Netflix becomes first streaming service to join MPAA

Just a week after we discussed Netflix's next big hurdle¬†‚ÄĒ competing with¬†everyone¬†for your attention¬†‚ÄĒ the company hit a big milestone: it's officially become the first streaming-only service to join the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

If the MPAA is an organization you recall but have forgotten the purpose of, it's an organization made up of the biggest production houses in Hollywood: Disney, Paramount, Universal Studios and so on. In part, you probably know of the MPAA because it's spent the last two decades fighting online piracy aggressively, but it's also responsible for the movie ratings system alongside that.

The reasons this matter are fairly clear: it puts Netflix on a fair footing with the rest of the movie/TV industry, sending a message that it's a serious original content player, and it now has a say in the anti-piracy conversation, which the MPAA is well known for.

Netflix being added to the group is a big deal because it's the only streaming-native player, and the MPAA's CEO has been critical for years about how slow its participants have been to embrace digital technologies. The other members don't have any meaningful services to compete with Netflix, but soon that'll change with Disney+ and other platforms launching in 2020.

More than anything else, it seems like a prudent move to have the biggest distributor of video on your board, even if some of your members don't like the idea of the service eating their lunch. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer seems like a wise move in an industry that's slow to adopt anything new.

P.S - Some interesting thoughts in the community about the fight for slices of your time. Curious what you think, and whether this is going to be a race to the bottom across the streaming/entertainment industry?

Tab Dump

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Great read: How LiveJournal pioneered, then lost, blogging

FYI: Apple's earnings, which will tell us how bad last quarter really was, are scheduled for next Tuesday (Jan 29)