Internet and Television Are No Rivals

A Google executive claims that the Internet is no rival for TV. The focus on the article is that amateur videography is good enough to pull viewers away from the expensive production values of traditional television shows.

That's pretty misleading! When TV shows are showing up the day after they are broadcast on iTunes for $2 without commercial interruption and downloadable any time of day it's obvious that as the catalog increases people are going to stop watching TV. These viewers will start downloading what they want from the “infinite choice” back catalog of all the shows that can be digitized. The question is only how long it will take and how much it will cost. If the studios are too greedy, or if the shows aren't as good as they thought, they won't make enough money to justify making it.

However, there will always need to be content creation, but there's nothing that says that traditional television has to be the means to fund that creation. It also doesn't mean traditional television is the best way to produce content. Heck, how much would Frito-Lay pay for a massive popular viral video prominently featuring Doritos?

There have been efforts to revive Firefly as an Internet or direct-to-DVD enterprise. Some of Disney's sequels are so miserable they never go to theaters but straight to video. The baby step from there to video over Internet is trivial. iTunes has figured out how to monetize it, why does content creation have to be any different?

I think that were are a few short years away from the death of satellite and cable as TV show channels and the rise of on-demand video from the Internet. I also think the intermediate step of on-demand video through the cable box will be short-lived. People always move to where there is more choice. Using the bandwidth to download whatever they want will always trump any limited catalog and delivery mechanism.

Josh Poulson

Posted Tuesday, Aug 29 2006 10:44 AM

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« Pachabel
Terrorists As Pirates »





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