updated 07:35 pm EDT, Wed October 5, 2011
Miramax wants to curb potential Apple power
Miramax chief Mike Lang explained to those at the MIPCOM media conference Wednesday night that his studio was trying to prevent Apple from repeating its effect in music on the movie industry. He saw the iTunes operator as having walked in on a digital music business with poor competition and taking a control that persists to this day. With so much influence, he said, labels couldn't set the agenda and showed what could happen if movie studios didn't act faster.
"Apple is the strongest company in the music industry, and because there was not enough competition, and still to this day is not enough competition, as an industry it can't then influence packaging, merchandising, all the things that are vital," according to the executive. "As the movie business we have to be very cognizant of that."
Pacts with Hulu and with Netflix were meant as hedges against Apple to allow for "multiple players" thriving in the field and giving Miramax more control. "Our goal as an industry should be to have as many as possible, and may the best service win," Lang said.
Such statements aren't uncommon in the industry, which was alarmed at the clout Apple got in media stores. Coming in as a newcomer in 2003, it went from niche player to passing Walmart and other physical stores as the largest source of legal music in the US. Studios have tried taking power away by giving DRM-free music first to Amazon and numerous other stores before Apple, but it ultimately did little to shake Apple's lead.
In digital video, iTunes has two thirds of direct download video in the US, but it trails well behind Netflix. The subscription-only service has about 64 percent of all paid digtal accesss, according to recent NPD data. Hulu has over one million paid subscribers to Hulu Plus but is much larger overall through its ad-backed free version. [via AppleInsider]