September 21, 2005

Content- Broadcast vs. Distributed

Filed under: — Administrator @ 4:09 pm

TMF: Content- Broadcast vs. Distributed / Apple (AAPL):

An interesting little read I found:

When I talk about how the big networks are bound to shrink and the distributed network will prevail, I always use the example of Jon Stewart on CNN’s Crossfire: When he eviscerated the arguers there, the segment got about 150,000 viewers. And then it disappeared into big-network ether.

But as of today, that same segment has received 3.24 million views on iFilm – and countless millions more on BitTorrent and other untracked video sharing services.

So, I ask with my PowerPoint behind me, what’s more powerful: The network the CNN and Time Warner own or the network that no one owns? Obviously, it’s the network of the people, not the networks of the moguls, that wins.

Of course, this type of analysis applies to all types of content, not just video. Someone else made the comment that these sorts of discussions do not have to be framed as ‘EITHER/OR’, but ‘AND’ (which accurately reflects the current situation anyways.)

I think there is a great opportunity for broadcasters to expand their message by using distributed content to supplement their broadcasting efforts. You can of course attach ads to such content, and measure its distribution to some extent (as the Jon Stewart example indicates.)

While distributing video content via iTunes to a iPod Video could be either ‘distributed’ or ‘broadcast’ depending on its origin, the net effect is the same. I think broadcasters will try to take advantage of a large base of iPod Video users and distribute a lot of free content that supplements or ties in with their broadcast content.

Futurist may argue that this isn’t really distributed content in a strict sense, and naysay this vs. their vision of a utopian future. And reactionary broadcasters won’t give away any content whatsoever, in an attempt at protecting (instead of expanding) their current revenue streams. But I think ultimately the numbers (of eyeballs) will win out in the end.

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