Studios Still Don’t Get It: Paramount Charging $20 To Stream 10+ Year Old Movies

For all talk from the studios about how much they are "embracing" digital, they really aren't. Consumers are asking for more choices when it comes to being able to get first-run content in digital form, for multiple devices, yet the studios continue to launch services that are limited in playback, with pricing that's too expensive.

The latest example comes from Paramount which has just started offering the streaming of films from the cloud, using the UltraViolet platform, and are charging between $22.99 for HD and $12.99 for SD. Support for Android and Windows Phone are not possible and while it works on iOS devices, HD quality isn't possible, only SD. It also doesn't work on set-top boxes and on average, the DVD of these movies they are selling cost 2/3 the price of digital. On the website, a recent movie from 2010 costs $22.99 to buy rent in HD, yet a movie that is thirteen years old is only $3 cheaper and still costs $19.99.

What studio executive thinks consumers are going to pay $22.99 to stream a movie when we can buy the DVD for $7 or rent it for less than $2? The economics don't make sense for how the studios price digital content and the fact they are keeping Netflix and others from even renting physical discs, only so they sell more DVDs, clearly shows where their true interest lies – and it's not in digital. At some point, the studios are going to get burned just like the music industry did and while they spend a lot of time complaining about piracy, they need to wake up and realize that consumers are demanding digital content, for a fair price. So far, the studios are not willing to give it to them and over time, are going to see their business models crumble as of a result. They own arrogance is going to be the death of their legacy business.