Napster Founder Thinks You Should Pay $67 To Watch New Movies At Home

Napster Founder Thinks You Should Pay $US50 ($67) to Watch New Movies at Home

The Germans probably have an overwrought, seven-syllable word for extreme irony. But I'm not sure anything can do justice to Napster founder Sean Parker, arguably the founding father of internet piracy, championing a ridiculously expensive movie startup. According to Variety, Parker is one of the founders behind Screening Room, a new startup that would bring new studio releases into people's homes. The cost would be $US150 ($200) for the secure set-top box, and $US50 ($67) per movie, which would be rented for 48-hours.

This is more expensive than the ~$30 it costs for two people to see a movie in theatres. I feel duty-bound to mention that it is also infinitely more expensive than the no money it costs to illegally torrent a new movie off the internet, a place a feel Mr Parker might be familiar with.

For those of you who claim that Mr Parker's initiative will reduce piracy in a Netflixian sort of way: $67 is a crapton of money for one movie, and I gently posit that giving access to new movies outside of theatres, no matter how encrypted, will see a giant surge in piracy.

It's probably for this reason that studio executives told Deadline the plan would be "the beginning of the end" and "so damaging, I can't tell you right now how unhappy I am".


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    Are the studio execs really that worried? I'm not in the industry, and I'm laughing my arse off at this business model.

    This isn't a threat to anyone.

      I imagine it'd be quite easy to set up a projector and start black market screenings. That's probably what they're concerned about.

        That's so much less of a threat than paying 60 bucks to rip each movie at high quality and throw it on torrent.

        Just watch how quickly the internet would crack ant kind of encryption. It would be trivial.

        Hilarious business model.

          You think so? Its basically no different to pay per views, and they seem to still be doing OK for the most part.

          I dont think it'll work, and dont necessarily disagree with you, but if you look at this from a PPV angle, its not so different. You pay $50 to see an event, and generally get to see it a few times over a couple of times.

          Think about Wrestlemania, coming up in a few weeks. Plenty of people hold parties around that, or just buy it for their own viewing, and that comes in at $50 or so doesnt it? Vince Mcmahon has made himself a billionaire on the back of creating PPV's.

            15 dollars a month with the online WWE subscription which is not a lock in contract and includes pay per views.

              Yeah was thinking of that after. That basically falls into the same category as Netflix :) Its also an example of the industry working with the customer to give better value. I'm very much in favor of what WWE has done in that regard.

              Was more using PPV's as an example of where a large single fee for a single product does work. People are comparing this in one way, which is a perfectly fair way, but if you look at it from that different angle its not so bad.

              I can think of several blockbuster movies I wouldnt mind watching at home rather than go to the cinemas, and 'book' them on a Saturday night so I could have a few friends over as well.

              $60 isnt so bad when you mentally split it between 4 people, and you dont get slammed with the additional $15 each for a drink and popcorn you somehow seem to end up getting.

              For a single person, its a massive ripoff, but so was $50 for any PPV, and plenty of people have paid that over the past 30ish years.

                Ppv worked before the internet was a useful distribution medium. They had a monopoly, so it was easy to make fistfuls. That model just doesn't fly any more.

                  Yeah, not really defending the idea, as I said, I dont think it will work either, just saying theres an alternative way to look at it.

                  If you go to the movies with a handful of friends, this could suddenly be a more cost effective way of seeing new releases. Most people, particularly the demographic that would be into this idea, would have a decent enough setup to enjoy it properly.

                  If you go by yourself, or just one other, then its far less cost effective. Although I know people that will go see a movie 2 or 3 times, which may mean this works for them.

                  Again though, not defending it, as it certainly isnt my cup of tea.

                  That and even then, I cant imagine it scales remotely close to the size that movie studios are looking to achieve. We've got films coming out now days where the movie is considered a failure if it doesn't pass 500 million in ticket sales.

