The guys who made PressPausePlay have a problem: as they make abundantly clear in the film, anyone can make music or movies using inexpensive equipment that they might well already own. But whether that’s a good thing or bad is up in the air.
When I’ve written about the music business and the movie business before, my focus has generally been on the business change that big companies with lots of money are making or trying to stave off. The Redbox/Blockbuster debacle is one example, and Pink Floyd slapping their record label around in court is another. In PressPausePlay we have a discussion of the issue from the other side; anyone can create art and distribute it. Music labels have become all but passé, and movie studios are headed in the same direction.
PressPausePlay is shot beautifully. It tells its story adequately. It fails to land at a conclusion, which some people will tell you makes PressPausePlay “a bad movie”. But the real story behind PressPausePlay is PressPausePlay and the filmmakers’ business model. At the film’s web site, you have the opportunity to buy a copy of PressPausePlay, or download it, legitimately, for free.
While PressPausePlay’s creators claim they never intended to make money on the film, and given that PressPausePlay is a documentary and shot in a way that surely didn’t cost much more than time, you have to question the veracity of a statement that’s so clearly made against the backdrop of a request for money. And unlike Radiohead’s experiment with the “pay what you wish” model on their In Dreams album, the point is made more questionable by PressPausePlay carrying a set price tag for those who which to compensate the filmmakers. But the specific business model being employed to push PressPausePlay isn’t what matters; what matters is the point: business is now in the hands of the artists. And that’s real business change. The lunatics are running the asylum.
Since Business Change is what we talk about here. I guess you won’t be surprised that writing this piece on PressPausePlay made me think of quite a few things I’ve written before:
- Amazon goes GaGa for GaGa
- Studios WANT You to Pirate Their Films
- Google Music Changes The Music World
- Video Draws Traffic, But You Probably Shouldn’t Use It
- NetFlix: Mew Media Company Acts Like Old Media Company
- Learning About New Music and Business Change
and of course, Cute Kittens Are The Future of Internet Advertising.
I could go on, but that was quite the selection. And the common thread isn’t substantive, it’s theory and process based; there are no rules any more. Business Change is everywhere.
PressPausePlay is worth a watch—at least for free. You probably won’t learn much, but at some very real level PressPausePlay should resonate.
And PressPausePlay just might help you make business change, too.