We no longer use this blog! Please visit sakistore.net for our blog, online store, and more!

Wednesday, July 13

Babies. Little Babies.

Back in about 2008-, while I worked at Touch and Go, we distributed a video called Building a Broken Mousetrap by The Ex, filmed by indie filmmaker extraordinare, Jem Cohen. Though we had no account or direct relationship with Netflix, we did what any distributor would for any release - we not only solicited the local mom-n-pops, but we also solicited all of our distributors. These distributors, in turn, solicit their customer base(s). Netflix was in one of those customer bases, apparently and needless to say, Jem Cohen wasn't too pleased that Netflix was renting his film. He reasoned this logic -

- Netflix buys three copies of your DVD for $10.00 each. You/your label make $30.00 to split between you and your artist(s).

- Netflix then rents one of those 3 DVDs that they purchased from you 50,000 times each at a (for instance) monthly plan of 2 DVDs per month for $8.99 each. This makes each DVD in the plan around $4.50 each. Netflix (not the label, the filmmaker, not the artist, and certainly not any of the staff for the film) make $225,000.00 from the purchase of 1 DVD from you. Let's say they rent each of those 3 DVDs in the same plan, but to3 different customers. Netflix has made $675,000.00 from the purchase of 3 DVDs from you. I bet the water coolers at Netflix are made of the finest polished marble stones.

- Sure, this is more than wrong. Granted, Blockbuster did this renting movies as well, as did many video rental shops, and for nearly 30 years. So has your local record store when they sell used LPs/CDs/Cassettes/DVDs. Only the shop makes the money from an item sold - that in many ways, is still owned (copyright/publishing) by the label or artist. Neither labels or bands did anything to combat this, as used sales were seen as helping mom-n-pop shops simply exist. And your local record shop and local video store weren't marketing to the world, as a mailorder company.

- The reason no one cares/thought about this, is that the majority of films released on Netflix are made by Hollywood studios, or are at least, well funded documentaries, etc., and no one really cares if (for example) Brad Pitt doesn't make an extra $225,000.00 on the rentals of his newest movie. Anyone would reason that he has enough money, children, adopted children, etc. But bands and independent filmmakers are no Brad Pitt. They operate on shoestring budgets, and what Netflix provides to their customers.

That said, the notice that Netflix has raised their pricing deals, and that Sony has taken all of their streaming movies from the site, I find to be PARTICULARLY AWESOME. Many Netflix users have complained about this change. AND THEY ARE ALL BABIES. Granted, Sony is likely in talks (ie: contract negotiations) and their streaming content will reappear soon. (Insert pacifier in mouth, now).

Seriously, people. Sure, the service provided by Netflix is changing. Just like life. They are a business out to make money (to continue to exist to provide you service to complain about, when it changes - and it always will). Either cancel your subscription, keep it, with the knowledge that you're participating in ripping off those that you admire. It's an American pasttime at this point.

3 comments:

  1. I Heart Adam Reach Rants (TM)! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. How would it be possible to rent a single DVD 50,000 times, given that Netflix subscribers would probably keep the DVD for an average time of a few days? By my math, a single DVD by someone as non-mainstream as the Ex might rent out 30 or 40 times a year, which would take over 1,000 years to rent out 50,000 times.

    I appreciate the sentiment of what you're saying, but could you please ground your comments in reality?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sure. Substitute "The Ex" with the new Arcade Fire DVD. Problem solved.

    ReplyDelete

Be nice!