At the tail end of an interview with Walt Mossberg at the recent D8 conference, Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks Animation SKG, and a long-time Hollywood executive, argued that rapidly-declining DVD sales are "systemic," and should not be considered a "secular" downturn that will reverse itself when the economy improves. Katzenberg believes that what's really at work are fundamentally changing consumer habits. He argued that with DVDs costing $20 or more, consumers are questioning the value of ownership since there are so many other ways to access the film on an on-demand basis (he mentioned Netflix, Blockbuster, Redbox, VOD, iTunes as among the options).
I agree with Katzenberg, but would take his argument one step further. While it is no secret that there are more options than ever for accessing content (as mentioned above), of even more significance is that technology awareness and aptitude - the prerequisites for taking advantage of the choices now available - are deeper and more diffuse in our society than ever.
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