“ABC affiliates are concerned that they weren’t given an opportunity for financial participation in a new form of distributing shows that derives value through the promotion and broadcasting of affiliates.”
(an “ABC affiliate” would be someone like “Channel 7, Detroit”). — from iTunes TV article on Wall Street JournalSo, what are they saying here? The sentence is a bit tricky to deconstruct, so I can see two potential meanings: 1) They truly believe that the value of distributing shows online lies in who the content is coming from — who the broadcaster or partner is; OR 2) They believe that a show is successful because of the promotion it receives through affiliates; Number two IS kind of right — but the type of affiliates is what I’d debate. They are assuming “network affiliates”, whereas I propose that it’s through “social affiliates” and by social means — water cooler talk, friend of a friend, email forwards, etcetera. I guess the question is “Value FOR whom?” For the Network (ABC), the value of a show is in how many viewers it gets, because that means more people will see the ads during the show, which means they can charge more $ to advertisers who want to show their ads during that show. More demand for ad time means higher prices, and more revenue for the Network. BUT a show only gets popular when it has a great cast and a great script. For viewers, the value of the show is the QUALITY of the show — not how many other people watch it. Quality programming at low cost is the best VALUE. I’m willing to bet that most people see advertising/commercials as DETRACTING from the watchability of any given TV show. I’ll argue that our consumption-oriented culture is ready, for the most part, to pay a little in order to have an on-demand commercial-free viewing experience. We pay for everything these days, so why not pay a little more and save your mind from the tyrrany of ads, and frree your schedule of the time they take to watch! The Apple iTunes TV Store has the potential to completely change the face of TV. WHY bother with brokering advertising when viewers will just pay your network directly in order to watch your show? It’s SO MUCH easier. Not to mention the fact that Apple probably gives ABC all the personal information they want about the people who are downloading & watching their shows.. THAT is a HUGE benefit. Regular TV can NOT do exact demographics. Nielsen, you’re going down. All of this is not to mention the advantages of the on-demand model: 1) You don’t need a TV. This is great for students, and people who just don’t want to own a TV, but who would like to know why people are always raving about the latest episode of LOST. 2) You don’t need a cable/tv service, paid monthly, and you don’t need to be paying for all the channels you never watch. Pay only for what you watch. That’s it. If you only watch 1 episode a month, then your bill is $1.99 for that month. End of story. 3) No need to own a PVR/DVR/TiVo. Never miss another episode again. If you miss an episode, just download it and watch it (ok, you can already do this for free with bittorrent, but it’s not legal). No more scheduling your life around TV. Now TV happens when it’s convenient for you. Buy an entire season of LOST and watch it at your convenience, whenever you have a few moments to spare. Suffice it to say that I think Apple is brilliant. They need to get more Networks to sign up, though. And they REALLY need to flaunt the fact that the new iPod can attach to the TV, so you can watch your downloaded videos on the TV, in high resolution, without commercials. AND they need to let people know that the new iPod works with the Apple Remote Control… so you can control it from the comfiness of your own EZchair. I could go on and on.
Comments from my old blog:
napalm said: Ya but are you a convert? Will you be paying $1.99 for these downloads? It seems to me that TiVo is the future or maybe some sort of streaming tv, like you get with apple movie trailers. Downloading takes too long for most people and as you say, people want things now. I can imagine having an account at say apple and when I want to watch something, I search their catalogue and choose the show I want, maybe the episode as well, then it just starts on whatever device I want to watch it on, be it an ipod, tv, PC, fridge, whatever. The future is instant access, delivered in an easy format with embeded ads- the 30s spot is dead. at 2005-10-18 15:17:37
derek said: I guess I am a convert. My next computer will be a Mac.
Re: Streaming - yes, that will be the way… we just don’t have the infrastructure for it yet… Immediate streaming at high res is very hard to do right now.
