Aug 15, 2006

RealNetworks Survey, Mark Cuban and Small is the New Big

A new study by Harris Interactive commissioned by RealNetworks says a large portion of adults, especially women over 40, prefer online gaming to tv, movies on tv and movies at the movie theater:

"A new study indicates that American adults are becoming increasingly addicted to casual video games, opting to play them over other activities including watching television, watching movies, or going to see a movie at a theater. Released by Harris Interactive Monday and commissioned by RealNetworks, the survey found that 31 percent would rather play an online game for one hour than watch television.

A smaller percentage, 21 percent, would rather play games than watch movies at home, but a larger group numbering 35 percent said the same about going to a movie theater. Online gaming seems to have its biggest audience in women over 40, where as many as half of all respondents chose gaming over some activities."

Who knew women over 40 liked online gaming? A commenter on the article page brought up a good point:
"...the article first off mentions that the study was commissioned by RealNetworks (HINT) and it refers to "online" games which based on the HINT i would take to mean online soduku, hearts, spades, etc."
He's right. If you go to Realnetworks' game site, you get those types of games and not things like Half Life or World of Warcraft. But does it matter what they are playing? The point here is what they aren't doing, which is spending time in front of traditional passive media outlets.

I wonder what Mark Cuban has to say about this survey. It clearly points out that going to the movies, something he benefits from directly, is not something people are dying to do. Yes, there are the blockbusters that everyone must see, but in the end, instead of begging readers to come up with the grand idea that will save his old business model, why not think of a new one?

I do not want to harp on Cuban, but this survey made me think of him and his 60mm dollar plight. Instead of asking how can we save his old way of doing things, why are we not admitting defeat and coming up with the next brilliant movie theater idea? I re-read his post and found that, indeed, he is doing this already:
"...we are currently working on 2 theater projects. One is a theater just for kids under the age of 10. Just showing kids movies, with tons of amenities for parents and kids, along with retail geared towards kids. No parent will be able to get out of the theater alive if they dont buy the Curious George goodies we sell when we show a Curious George movie. And of course we will be able to make our own movies to show, and with our policy of day n date releases, we will be selling the DVD of the movie as well.

The 2nd is what I call Rock N Roll Theater (ok Im showing my age), but bottom line it will be a theater geared towards 16 to 25 year old demo where the motto will be

“If you expect silence during this movie. leave now. “

Again, lots of retail. Lots of security. Lots of kids who can see what they want to see , txt who they want to txt, yell what they want to yell. In fact, part of the thought process has been for the movies we make and show, to post portions of the script of the movie so kids can learn lines from the movie BEFORE they come, or hopefully make them read it after they saw it the first time and come back , creating our own rocky horror show like environment.

The responses to the challenge, reinforced that this could be a good idea !"
The reason I bring up changing business models is because I read a few pages of Seth Godin's new book "Small is the New Big" and this survey, as well as the Mark Cuban situation, made me think of my reading it yesterday. (By the way, that link to Seth Godin is actually to his "Squidoo" page, a page with so many interesting links and good stuff I prefered you go there first before his website. And another by the way, he runs Squidoo.)

In the book, he details a meeting he was invited into at a large company, where the marketing people were showing off their plans to, essentially, keep their company affloat in the new economy. Their manner of fighting was not to innovate, but to do their best to keep the company's status quo afloat. Godin was not impressed.


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