dchase Weblog Archives

Harry Potter and the e-Ticket

Ever bought a movie ticket on-line? If you haven't, you probably will soon thanks to Harry Potter . (note: link is to boston.com, so the article will probably break in the next few days when the globe puts the article in it's pay per view archive. Sorry about that, and I encourage you to complain to boston.com about this) Like most e-commerce activities, the ability to buy movie tickets in advance has been around for a while. Movie ticket sites promised that you could get a ticket to any movie anywhere at the click of a mouse. The actual process, however, was very cumbersome for the moviegoer to use. You could actually buy tickets for only a few theatres. The web interface for purchasing tickets was non-intuitive and unreliable. And, in the end, you still had to stand in line at the box office to pick up the tickets. Like most e-commerce activities the ease-of use and provided value has changed dramatically. For example, at Fandango I enter part of a movie name and my zip code, select the right movie from the resulting list (it appears that there's an IMAX version of Harry Potter playing somewhere!), select the show time at my preferred theatre and enter my credit card info and print out my ticket. Simple (other than figuring out what show time I want), and no waiting in line. Unfortunately, few have noticed the improvements, having been turned off by the original over-hype and under-performance. This appears to have changed thanks to Harry Potter. According to the Boston Globe article, Movietickets.com sold about 500,000 tickets yesterday, and Fandango sold about 250,000. That's all before the movie even opened. The appeal - the value to the moviegoer - is very simple, especially with the blockbuster type of movie:
''I don't know very many parents who'd want to take the risk of getting to the theater with a gaggle of kids and getting turned away,'' said Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations Inc. ''This phenomenon we're seeing points up the strong attraction of online ticketing when it comes to films people are afraid are going to sell out.''
When the technology solves a problem that people really have, and an event occurs that entices people to use the technology, the technology will take off.
Posted by Dick at 09:27 AM

Books is Books

Random House Is Dropping E-Book Imprint, but Not E-Books

The Random House Trade Group, one of the first publishers to announce the creation of a line of purely digital books last year, became the first to cancel that idea yesterday, quietly scuttling its AtRandom imprint in recognition of the scant consumer demand for books that can be read on screens. But the company will continue to publish electronic versions of books.

It's the content, not the container that counts!

Posted by Dick at 01:19 PM

The Next Society

Peter Drucker talks about the Next Society:

The new economy may or may not materialize, but there is no doubt that the next society will be with us shortly. In the developed world, and probably in the emerging countries as well, this new society will be a good deal more important than the new economy (if any). It will be quite different from the society of the late 20th century, and also different from what most people expect. Much of it will be unprecedented. And most of it is already here, or is rapidly emerging.

It's an expansive and excellent survey in The Economist. He discusses the near future in four contexts:

  1. The new demographics - the repaid growth of the older population matched by the rapid shrinking of the younger generation
  2. The new workforce - Knowledge replacing production as the driving economic force.
  3. The new protectionism - An explosion of manufacturing protectionism as manufacturing in the 21st century moves the way of agriculture in the 20th century.
  4. The new corporation - Management as distinct from as opposed to an extension of operations.
Posted by Dick at 11:46 AM


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