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Summary:

Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures Home Entertainment is launching an iPhone and iPad app called My Daily Clip, which serves up a new excerpt from it…

My Daily Clip

Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures Home Entertainment is launching an iPhone and iPad app called My Daily Clip, which serves up a new excerpt from its voluminous film library each day in an effort to stimulate impulse purchases of its films.

The app presents memorable moments from classics like Spider-man, Ghostbusters and Dr. Strangelove and links them up with purchase opportunities via iTunes.

It’s all part of Sony’s efforts to not only drive engagement with its library content, but tee up additional opportunities for fans to purchase the films. The studio did same on a new iTunes Extras feature embedded in its DVDs. Some of the clips will be tied as well to rental options, but those are far outnumbered by films with just ‘buy’ buttons.

App users can scan forward to see what clips are coming their way in the future, but they can actually see videos they’ve missed from previous days. While some apps are chosen to correspond to themed weeks, others are set to coincide with particular holidays. Clips aren’t just viewed in-app; they can be viewed on social networks as well, and linked up there with iTunes too.

Rich Berger, SVP, worldwide digital strategy and operations at SPHE, didn’t rule out other studios contributing their own clips to the app, but no such deal is in the offing. My Daily Clip could potentially also be utilized outside the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) ecosystem and linked with other streaming movie services.

  1. Will the Daily Clip Work? Unlikely if the PWC report holds any water. While I think it is a smart idea to tap into Sony’s (and possibly other studios) vault of content to drive margin (the costs are sunk), I’m not sure that the “purchase” or download option is the best course of action. If I can stream the content on Netflix for $9.99, or for $2 more have the DVD shipped to my house – along with an unlimited number of other movies – why would I pay $9.99 to own the content?

    So, while a good idea to raise consumer awareness, the execution needs a reality check. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Studios act like it is 2006, not 2011. Today users don’t purchase content, they pay to “access” content. If Sony – and the studios – want a successful model, they need to focus on ARPU, rather than POS. With the former, the objective is to build a robust service and subscriber base with recurring revenue. The latter is the aforementioned “old” model – purchase. With a massive archive of content – film and TV – this model could rival Netflix (Hulu would love to have it – hence Hulu Plus).

    Unfortunately, old habits die hard and I suspect this initiative – unless the strategy pivots quickly – will fail (at least it won’t achieve significant success). And worse, failure will be blamed on the medium – digital media – rather than the execution strategy. This would be another fatal flaw by the studios, allowing upstarts like Netflix, Google TV, Apple TV, Roku, Boxee, and others to build models that provide users what they want – seamless access to content, anytime, anywhere, on any device. They got one of the 4Ps right – Place – but the Product, Price, and even Promotion pieces need to be reworked. They could rethink the value proposition for this app – the companion + utility component, which would drive higher engagement – but that’s some “secret sauce” that they’ll have to pay me to disclose.

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