You are a TV/movie executive and want to become a billionaire? Thoughts of the perfect world..
As my favorite TV channel here in Bulgaria (hey Vlad!), HBO is one of the very few things I watch on my electronic television box. Of course, you, my international friends, have WAY more ways to consume content.
I have learned to live with my limitations. The only watch my favorite TV shows, since they aren't considered blockbusters and never come out on local TV, is to pirate them off the internet. It doesn't feel good. I can't do anything. Hell, the European Commission can't do anything.
Lack of content is 'solved' in Eastern Europe with out fast and cheep broadband (100 Mbps for $30..), but it looks like you, my international friends, have similar problems. Josh, Paul and Nilay always complain about their cable operators, executive releases and lack of first-run movies. If we want change, it should and has to start from the US.
So, we come to the billion-dollar advice. Keep in mind that this might sound ridiculous to you, executives of TV networks and studios. Yes, it is radical and yes, it might never happen.
Get rid of the cable companies. Get rid of NBC/ABC/CBS and any other major networks. "WHAT? YOU COMMUNIST! HOW DARE YOU? NBC/CBS/ABC MADE MY FAVORITE SHOW AND I WILL NOT.." No. They just ordered them. THe great masterminds behind your favorite TV shows are the studios - 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, Universal and so one. What do the cable companies do? Nothing, they design awful STB and create major roadblocks to your shows. Similarly, national TV networks order and cancel shows.
"You are still a communist. You just want your propaganda and not our free-spoken TV shows" Yes, I want world domination. But I also enjoy Friends, The Office, 30 Rock, Modern Family, House, Parks and Recreation and others. So what would the land of the free do without networks and cable companies? Simple, we will only have production companies, who will make TV shows, and we will have one, YouTube-like website where everyone (everyone in the world) can go and pay for a single episode, subscribe to the show or buy previous seasons. It will be a mix between Netflix and iTunes, but it will be maintained by the actual content providers. They will have an accurate representation of how many people actually watch the show.
The competition will be for quality television, not for executive rights and shady deals. Same goes for movies. No release windows, no region-locked distribution. Movie appears in the theater and movie appears on my TV.
"So you are a communist who also supports piracy.." Piracy comes from people NOT being able to pay for their content. I want to pay for The Office, but the Blu-Rays aren't even distributed in my country. Companies are loosing from piracy. You might as well get back some of your disgusted customers that left because they had to wait 6 months to see a movie on their computer. People are buying things digitally because it is convenient and they don't want to steal. But the first one is becoming less and less relevant.
Movies and TV shows will cost less, too. Production companies will not have to pay or share revenue with networks and cable companies.
Of course there will be problems with this model. Sport events are aways tricky. What will happen to revenue of physical discs? But surely it will be better than the current state.
Again, I don't think this will happen. But nobody thought that TiVo was going to happen..
'I don't care what you say. You are still a communist!"