For all of our lives, almost, we have lived in a linear and analog world.
That means that things had a short shelf life.
The Moody Blues might release an album and if you moved fast enough, you got over to Tower Records and bought it. Then, after playing it a few dozen times, it sat on your shelf, pulled out onlly occasionally. Rather, it was replaced by the next ;must have' album.
What you bought in Tower Records was driven mostly by what you heard on the radio. And the radio too was linear. They played the top 100 songs, but those also kept changing.
We kept moving on.
Same goes for the movies.
Star Wars might have been showing at The Regency, but only this week. After that, it was gone.
An episode of Seinfeld only aired at 8PM on Thursday nights. MIss it and you missed it.
But now, with the advent of Netflix and Disney (and there will be a thousand others soon), we enter the world of non-linear, video on demand, libraries and endless watching.
But how are we going to fill our appetites for content? And how are companies like Disney and Netflix going to make money?
The answer, it would seem, is old libraries.
Companies like Disney (in particular) have vast libraries of old stuff that no one has seen in years.
Now, they are available to everyone, any time, to anyone who wants to watch them.
Stuart Heritage at The Guardian reveiws the ten worst Disney films that no one has seen in years, that are now avaiable on The Disney Digital Channel - with more to come.
Check it out. It's a good and funny read.
But it made me think.
The digital world of VOD levels the playing field for content.
You may have seen 2001, A Space Odyssey, but there's a whole generation who has not. Likewise Disney's Fantasia. Likewise A Clockwork Orange. LIkewise a hundred thousand other films.
There is no reason that these films are not as compelling to a new audience who has never seen them as a new film like Godzilla King of the Monsters or The Haunting of Sharon Tate - both real losers from 2019.
The streaming world changes everyhing.
It also puts enormous value on anyone who has a library of back titles.
The demand for content is going to get really crazy now - as we collectively spend about 8 hours a day watching TV or videos.
What kicks in here is the long tail.
Once, if you were going to make a movie, you had to recoup your investment in the first few weeks.
Now, if you can wait long enough, you can keep getting residuals for years and years.