Lucasfilm Confuses Content with Paid Content
The trailer for Star Wars: Episode III debuted last night during The OC. While poking around on StarWars.com today, I found that Lucasfilm has gated access the trailer, and is charging $40 to see it (along with all the other premium SW: E3 content).
There are other places to get the trailer, and it seems incredibly short-sighted to make some tiny fraction of your potential audience pay to see what is essentially a commercial for a product that will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars.
Episodes I and II failed to meet expectations, and by charging to view a commercial for Episode III, Lucasfilm is severely limiting their ability to change people's minds about the new movie in an attempt to make a few more bucks.
The free copies that I linked to above are flying around offices in countries all over the world. Instead of charging for access, why not drive revenue through a sponsorship or Google ads? The trailer will spread virally (it already is) but instead of getting it through BitTorrent, Lucasfilm could promote their premium content and make some ad bucks as well.
Instead, the majority of fans are frustrated by the experience and go underground to get the video, depriving Lucasfilm of any revenue. The big bucks here are in the movie, not the trailer.