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Piracy Not The Biggest Threat, Says Miramax, Netflix Chiefs, Digital Monopolies Are

Posted by: , 18:34 AEDT, Thu October 6, 2011

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Miramax's CEO and Netflix chief content officer warn the movie industry that they need to embrace innovation and competition, or the industry will face the same fate as the music industry

At the MIPCOM conference, Miramax CEO Mike Lang and Netflix's Content Officer Ted Sarandos delivered a talk that points out the threats to rights holders in the new digital age, and it seems net piracy isn't the biggest threat after all.

Instead, it's companies like Apple that are the biggest threat to the creative industries due to the practical monopolies that they operate, which allows them far too much say in dictating industry directions.

"Apple is the strongest company in the music industry because there was not enough competition, and still to this day there is not enough competition. As an industry it can’t then influence, packaging, merchandising – all the things that are vital," Lang told the audience at MIPCOM.

Lang urged the movie industry to learn from the mistakes of the music industry and embrace innovation, and more importantly, competition. "As an industry – the movie industry – we have to be very cognisant of that. That’s why we did our deal with Netflix, and why we also did our deal with Hulu. We want multiple players to be successful," added Lang.

Netflix's Sarandos also warned about the dangers of monopolies, and played down the threat of piracy in comparison to such challenges. "Walmart changed the music industry more than Napster," quipped Sarandos.

Sarandos also urged the movie industry to embrace innovation, or face the consequences, which may very well be increased piracy. That the bigger problem has been getting the right, legitimate products out to consumer quickly enough, as opposed to the consumer's need to pirate content. "consumers ... don't want to pirate, they really don't ... and the way to react to that is to offer legitimate, great service to them to access [the content]," noted Sarandos. "When consumers tell you what they want, give it to them. Figure out a way to give it to them, because they will figure out a way to get it."

"If you want to see what people really want, look at what they're stealing," Lang added.

You can watch the entire keynote address here:


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