Silicon Valley conquers Hollywood, part 3 — think small, not big

Some readers of my last column in this series seem to think it was just about the movie business but it wasn’t. It was about the recorded entertainment industry, which includes movies, broadcast and cable television, video games, and derivative works. It’s just that the movie business — like the mainframe computer business — learned these lessons first and so offers fine examples.

Whether from Silicon Valley or Seattle, technology companies see video entertainment as a rich market to be absorbed. How can Hollywood resist? The tech companies have all the money. Between them Amazon, Apple, Google, Intel and Microsoft have $300 billion in cash and no debt — enough capital to buy anything. Apple all by itself could buy the entire entertainment industry, though […]

Silicon Valley conquers Hollywood, part 2 — There’s no business like show business

theproducersA friend of mine who is a securities lawyer in New York worked on the 1985 sale of 20th Century Fox by Marvin Davis to Rupert Murdoch. He led a group of New York attorneys to Los Angeles where they spent weeks going over contracts for many Fox films. What they found was that with few exceptions there were no contracts. There were signed letters of intent (agreements to agree) for pictures budgeted at $20-$50 million but almost no actual contracts. Effectively business was being done, movies were being made, and huge sums of money were being transferred on a handshake. That’s how Hollywood tends to do business and it doesn’t go down very well […]

Game Boys

WheezerSales of video game consoles and video game software are down this year as are sales of DVDs, none of which are supposed to happen in a recession.  Hollywood thrived during the Great Depression, remember?  And now the U.S. Centers for Disease Control drops a bomb on us that the average U.S. video game player is 35 years old, overweight, and somewhat depressed.  This is news?  Apparently it is, and looking behind these numbers helps make some sense of the economic picture.

In the entertainment industry video games have provided really significant […]

By |September 2nd, 2009|Uncategorized|86 Comments