Today the next generation of home video took center stage -- say goodbye to the DVD as we know it.
Could retailers and websites rush any faster to find an alternative to supplement the slowing DVD revenue stream? Um, probably not... as I said on air -- there's no surer sign that something has gone mainstream than Wal-Mart taking up the fight... Wal-Mart selling digital downloads of the new Superman Returns video -- different prices for different types of downloads. One price to download it to your iPod, another to your computer.
I'm not sure if people:
- will think Wal-Mart when they want a digital download and
- will want to have different types of digital ownership.
My guess is that five years from now when a list of digital files replaces those physical DVDs, people will want to OWN the digital content to be seen anywhere they please. And I suppose that Wal-Mart has no choice but to enter the DVD game-- though for now, the part of the country that's rushing to pay to download movies -- those who have high-speed broadband, probably are hooked into some hipper sites -- like Apple.
In any case -- DVDs are holding on longer than they should be simply because people don't know whether to go witih HD DVDs or Blu-Ray... DVDs are holding on for now, but if that HD-BLU-ray battle continues, then digital downloads will be the ones to cash in on that dragged out battle over the long run.
I'm off to a digital media conference-- I'm curious to hear what the film industryfolks say about how they're trying to beat piracy to avoid going the way of the music biz.
Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com