My friend Josh Tsui (long-time veteran of the game industry) tweeted this blog post “Stop Using The Cup of Coffee vs. $0.99 App Analogy”. Reading through it this line got me.
Fact: Starbucks Coffee is a Trustable Experience
Regardless of my preference of coffee I think that’s true and it got me thinking (again) about digital entertainment. So I tweeted about it with Josh.
I’m not fond of most publishing partnerships. They take full advantage of the rising costs per install (specifically for mobile devices) and leverage that to take a 30% cut and exclusivity rights. In cases where a cut is already going to the original platform (like most app marketplaces) this could mean a significant loss for the creator. They end up getting 70% of their original 70%. Which means they’re really getting 49% of the profits. This is historically better than archaic publishing deals but they’re still not ideal.
I think a far better approach would be for creators to leverage their own networks and help each other become successful. When I was in the game industry I saw this a lot with indie games. Successful indie developers would promote other indie developers who they liked which helped them gain traction. It’s like an indie game posse.
Like I mentioned in my tweets above I feel like the closest platform to execute on something like this is vhxtv with their concept of collections. And this past weekend they even further reinforced my thoughts when the Creativity Bundle was launched.
Andy of USV (they’re invested in VHX) wrote about VHX and collections in his post today. Here’s a great description of what the Creativity Bundle is from his post:
Yesterday, a bunch of disparate filmmakers who have used VHX before joined together to sell their films collectively, as a bundle. These artists don’t necessarily have to have any relationship with each other - VHX allows these bundles to occur on the fly if they desire.
The entertainment business is hard, and how its business is structure today doesn’t make it any easier. But giving complete control to creators through platforms like VHX is not only changing the discovery and distribution of entertainment. It will fundamentally change who the successful creators are.