Monday, 10 May 2010

Why streaming television is not more common

There's a good article up on BoingBoing about why so many TV shows are not streamed online or are region-restricted when they are. It's a good explanation of how the internet absolutely does not fit with the old media model, but it's written from the old model's point of view. My point here is that the internet is not some adjunct to old media that they can tack on and exploit. It's a whole new way of thinking about media.

Sure, if you're going to try selling your TV shows at a loss to broadcasters and cable channels, you'll get into exactly the kind of dead-end mindset described in the article. If, on the other hand, you think internet first, you put the shows up on, say, iTunes and start making money worldwide immediately. Once there's significant support in local areas, some broadcasters might pick up the series and start paying you for those rights. In the meantime, you don't need to be restricted by old media thinking about how long a season needs to be, or how many episodes you need to produce in advance. Just keep going as long as the iTunes sales are covering your costs.

Shows won't have such high budgets this way, or at least not for the first few episodes, so I suppose this is not really a way to think about moving old TV production online. It's about the way mid-length entertainment video should be made for profit on the internet. New distribution, new rules.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It might just be the perfect way to pilot a program.
PPS - It's easier to get and keep online distribution than broadcasting.

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