In 2003 the wheels had already begun to rattle off of Ben Affleck’s career (for the first time, anyway). By mid-summer, thanks to a series of bombs and bad performances, his transition from lovable Hollywood underdog to matinee idol had ground to a near complete halt. But if Affleck couldn’t foresee his own career troubles coming, here’s something he could see: the entire goddamn future of the film, television, and music industries.
In this clip, dug up by Twitter user John Backus, Affleck—presumably relieved not to be answering a question about what he thinks of the couple portmanteau “Bennifer”—speaks very quickly about the future of streaming media. He not only predicts that movies will be delivered via the internet on an on-demand basis, but also that companies will employ a subscription model. “I think an annual subscription-based system is one that works,” he says. “It will be movies on-demand but it will be a tiered structure.”
The interview appears to be part of a press junket for poorly received Project Greenlight-winner The Battle Of Shaker Heights—hence why Affleck is being asked about media distribution, and not what the fuck happened with Daredevil. Affleck also, quite perceptively, sees peer-to-peer file-sharing piracy as a necessary transition point of consumer habits that the industry would eventually catch up with. “The technology’s not quite there yet, but it will be within five years,” says Affleck. Netflix would introduce their on-demand streaming service in 2007, and Spotify would launch in the fall of 2008. So, yeah, he pretty much nailed it. “Now, let me tell you about the promising future of insanely bad back tattoos,” Affleck does not go on to say.