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Reading an article in current HBR issue I came up with a following idea: why movie powerhouses will not sell digital viewing rights to small theatres (up to 10 seats) at the same time as to big movie theatres? In other words, why Johnny Sixpack, who wants to show in his basement a movie which is now starting in theatres, cannot do this? This would be more of a retail than wholesale of rights, but I think it is an undetected revenue stream for movie producers, which could help in limiting illegal download.

I have not checked if such a model exists, but few things would need to be added to a stream:

  • a digital invisible ID, to make sure that content provided (best if it would come from the cloud) is not used to produce illegal DVDs
  • a limited number of viewing in limited time (hence cloud)
  • different price to “wholesale” rights (higher when seen as per viewer cost)

Such a possibility would give birth to new market for movies: private screenings with all that entails, such as additional personal service, better seating (or even beds), open bar, dinner, discussion, safety… you name it. It could also provide newest movies in places where this so far is not possible, such as hospitals or retirement houses.

Just a thought…