business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

This has nothing to do with retailing, though it does point to how technology companies are changing the competitive landscape in a number of areas.

The Hollywood Reporter has a story the competition among various studios for the rights to distribute new James Bond films. The background on this story is that Eon Productions, which co-owns the right to the Bond franchise, has had deals with various studios over the years; Sony distributed both Skyfall and Spectre, each of which grossed in the neighborhood of a billion dollars. (The profit was considerably less, though still in the hundreds of millions.)

The Bond franchise, which has been around since 1962, is one of the consistent jewels of the movie universe - the movies always make money, some more than others, and have been creatively reinvigorated since Daniel Craig began playing 007 in 2006’s Casino Royale. (Craig has agreed to do one more, his fifth, which is scheduled is be released in late 2019.) Which is why a number of studios - Warner Bros., Universal and Fox - all have been in negotiations, along with Sony, which would like to get Bond back in the fold.

But guess what. There are two other companies said to be in the mix.

Amazon and Apple.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, “the emergence of Apple … and Amazon shows that the digital giants consider Bond one of the last untapped brands (like a Marvel, Pixar or Lucasfilm) that could act as a game-changer in the content space.”

Which is what both companies want to do, as they look for Eye-Opening ways to expand their respective ecosystems and integrate themselves as much as possible into their customers’ lives.

That’s the battle that every business has to fight these days … never just on familiar territory for traditional customers and with orthodox business plans. Indeed, doing things the way they’ve always been done probably is a prescription for disaster.

Now, there are all sorts of implications here. Maybe 007 using an iPhone? Maybe his Aston-Martin being equipped with either Siri or Alexa? (Actually, how cool would it be if Amazon programmed its Alexa system, or Apple got its Siri system, to answer to “Moneypenny” or “Q?”)

There’s only one thing I can’t figure out … which is why Netflix isn’t in the mix. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if it stepped in with a last minute offer and won the contest.
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