It’s often been said that what’s been happening in the music biz for the past 1o (15?) years is the “canary in the coal mine” for other media businesses. Already we’re seeing the challenges facing print media, as their business moves online and they try to figure out howthehell to monetize “free.”
Television and film have been (somewhat) immune from those changes, if only because the much larger data requirements of visual information requires much more bandwidth than has been available… until now:
Cable TV was always a bad model for the consumer because, in a sense, you’re paying twice. When you watch The Daily Show, for example, you pay the cable company to bring Comedy Central’s programming into your home. But you also contribute to Comedy Central’s bottom line by watching its ads. However, the Internet allows you to connect directly to Comedy Central without the cable company go-between. You only pay once — either with your eyeballs on ComedyCentral.com, or with your wallet on iTunes….
It’s not hard to foresee a day when Americans come home and, using an Internet TV system that would probably look a lot like your DVR menu, queue up the latest situation comedy or key in to a live news broadcast.
So it’s probably a good thing that companies like Comcast had the good sense some years ago to start offering “high-speed internet” through their coaxial pipes, because pretty soon, that’s going to be their entire business.