Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Notes to Mark Cuban on How to Get More People to the Movies...

Mark Cuban just launched The Movie Busiess Challengee on his blog. He's asking help figuring out how to get more people to the movies without spending $60 million on marketing...

My solution: launch a subscription service for the movies!

Here are the comments I posted on Mark's blog:

Here's my 2 cents for how you get people to leave their homes and go to the movies every week (at least) and make more money for everyone involved (including indie film makers).

1) Launch a monthly subscribtion fee model so people pay say $24.95 a month and they can go to as many movies as they want. (Use technology and photo IDs so people can't pass their sub along for free). Netflix figured it out: people are incentivised to watch as many DVD's as possible in a month or they feel like they are getting screwed. Thus they have incentive to watch more movies and explore new content...

2) The theatres make most of their profit off of the concessions anyway so they'll be happy to have more people in the seats.

3) Theatres should show more movies more frequently which will create a demand for more content. Have the theatre open 24 hours a day with all types of movies running continusously. Again, the theatre can make more money if the seats are full, and there will be a demand for new types of content (i.e. The Long Tail for film...).

4) Theatres can offer additional premium services such as preferred seating, drinks, etc. to increase profits even more.

5) Level the playing field the way (YouTube is doing and digital cameras are doing) by making it easier for individual filmmakers to get their films into a theatre for the public to view. There are tons of ways to do this: let subscribers vote online for what movies come to the theatre and when for example. The best content wins. (Digg/Delicious model).

6) The big studios will be incentivised to focus on developing more projects rather than big block-busters. It will simply be more profitable to spend money on content rather than marketing because having more of the better content will make them more money. If they change their model to investing less in many more projects, film makers will be forced to do more with less. The studios will be incentivised to spend that same $60 million on 60 $1 million films, becase the data (I suspect) will likely show they can be much more profitable making a rev share from subscriber fees, % of advertising rev and perhaps % of cencession and premium services fees x number of seats their set of movies fill.

7) Finally, cut the filmmakers and actors in on the success of the film. And not just the A stars. Put the incentive back on those involved with the film so they are incentivised to do their own marketing...

Let's figure this one out. I'm sick of the current system that's for sure...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Adam Brenneman's Current TV Piece on Hezbolah

My long-time friend Silas Starr sent me this Current TV piece his cousin did recently. Interesting indie journalism on the current conflict...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Acting, Directing , Writing

"Anyone can act, a few people can direct, and no one can write."

--Great quote I heard Robert Downy Jr. mention on a recent interview with Terry Gross.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

RSS On The Rise...

RSS feeds have not yet entered the mainstream -- yet! But as I've been saying for a few years now, they will. RSS is simply a more convenient way to get the information that matters to you.

Wikipedia has launched RSS feeds for all of its posts; Now you can subscribe to find out how the subjects you care about have been changed by other Wikipedia users. We are launching the same functionality at OrganizedWisdom for over 6,000 health topics. Interested in staying up to date on Celiac Disease, Migraines, Weight Loss or Pregnancy? Subscribe to the RSS feed for topics you care about and you will get the most recent health wisdom at all times delivered right to you...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Love Getting Real

If you are not in the software development game, chances are you have not heard of the e-book Getting Real by the folks over at 37Signals.com.

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Even though Getting Real details the business, design, programming, and marketing principles of 37signals, the book is really about simplicity, contrarian points of view, and unconventional approaches to [software design/your topic here]. This is not a technical book or a design tutorial, it's a book of ideas.

The book is a quick read and can easily be devoured in under two hours, but that's the point, because the entire theme of the book is: Less can be More.

What I love most about the book is that the hundreds of insights from Getting Real can help anyone because the same advice could easily translate to your own business, relationships, and to life in general.

In fact, as my partner Steven Krein and I build out our new consumer health company OrganizedWisdom, that is exactly what we are doing. Our business, our site, our infrastructure, our technology, our teams, our communications, and the way we work are all focused on the elegance and power of simplicity. (You can check out our beta launch at www.organizedwisdom.com at the end of this month to see how we are implementing Getting Real...)

Finally, another thing I love about this book is that it is only available online as an e-book download. No paper, no fulfillment, no waiting, no extra expense, no middlemen. Just a great product direct to you for download. And so far they have sold about 20,000 digital copies ($200,000 in profits). Brilliant.

Read the 37Signals blog at http://www.37signals.com/svn/