Last year, I started watching the remake of the TV series V on Hulu. You know, the story of those affable aliens who arrive on earth, but actually want to kill us. Call me crazy, but I got into it, and then one day, you couldn’t watch it on Hulu anymore. As you can see on the picture, “streaming rights for full episodes are no longer available”.
So I know there are plenty of very smart people at ABC, and there must be a few 2X2 and some very nicely created excel spreadsheet to explain that decision. And it’s also a (high) possibility that, once again, I completely miss what’s happening these days. But I don’t understand that decision.
The entertainment business is changing. Not just evolving, but being completely turned around. What used to be a source of revenues is now a source of followers. Let me explain: a TV show used to produce advertising revenues. A song used to be sold for real $ and CDs used to cost tons of money and being the main revenue generator for the labels. What we’re seeing now is that artists (or studios or labels) are going to make less and less money with those. Music is becoming cheaper and cheaper. TV shows can be seen with less ads on demand, or through any peer to peer software. I believe all those “items” are going to become free. Yes it sounds crazy today, and it will take a long time, but the entertainment industry will realize that what matters is how many followers your artist/show has. And in that world, the song or the show is just a promotional vehicle, that helps you drive more fans. You want people to be hooked.
Hooked people come to your concert, buy your tee-shirts, follow you over the years, stand by you even when you’re not in top form. Those are the new revenue streams. Of course it will take a while before they replace completely the most traditional ones, but it will happen. We can already see some signs: concert tickets price are going through the roof, tee shirts are more and more expensive etc…
Back to my V example. I’m not going to watch V on TV. I actually don’t really watch TV anymore. It was convenient to have it on Hulu without ads (or with very little). If it were still on Hulu, I’d watch it. And probably really enjoy it. Maybe buy a tee shirt or two with some mugs and hats. And then go and watch the movie when that happens. Stick with it over the years. Follow the actors in their future life. Instead, I’ll just forget this TV series exist.
Until it comes back on Hulu.