Some movie companies have decided that the people who rent movies (from places like Netflix and/or Redbox) shouldn’t have access to the same bonus content that’s on the disc for people who buy it. The goal is obviously to try and make purchasing the “full” version more attractive, and while I suppose that makes sense on a surface level, I’m wondering if the movie industry isn’t (once again) missing the forest for the trees.

For the upcoming generation of customers, movies and TV are far from being the only medium competing for their money. The book publishing industry is only beginning to wake up to the fact that to have a healthy culture of readers you can’t just expect them to be out there, you have to develop and nurture your audience. Video games had to fight tooth and nail to create and nurture a generation of passionate gamers.

The bonus content on DVDs isn’t just entertainment, it’s a way to engage viewers in the idea that films are something worth being passionate about. That’s an important message about a passive medium as we enter into an age that’s more and more interactive and social every day.

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