THE FUTURE OF TV - Complications Ensue
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Friday, July 08, 2005

Chatted with JR about the future of TV among other things. The broadcast/advertising model won't work because everyone can TiVo past the ads. The fancy solution is subscription TV: I pay four bits an ep for a clean download of Season Five of Firefly -- and iTunes has proven that if the price is low enough, people will pay to get stuff cleanly and easily that they could pirate messily for free. You can use eBook-style encryption to make it harder to pirate them, and then flood the torrents with crap versions, to make pirating more hassle than it's worth.

The low tech solution is more product placement. You can skip the ads on 24, but you can't skip watching the Ford cars everyone drives in. You may see more products woven into plots.

I wouldn't invest in Blockbuster, in other words. But the content providers should continue to be a good bet, and, in the interim, Netflix...

3 Comments:

We've all been talking about this everywhere Alex, and that's good. I have been doing my fair share of it over on my own blog. We also have to remember, that with all the chest thumping about PPV models, bit toreent releasing and the like, that there will always be a significant portion of the audience out their that likes advertising driven, FREE TV. I think that most of North America has cable/ satellite but there's a significant portion of the audience that doesn't have HBO or Showtime. I understand that Sex and the City is going to be syndicated next year as well, and many will see the show for the first time in that venue.

The more I think about this, the more I like Mark Cuban's idea of "multi-platform simultaneous releasing". Day and date of the theatrical release a film is also released on DVD and PPV. Such a release would seem to maximize the value of ad dollars as you're not only advertising the picture but the DVD as well.

My roundabout point in all this is I look forward to more discussion, experimentation and implementation of this wonderful new world of media we live in...

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 8:50 PM  

Oh, and please forgive the grammatical errors...

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 8:51 PM  

Subscription TV, hell yes. And I'd still buy the DVDs too.

When I was in grad school, there was little TV show in its first season that I really wanted to watch. (Something about a girl who talked to God...) Only I worked when it was on, and that didn't even really matter because I was never home. So it was pointless to tape it. I was at school, getting a degree, and when I went home, it was usually to sleep.

What I did have was a gap in the afternoons every couple of weeks. It wasn't long enough to get home and back and still eat lunch, but it was long enough to sit in the student union, eat, and watch a TV show that somehow managed to appear on my laptop...

It wasn't full screen, and often wasn't high quality. But I watched it, enjoyed it, and I would have paid the network to do so. And I would have paid more than a buck an episode, even if it wasn't full screen. Because it was that freakin' convienient.

But that wasn't an option...

Maybe someday.

By Blogger Erik, at 5:49 AM  

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