                  The difference with PPV is it's generally concentrated on sporting or music events targeted at a niche market where a ticket might cost $100+ anyway and the event is by and large a 'live' one. Those small groups are willing to spend up, which is the same reason Foxtel can probably get by on a subscriber base where 1/2 the users only have it so they can access sports. There's no easy alternative to get that sports recording and do so in a timely fashion.

                  For films, the piracy is more rampant, access is simpler and generally for TV or Movies people aren't going to have an outcome ruined by the next days newspaper so the need for it to be live is lower.

                  The actual idea is a price to get new release movies. The pricing seems incredibly off however and probably needs to be in line with the cost of one or two movie tickets. Some people have great home theaters, but many are going to be asked to pay the price of three or four movie tickets for an inferior experience.

          You wouldn't need to break any encryption.

          You can just record the stream quite easily.
          This will backfire hard.
          The only thing that really stops people from pirating now is the crap cam rips.
          The second people can get same day HD releases without paying for it and enjoying it in the comfort of their own home.... Goodbye Cinemas.

          The only possible way they may combat this... Is if they heavily reduce the suggested price down to around $20 - $30 per movie.
          Then people might still be like; "Yeah I will pay that" instead of downloading it for free.

      Laughing at this business model? Napster, Facebook, Spotify weren't a threat in the early years as well. I think he has a history of seeing trends well before the masses. Still laughing at his crazy business models? lol

    Make it $25 a month and you may have a deal.

    LOL... this is hilarious! I rationally thought the headline meant we'd be paying $67 for a piece of software/device that would play movies at home, not that we'd be paying $67 PER MOVIE!!
    The former would be acceptable, even with an attached subscription service. The latter is ludicrously laughable. This guy's either completely out of touch or just plain crazy.

    On the other hand, with a nicely decked out home theatre one could make a business of this by charging for tickets which would at least recoup part of the cost of each movie, if not provide a decent income. Of course I imagine copyright & public screening laws would prohibit that.

    In any event, this startup is doomed to fail and I feel bad for anyone who's invested into it.

    there is something in this( but the prices and model of this proposal seem way off unfortunately).

    Imagine a service where all the movie studios had agreed to that a movie could be shown on a Netflix type screening service 2 Months after Cinema release.
    You have to take into account and concede that movie studios currently don't want to give up the cinema distribution model, so keep that intact at least.
    Now the movie studio could directly set up a subscription model but then they would be getting too greedy again as an end user isn't going to pay for separate subscriptions to umpteen different movie studios.
    BUT a third party with the agreement of all of the studios (and even possibly jointly owned by the studios) could do a netflixesque service for the near latest release movies without too much trouble. Global model notwithstanding as opposed to regionalised model.
    The service would , could and should still be more expensive than standard Netflix and Stan as it is a latest release movie service only.

    But assume a couple goes to the movies twice a month at 18 dollars a ticket each, they have spent $72 dollars for that month on latest release entertainment (ignoring the candybar).
    That option to see the latest release is STILL available to them at the cinema.

    Another couple that might be willing to wait a little longer to watch the latest releases could subscribe to this service at say $30-$40 a month and have access to the full catalogue of late release movies from all studios.

    To allow the likes of Netflix and Stan to still obtain rights to recent movies, the movies on this late model streaming service would be exclusive rights (a bad word I know but I am trying to sell it to the studios as well) and they would be on this service for a maximum 2 months and then be removed. thus allowing other streaming services the ability to pick up the rights and still be able to generate sales from DVD releases also.

    Pass the crack pipe Parker!
    Fix: All the movie companies should have subscribe-able torrent sites for new releases based on a monthly subscription. You download their player that auto deletes your movie after 48 hours

    ~$30 for two at the movies?

    Is this 1995 or USD?

      I went to the movies and watched Deadpool for two for a total of AUD$28. Go on tight arse Tuesday or use on the many health care, phone company discount offers to get a similar price outside of budget day.

    Are studios really that worried about piracy for films currently showing at theatres? I always imagined that it was DVD/Blueray sales that would be hurt most by torrenting.

    seems like the price is taking into count that multiple people might be watching the movie. If you watching by yourself then your getting screwed while watching and not in a good way.

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