Tuesday, 26 February 2008

It Begins

The discussion a few blogs ago about the future direction of television seems remarkably prescient now, with this article appearing in the New York Times today.

It's just another nail in the coffin of broadcast television. It's comforting to see that a company like ABC (that's the US one) is willing to start embracing the new world order, however tentatively.

Here in Australia we're only just getting our first glimpse of this world. DVRs have been around for a couple of years, and time-shifting is flirting with the mainstream in the form of Foxtel IQ. But TiVo has no market penetration here at all, and the stodgy old networks staffed with stodgier old men still rule the airwaves.

Bring on the revolution.


Spoon said...

Surely if anything this will encourage more people to download files.

You have the choice of a) watching a show from ABC at any time you want (and you have to watch the ads) or b) watching a show from the internet at any time you want, without ads.

People will be getting these files, taking the ads out of them and uploading them on the net faster than you can say "isn't this just going to piss off all those people who have invested in tivo and DVRs?"

If this is how you saw the networks embracing new technology and taking it into the future then it has less chance than I thought it did during our last discussion.

Matt said...

I don't see how it would encourage people to download who aren't doing it already. And it won't piss off anyone who has a DVR. Someone like that just wouldn't use it.

The point is to capture the people who are about to get a TiVo or DVR, by closing the gap between what they have and what a DVR would offer them. They want to "staunch the flow" as the NYT colourfully put it.

It's very much a first step, and I doubt it'll last long in this form. Its success will rest completely on the subtleties of how easy it is to use vs the DVR option, and I'd be surprised if it measured up.

The interesting thing is that it shows the networks are actually starting to think creatively about the possibilities of digital distribution, instead of just fighting against it.

The Australian networks are years off this, of course.

Spoon said...

because they are too busy dancing the Charleston and riding their mammoths to the masonic lodge...

Matt said...

Damn straight they are.