Movies are awesome. The next time you hear someone regret remakes, remixes, and redundancy please remind them to respect your review. No one complains about meatloaf, sequels are comfort food.
However, I don’t always remember who is who, who is alive, or who is in love. Here’s the pitch: a streaming service that offers a limited run of a limited number of movies based on the time of year.
Wharton professor Jonah Berger researched how ideas spread and part-of-the-reason ideas spread is timing. People are contextual operators. We need cues for action. How many times have you seen a trailer, heard about a restaurant, or found out about some music only to never followup. You need a nudge.
The Upcoming Streaming businesses would be just that. The week before Harry Potter X comes out, the last two movies from that universe are available to stream. The Rock has another Jumanji-like movie coming out, and so another Rock movie is available to stream. Actually, the Rock always has movies coming out. He’s a mainstay.
For movie studios this is a no-brainer. Some studios spend more marketing a movie than making one. This streaming service would be inverted marketing. People pay to get excited for the next movie. Free money.
There’s hope for this idea as smart contracts become more popular. Tyler Cowen notes that Hollywood and whaling were the VC OG. If Silcon Valley is into crypto and blockchains then maybe the theater business isn’t far behind.
Another advantage is that this business doesn’t interfere with the competitive advantage of existing streaming services. If a movie is offered in more than one location, few customers would cancel Netflix just because a movie or two each year were available somewhere else.
But wait, there’s more! This business has scarcity. If movies are only available for the week before a release people will feel the need to act now. It can’t hurt having psychological influences pushing this idea along.
Upcoming releases wouldn’t be the only available source of inspiration. How many studios would love to pump their old rom-com libraries for one more run as they return to our lives as a special Valentines week lineup? How great would it be to stream only the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends over the Thanksgiving holiday?
If someone knows Michael Ovitz, have him get in touch.