Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How Broadcast Television Will Survive in an On-Demand World

“November 2005 may have been the month when the major broadcast networks finally 'got' the Internet.

On November 7th, both CBS and NBC cut deals with digital television providers to allow viewers to buy 99-cent downloads of a few popular shows.

Later that week, CNN rolled out a 'final beta' of CNN Pipeline, its streaming media service that delivers unique content via the Web.

Meanwhile, ISP-cum-portal AOL began offering a range of television shows in a digital format on the Web, while Tivo incorporated Yahoo's interactivity with its cable-box service.

Earlier this year, Yahoo also announced they had hired popular video journalist Kevin Sites to report on war zones across the world.

Industry pundits agreed that traditional broadcast networks were busily searching out new revenue streams to buffer falling TV ad returns, while portals were capitalizing on increased broadband connectivity and Internet fluency among consumers.

"The computer has crashed into the Internet," said Brian L. Roberts, CEO of Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable operator, to BusinessWeek.

He sure a s hell doesn't ‘get it.’

Nor does Sony, the RIAA or the MPAA, but that's all right. The internet's got them.

They're busy fighting the last war. Their trenches and pillboxes are in place. But the net will trat them as damage and the packets will route around them and all their schemes will in the end lead to unconditional surrender.

We will become the media, because the computers are the presses, the

stations, the studios, and we own them. The barriers to entry get lower. Year by year, day by day, and even, minute by minute. Storage is virtually free. New distribution systems are becoming dominant, and they are also ours.

Time is running out for strategies of obstruction. The blitzkrieg has already bypassed them.

con·cept: How Broadcast Television Will Survive in an On-Demand World