I mean, gosh I hope things turn out okay with the writers’ strike, and that my Hollywood rep agency just loves how adorably quirky and cute I am with all my wacky “opinions”. Hee! Hacker Boy just sent me this exciting blog post essay on blog.pmarca.com about the writers’ strike and new media — Rebuilding Hollywood in Silicon Valley’s Image. It’s got a lot of growing pains and *extremely* interesting observations in it, which is seeming all event horizony-flavored for those of us with feet in both worlds. Snip:
OK, now let’s get into my theory of how this may play out…
What are the probable long-term consequences of an extended strike?
First, ongoing alienation of a new generation of TV viewers.
The music industry’s war on digital distribution over the last 10 years, starting with their assault on Napster and continuing to all the present-day RIAA fiascos, has permanently alienated an entire generation of consumers, who are now voting with their wallets and not buying music. They’re still going to concerts, buying artist merchandise, buying video games that contain lots of music, even voluntarily paying Radiohead directly for free album downloads — but mainstream recorded music revenue is dropping like an anvil in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, with virtually no hope of recovery.
The TV and movie industry has already been conducting their equivalent war on digital distribution; as a result, most of the new consumers — kids, college students, young professionals — view iTunes and Amazon Unbox downloads as “too little, too late” when it comes to giving them the ability to watch what they want, when they want, on whatever device they want.
I think the TV and movie industry is at a turning point where things could go either way — they could repeat the critical error of the music industry and permanently alienate their customer base; or they could get it together and create viable models for the future that make consumers happy and make money.
The situation already wasn’t looking too good, but the one even more effective way to alienate viewers than attacking their viewing options is to actually kill the programs they are watching.
Which is what an extended strike will do.
Second, driving consumers even faster to the new range of activities they can engage in.
We all know the list: the Internet, social networking, user-generated content, blogging, video games, mobile phones, you name it. All the activities that consumers have discovered and adopted since the last writers’ strike in 1988 (…)