I think it finally dawned on the geniuses at Disney that Walt is not coming back… at least any time soon, from his ice box! Well, what better time to screw up?
In an extremely dimwitted display of very poor understanding of how digital media dispersal works, Disney things that it can just be rid of Netflix, and can somehow get people to pony up hordes of cash to watch Bambi and people give each other brain injury at ESPN (courtesy, the apparently racist – ask Colin, NFL, which encourages people to throw an oblong object in a game with the perplexing appellation – Football!). This would be hordes of cash per month – besides you know, the bills they already pay Netflix, Amazon, HBO Now, HuluPlus and possibly, even Xfinity or Time-Warner Cable, every month.
Granted, they are not alone in this foolishness, and are probably following the lead of CBS, which besides having no creative people left (Exhibit No. 1: the “mid-prequel” called Star Trek Discovery, which is set on a timeline between the HORRENDOUS disaster called ST Enterprise and the erstwhile TOS, because, you know, once Katherine Janeway broke temporal rules bringing her crew back nearly intact, to the Alpha Quadrant, NOTHING important ever happened after), wants to try and force people to subscribe to the surprisingly misleading “CBS All Access” (yeah, that’s right, it is not truly ALL access at all, and CBS Some Access is probably not a great marketing deal), by dangling the previously, parenthetically mentioned Star Trek Disas..er Discovery.
It is almost like Disney and CBS want to pave the way for the cord-cutting to turn into cord-mending. Say, you pay $75 or thereabouts for cable (you might be paying more to watch otherwise unemployable people hurt each other, many of us don’t). You decide you want to cut the cord. Fine: Netflix, HBO, Amazon and Hulu might get you there for what, say $40 or even $50. Well, now start tacking CBS, and then Disney (because you just love Minnie), and whatever other genius decides to fragment the streaming industry further – well, at the chance of saving only $5 or so with cord cutting as your bills creep up, you might as well just go back to EEK….Xfinity. Well then you can watch elliptoid balls being thrown, perhaps Bambi on some rotting back-alley rerun channel and even Negan imitating real life United Airlines Crew…
Well, let them have cake
Well, you might argue with me, we don’t do it linearly like you describe. I pay for HBO, my cousin pays for Amazon, the guy down the lane pays for Netflix and we all just pretend we are Joe the Plumber (well, no one is talking about him nowadays!) and share accounts.
Hey, I am not going to stop you. But, if you were a Disney Executive, does this actually make sense of any kind?
Before Google went the way of being exclusive about hiring cave men who’d prefer to hit women on the heads, for coders (remember that 28 year old entitled brat that Google probably paid well over $100,000, fed him, clothed him and hopefully, stopped short of affording him hook…), they learned that fragmentation is a b*ch (and therefore, according to some of the Valley folks probably less biolo…okay, we are moving on).
The Android OS, the hardware and all of that stuff, well, it fragmented fast and loose, preventing Google from exercising any meaningful control and quality. As an Engineer, I love the freedom, and therefore will stay with Android for a long time to come, but it has not necessarily been good news for Google at all.
Now, why would that matter to the Digitial Media Streaming Industry? Well, consider the fact that people have to pay up, the streaming quality has to be good and on and on she goes. Eventually, people will eventually cut loose of some of the services, and that is just bad news.
But, shouldn’t we control our content and its delivery?
Well, did you start making your own TV sets? No, right? Would you? Wouldn’t that be insane? (If your answer is no, you need to find a line of employment that involves ZERO business decisions.)
Then, why do you think it is okay to control how your media is streamed? Yes, Disney acquired some baseball game streaming start-up, a part of the dime-a-dozen, entirely unoriginal, me-too-also-rans that is apparently going to serve the backbone of their own media streaming empire. Sound stupid to you? Good, you probably weren’t in the board room where this great idea was cooked up.
New Media, New Thinking
Yes, Disney is an entertainment company. They could deliver great content, build experiences and maybe stream Bambi-Baseball mash-ups to keep customers engaged. They could also, customers willing (or not), stick electrodes in people’s heads and give them a good buzz. But, they don’t pick the latter for a long time to come (hopefully never, but never say..).
Experiences, cartoons and hitting balls with stick are fine, but one would wish they would think the other stuff through clearly. Most people are already hooked into Netflix. And that is probably the best way to get the content to a large portion of customers. Sure, if Netflix can make content, why can’t content companies stream, you may ask. Well, Netflix is trying to create custom content, so it can own it, push it and cut costs. It makes sense, but also does not guarantee them any success past a point.
However, they can’t publish all forms of content, and they are good at streaming. Disney is good at creating content in certain verticals, and should expand on that. By focusing more on the content (and not on controlling it), they can make their movies, cartoons, sports and what not, irresistible, such that Netflix and the cable companies are tempted to come to the table with better contracts.
Because, there is no going around it. Disney and Netflix will have similar issues. Netflix cannot produce all the content all of its customer segments are going to want, and neither can Disney. Except, Netflix is already a general store, and can source content the best it can.
Why would NBC on the other hand, should it ever again produce a show worth watching, contract its content to be streamed out by Disney? (Especially, since NBC is owned by Xfinity, but you get the idea.)
This is some really bad expansion by Disney, into a market it has no experience or no chance of carving out, and by the time they are done licking their wounds and cutting their loses, to put forth a few cliches, there will be a big hole in their earnings.
And, if Walt should choose to be woken just about then…