Global Marketing

Adapting to Customer Wants: Keep Up Hollywood

A major competitor to movie theaters these days are the various home theater options viewers now possess. Just as there are many reasons to watch in the theater, there are many reasons to watch at home. This could be for comfort, cost savings, or a feigning interest in a mediocre movie release season. There are also options that are many times only available outside of the theater. Whatever the reason, movie watching at home has developed over the years and is only getting more relevant.

Home theater options have been a big industry for over forty years. Since the launch of early formats, like Beta and VHS, customers have been excited to watch movies on other formats than complicated and pricey 8mm reels. Fast forward to the present, and the digital age has upped the game to another level, leaving short period formats, like LaserDisc, HD DVD, or even Blu-Ray for that matter, left behind as a nostalgic memory at best. Even then, stronger offerings like DVD, which had been the standard for almost fifteen years, are inevitably being lost to streaming and downloadable content. Netflix, Hulu, OnDemand, Amazon Instant Video, and many others are all options to get the home viewing experience. Even premium and basic cable stations provide more content than ever, but are at the mercy of which films the studios release to them and at what cost.

The true disc believers still have the RedBox option, which (sort of) rose from the ashes of the fallen Blockbuster/Hollywood Video days. I remember not too long ago going to Blockbuster, I was the last of a dying breed. RedBox is really a “kiosk Blockbuster” that could have happened years before its time. Some studios are still pushing that disc format, not wanting to stray from the norm, much like I was avoiding moving away from my local Blockbuster.

It boils down to the difficulty studios face to keep up with the home viewing methods customers prefer, which would make anyone hesitant on determining the best horse to bet on. I have a hard time keeping up with it, and I really enjoy watching movies on the most current format. I can only imagine how foreign this all might be to the occasional viewer. Distributors should focus not only how movies are viewed at home, but more importantly, how the customer wants to view them. With so many options, it is really important that the right movies make it to the right viewers. Currently, to get as much content as possible, a mix of them all is necessary, so availability is key.

As history shows, what customers really want is to see the content they want to see for a reasonable price, and they are willing to pay for this as most formats had big sales at the time it was relevant. Why not give them a better option? Often times I’ve thought to pay more for my Netflix subscription to get exactly what I want and lose all of the content that I don’t necessarily need. Sorting out customer behaviors and wants is a big hold up, but it becomes much worse for the sake of profit and inability to keep up with the latest demands.

In the meantime, I will continue my personal efforts on knowing what the new way to watch is. I recently was reading up on a newer site that is gaining interest, Popcorn Time. It offers the latest content with limited to no cost. Although the biggest hurdle it must overcome is the dreaded piracy label it has already been tagged with in its early stages.

8 replies on “Adapting to Customer Wants: Keep Up Hollywood”

I’ve become more of a Redbox guy if there is a movie I wanted to see and rarely go to the theater. Partly because of the crowds, getting there early, and the crowd noises inside the theater. I may not get my senses blown away from a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy but I can make dinner or clean and still get the gist of the movie from my home.
Also, my cable bill is so much and provides movies down the line, I feel I have to get the most value from that and will wait for movies to pass through the theater and Redbox to get to premium cable if there was a movie I just kind of wanted to see.

Thank you for your thoughts. I definitely agree on the value of multitasking and watching from home. Cable bills are pretty outrageous right now too. It seems like there is more content than ever to watch from home now too. I think that the TV studios are getting in on it too, because of all the high quality shows they are putting out now.

With so much crap out there it’s hard for me to watch movies in the theater even though this is my preferred way to watch. I heard an interview with George Lucas or Speilberg that predicted the theater movies going much more high end and charging prices closer to that of a play and staying in theaters much longer before going to DVD. While this is a hard strategy to envision becoming reality, I really like this idea. With that much risk the viewer is more guaranteed to a quality movie. This really puts supply and demand into the movie business that has had fixed prices since forever. I wouldn’t waste 2 bucks to see a crap movie but if a movie had a price tag of $30 it would intrigue me to know what kind of movie can charge those big bucks. I’d probably see less movies but have a much higher quality time at the theater.

That is an interesting way to go about it. It seems so hard to cater to the masses, but getting a better product to the big screen and passing on all the garbage would be brilliant. You are right though, it is a hard strategy to get going, especially when what I think is “garbage”, someone else out there may really want to see, or maybe even a whole group of people. It is becoming more and more of a selective experience as so much more content is released to so many theaters. This is much different than 40 years ago when you traveled to Hollywood or one of the few theaters around to catch whatever is out.

Personally, the main draw of watching at home is my actions aren’t limited by what I consider “courteous” to other movie goers (in other words, I don’t feel bad about going to the restroom or commenting on scenes). That and you don’t really have the option of pausing a theater movie.

Personally, I view going to the movie theater as an experience (large screen, quality sound) which I don’t believe I can reproduce at home for a reasonable cost. Yes, I do watch Netflix (and own DVDs and VHS’s) and have a wishlist of movies I want to see/own, but a movie I watch at home is not the same as one I watch in the theater. I will continue to be a theater goer, but I will be eagerly watching for Hollywood to “Keep Up” and adapt to my desire for a more satisfying movie watching experience.

Thank you for reading and the comments. I understand your feelings for sure. I have always enjoyed the offering of the theater, the whole experience. My main reason I end up watching at home is all of the movies I wanted to see, but missed in the theater. Given my choice, I would still choose to see certain movies in the theater as opposed to home, but when timing becomes a concern, I end up stuck watching at home. I unfortunately end up having to prioritize a few solid movies I can get in and resort to watching from home any that don’t make the cut.

Although movie rentals from iTunes are more expensive than Redbox, I tend to pay more per movie on Redbox because I forget to return the movie. After repeatedly doing this, I finally learned my lesson and now choose iTunes over Redbox.

It does seem like a rap through Redbox. It seems so easy to get it back the next day, but then it turns into a trip you don’t want to do or, like you said, forget to do. I have grown to rent on iTunes or OnDemand through the cable company as well. I definitely agree.

Comments are closed.