business news in context, analysis with attitude

This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.

Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.

How the world has changed.

The Wall Street Journal had a story the other day about how the new Veronica Mars movie, to be released next month, is breaking down some barriers in the film business, not accepting the template of how movies traditionally have been financed and released. For one thing, it was financed via Kickstarter, which means that the production costs were paid for largely by fans, who also will have to pay to see it in theaters.

For another, Veronica Mars will be seen in theaters and for home viewing on the same day. Because this violates all sorts of long-term contracts that studios have with theater chains, this means that AMC - the only one of the big theater chains to have the movie - is actually renting the screens to Warner Bros., which will then keep all the receipts. Usually, there has to be a three month gap between movie screens and TV screens, but the unorthodox arrangement makes that moot … and the producers, Warner Bros. and AMC are all going to find out if this new business model is going to work.

But the key is that they're testing out a new business model. And since I think that there are a lot of movies out there that would actually do better if they were released simultaneously … this is an intriguing idea.

And just to show yet another way in which the world is changing, the Journal also had a story this week about how Jimmy Fallon is in part distinguishing his "Tonight Show" from past iterations via social media … not only is he using things like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to get an even bigger audience - I'm talking millions here - for his "bits," but he also probably can expect that his audience ratings will go up because he's spreading the word.

He's not alone. That's an approach being adopted by Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'Brien and Seth Myers, as well as "Saturday Night live" … while Jay Leno and David Letterman, for all practical purposes, are invisible on social media.

It is a different segment of the industry, but it is interesting to note that when Katie Couric goes to Yahoo!, she'll be doing news programming online only. Some would say that it is a career in decline when the former host of the "Today Show" and anchor of the "CBS Evening News" goes to Yahoo!, but I'm not so sure. She may end up being more relevant than ever.

Traditional business models simply have to adjust to new realities, or risk irrelevance and death.

And finally … remember the old way of finding out when movies were playing? In dozens of cities, you could call 777-FILM and hear the following line: "Welcome to Moviefone!" And then you'd be able to use the phone keypad to look for movies, places and times.

Well, needless to say, those days are gone forever. The company announced this week that it is discontinuing the phone service, though it will still be available online.

But y'know what my first thought was when I heard this story?

I was shocked that Moviefone was still in business. Because I would've thought that it bit the dust years ago. Because I cannot even remember the last time I used that old-world technology to find out when and where a movie was playing.

Traditional business models simply have to adjust to new realities, or risk irrelevance and death.

That's what's on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.

KC's View: