Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chamillionaire vs. Universal : What's wrong with the Entertainment Industries?

I'm constantly talking about how the music industry needs to adapt better to the changing times and technology, instead of waiting around for the tech companies to do it, like Apple did with iTunes. It extends to television as well, and televised sports, etc. The companies that make money from people watching their television, sports or listening to their music, simply do not understand that there is no way to stop it. People will watch and listen to this stuff over the internet for free one way or another. It doesn't matter how strong you make your next security features, someone will beat it.

The NFL in particular really pisses me off. When I was living in Mexico, I couldn't watch my boys, the Cleveland Browns (though after last night's performance, feel free to refer to them as the Cleveland Steamers) unless I got satellite TV installed and bought Sunday Ticket. Anyone who's ever lived in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, knows that you don't just call up the Satellite TV company and say "I want to pay you money, please come install your dish" and have then show up. It is a far more complicated, annoying process which usually ends up with the SKY TV guy spouting some bullshit about how they can't install in my area because there are no lines or I live in some anti-satellite bubble zone or some bullshit that just basically translates to, "nah, I feel like drinking on the beach instead of installing your satellite dish". And you can't really blame them, have you seen the beach in PDC?

This left me with two options. I either headed down to the closest gringo bar and watched Sunday football with a bunch of drunk American fugitives and take my chances on whether or not a bunch of guys from Texas and Seattle will be watching the Cleveland game, or I find a stream on some illegal streaming TV site. Obviously a no brainer. Especially given the fact I have a small son who doesn't fare so well sitting in the Caribbean heat for 3 hours while Derek Andersen breaks records for most interceptions thrown in a game.

Sometimes this didn't work either as the NFL liked to crack down on these streams that air the games over the internet and it was a toss up, whether we would be able to watch the game or not.

This is ridiculous if you ask me. Basically, I'm saying to the NFL and the television network airing the game, that I am willing to watch their advertising and be a die hard fan even through the Browns total collapse, and the NFL is saying no.

What the NFL (and any television station or music company) needs to do, is adapt. They need to accept the fact that in about 10 years, television and internet will be one and the same. Take that first step. Air your games for free on the internet and sell more advertising space. Sell to advertisers in other countries and have an IP detection system that tells the site where your viewers are located and then feeds them geo-specific ads. This opens up the NFL and television networks to infinite more advertising dollars, employs more people and allows die hard Cleveland Steamers fans in Mexico the opportunity to watch Brady Quinn be a really, really pretty bench warmer!

Anyway, this whole rant was brought on by me reading about Chamillionaire (a-say-what?) ignoring Universal's rules and allows his fans to embed his new music video on their web and social networking pages.
By all accounts, fans responded positively to the artist’s social media initiative. The Ustream/Facebook live broadcast saw more than 90,000 total views with more than 9,000 simultaneous viewers at the peak.
Chamillionaire Breaks Universal’s Rules So Fans Can Embed Music Video
What is wrong with Universal that they think that turning away 90,000 viewers is a sound business decision? I say rope in those viewers and sell some damned ads. Make your money selling music, just do it differently. Don't sell the actual music, sell ads! No matter what anyone does, people will still get their music for free. They will see music videos for free. As hard as NBC tries, people still see SNL videos in places they are not allowed to. It's ridiculous and fighting it is only going to cost you more money. The future is free, streaming television, free, streaming music and free, streaming videos. When the music industry sees that what Chamillionaire did is a good thing, and they adapt to the changing times, that's when they'll start making money again and it won't be such a hurting industry anymore.

For those of you who are interested :

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