Changing Face of Content Distribution

January 8, 2008

For the time being, “movies and TV shows on a computer screen is ‘kind of a geeky experience’,” writes Brian Steinberg for Advertising Age. He goes on to quote Phil Leigh of Inside Digital Media: “‘People that are involved in geeky experiences, they are people that are more prone to go to a peer-to-peer site and make a pirated copy.'”

Wait… what? I’m assuming Mr. Leigh has evidence for this assertion, but I’d really like to see said evidence. In my own experience (ha! I love how personal experience always trumps an argument), my consumption of media has changed drastically in the past year-and-a-half. Whereas I used to rush home for the new episode of “24,” or “House,” etc., I have no television “appointments” anymore because I either buy the episode on iTunes (that’s right: buy… as in pay money… as in non-pirated…) or wait for the season to come out on DVD so I can add it to my NetFlix Que. 

Speaking of which, NetFlix announced a partnership with LG to stream rentals directly to the latter company’s HDTV’s.   Comcast shot back and announced they are working on a similar deal, trying to put together a large library of on-demand movies; they also announced the launch of the website, a “movie-tv hub.” Similarly, Google is teaming with Panasonic to enable the latter company’s televisions to display web content (i.e., more than movies and television shows). So, another attempt by Google at getting into the content business? Sigh.

So the moral of the story? “‘The television industry is one big experiment at this point,'” says Kurt Sherf in an article on I couldn’t have put it better myself. I’m not going to make any predictions now as to what a successful content distribution model will look like, but at least now I can understand why major television networks and giant movie studios are sweating…


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