras and better compression schemes. With DVDs, we can't."

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