Is physical media (DVD / Blue Ray) worth saving?

If the “powers-that-be” in the entertainment industry were to ask me (which, by the way, they have not), I would tell them they’ve completely missed the boat on the DVD -> Blue Ray thing.

Had they been smart, and not closed minded, paranoid, and self-destructively greedy, they would have already realized that for physical media to have any chance whatsoever in the mass market, moving forward, the price needs to be considerably under that which they are currently charging for DVDs. Unfortunately, they chose to make Blue Ray content a premium. Mind you, I am not surprised by this un-enlightened approach, but I hope, once and for all, someone in a position of power comes to realize that physical media’s only chance to remain relevant for a even a few more years is to “carpet bomb” the mainstream market with easily accessible, in-demand, content. (Notice I did not say “on-demand.”)

If I were any/all of the major distributors, I would make the following offer to all consumers…

Sign-up on our special website, catalog your current DVD collection, send us all your “old, 20th century technology, low-quality” disks and we will send you brand spanking new Blue Ray disks (packed with all sorts of extra resolution). And, as a special offer, if you register and return more than 20 DVDs, we will give you a Blue Ray player!

Next, I’d let the “Send us your tired and poor DVD” program run for about 6-9 months, then I’d announce that all new Blue Ray discs will be $14.99 or less moving forward.

Finally, sometime around 2015, when it becomes perfectly clear (like it has not already) that “on-demand” 1080P content is what everyone really wants, I’d abandon the consumer market with physical media (DVD and Blue Ray) and focus all my “physical media attention” on the super-premium consumer. I’d make special Blue Ray only editions of classic content and selected new releases, presented in gorgeous packaging with special audio/video tracks, etc., and I’d charge $100+ for these and limit their release. Even better, I’d make them only available to “registered collectors” (anyone can register) and would figure out a way to customize the presentation (package and disk) for each “registered collector.”

For digital content on physical media to remain relevant it needs to be entirely re-targeted. If you are someone that depends on DVD and/or Blue Ray sales for your living you are pretty much at the “end of the proverbial plank.” If you don’t make some changes, and make them now, both you and your livelihood are destined to go the way of VHS.

If I were Twitter…

If I were Twitter, I’d be spending a considerable portion of that $100M I just raised focusing on how to leverage Twitter into becoming a destination, in addition to being a killer data stream.

At the moment Twitter is firmly in the middle of what I call the “phenomenon” phase of its existence. This is a great time for Twitter, but this time is fleeting. Providing/facilitating a real-time data stream is a great resource, however, this data stream is not in unto itself particularly useful (there is just too much data). If Twitter keeps going down this “we are only a data stream” path they are going to quickly find themselves marginalized by players like Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc. In addition, Twitter will quickly realize, if they have not already, that providing a utility is a thankless chore. The people that will make the real money will be those that are able to “functionalize” the data. Companies like TweetDeck, SocialApproach,, etc. (a.k.a. the Twitter ecosystem) that are able to channel/segment the Twitter “fire hose” into a “garden hose” from which individuals can actually receive tangible value will certainly be the winners.

I would contend that Twitter’s greatest asset, at the moment, is not the data itself, but the Twitter brand. Twitter needs to find their “purple cow” and capitalize on it… now!

Back to my opening thesis…

For Twitter to succeed for the long-term they need to figure out a way to make people and businesses want to put their Twitter URL on their television commercials and marketing collateral. For example, during a recent baseball game (go Red Sox) there was a Honda commercial. At the end of the commercial Honda did not provide a URL to, they provided a URL to Sure, Honda is proud to say “follow us on Twitter,” but the act of following is only really beneficial to Honda, not Twitter.

If Twitter does not capitalize on their brand by adding tangible “social” components to their feature set it is just a matter of time (months not years) until they are consumed by one of the big boys for far less than they could have been had they been able to get outside of their comfort zone.

Bottom line… Twitter was revolutionary/innovative in 2007. Today (Q4/2009), Twitter needs to show us they are not simply a spectacularly successful “one-hit-wonder.” eTailer Advisory Board

Excellent news… Tom Patterson (CSO • MagTek, Inc.) has invited me to join the eTailer Advisory Board. If you don’t know Tom Patterson and/or MagTek you should take a moment to check them out. Needless to say, I have accepted the invitation.

It is clear how MagTek’s MagnaPrint technology can, and will, make counterfeit credit card fraud a “thing of the past” for traditional “brick & mortar” merchants; you know, the folks like Target, WalMart, BestBuy, etc. who do the vast majority of their transactions as “card present.”

However, let’s not forget how important eCommerce has become over the course of the last decade. Did you know that did almost $19B (as in billion) dollars of transactions in 2008?

The eTailer Advisory Board has been established by Tom Patterson (CSO • MagTek, Inc.) with the expressed mission to work with eTailers; those of you who don’t currently get the benefits and reduced costs of “card present” transactions, to help bring MagnaPrint technology to your businesses. We are here to help reduce your transactional costs and eliminate the scourge of charge-backs caused by counterfeit credit card fraud.

[Originally posted by Tal Golan @]