Re: Ads — I don’t think ads will go away. I think there will be 2 options:
1) Pay for the show and not have to watch ads
2) Watch it for free with embedded ads
Digital stratification — have & have nots. at 2005-10-18 15:22:34
(Richard)[http://www.braeken.com] said: It’s a very nice service especially if you missed something and you were not able to record it. Now you can still watch it (legally). Yes, it might be great for people who don’t have a TV but that’s where I see the benefits stop. At least 80% of the people just want to press that button on the remote and start watching a show they were waiting for to see. They don’t want to go through hoops to download a show after it aired. I can’t see ABC making a show available before it broadcasts it over the ‘airwaves’. Now they can make some extra money from the people who missed the show.
A different problem are the live broadcasts (news - sports events). How will be they be shown? As you mention, there is no infrastructure to make it streaming so is there an alternative?
The scary part for me is that a person would be dependent on Apple for watching their shows (assuming that ABC is only licensed to Apple). How would you feel if not Apple came up with this business model but Microsoft. Would you still think it would be brilliant? Theoretically it should not make any difference but I am sure it does for many.
All in all it’s a very nice service and it will be interesting to see how it is going to develop. In my future I can see a box on top of the TV which I can use to download shows I want to see. Basically it would be an enhanced “video-on-demand” service as they currently exist but I think we still have the TV channels the way we have them today. at 2005-10-18 17:44:26
dad said: 3.I read it to mean they’re noses are out of joint at not getting a piece of the potential pie.”Derives value”(makes money from their shows) at 2005-10-19 00:31:56
dad said: at 2005-10-19 16:29:57
dad said: Ooops…their noses,lol. at 2005-10-19 16:30:50
(Ryan Waddell)[http://www.ryanwaddell.com] said: To be fair, the resolution ain’t all that great. I dunno what it looks like when you’re hooking an ipod up to a TV to view it, but the reports I’ve read about the quality of the episodes is that it’s GREAT if you watch it on a screen the size of the ipod’s, but looks kinda ass-ish on any screen bigger than that. Personally, I’ll stick to downloading my stuff off the newsgroups. :) at 2005-10-20 16:44:57
(andre molnar)[http://www.andremolnar.com] said: pbs.org/cringely - this week he talks a bit about what this all means…
As for the price - as you said before 1.99 is about 1.00 too much… I’d go farther and say its 1.74 too much…. give it to me on demand for 0.25 and give me the commercials. The benefit is that I can watch it when I want - not that its commercial free… and seeing it when I want is worth $0.25 any day and they still make cash selling ads….
I mean the technology would be there to pack my version of the show full of ads targeted directly at me - ads I might actually pay attention to because they are for me.
At 1.99 its way too much - if i watch 4 episodes of 5 shows a month thats @$40. VS. 100 channel universe and thousands of hours of programming for @$40 a month - add a pvr / media computer and I get the same ‘on-demand’ experience - and well - $1.99 is just dumb…
Andyway - i’m ramblind and its hard to ramble and maintain a consistant train of thought in a text-area only 6 rows high.
at 2005-10-26 04:57:38
Actually, according to traditional zombie lore, salt IS one of the ways to dispose of zombies - but you have to get them to eat it. The salt supposedly will bring them “down to earth” (a kind of sympathetic magic, I guess) and remind them that they are supposed to be dead, at which point they will long for a return to the grave and peaceful sleep.
Mind you, this is applicable only to the zombies of folklore, who were raised by voodoo or similar folk magics. I don’t recommend feeding salt to zombies raised by viruses, space parasites, mysterious gases etc. :) at 2005-10-29 15:13:49
u.c. said: Dont try it with Lo Salt it dosnt work aaaarrrrgh at 2005-10-30 08:29:00
(andre)[http://www.andremolnar.com] said: I saw rollins talk in like 96 - and I keep meaning to go see him each time he comes through town… mayben next time….
at any rate - i followed the yoda link - which made me test out google video (which i’d read about but hadn’t bothered to check out yet) and the first link I clicked on was http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=806488541486203463&q=animation - which reminded me of the cat on your head thingy…. so i though i would share.
andre at 2005-10-31 03:31:34