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How Should On-Demand Content Work?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the next-generation-entertainment-delivery dept.

Education 12

Shirlockc asks: "A recent Slashdot thread on how NBC is planning to offer on demand movies, and this NPR story on The Changing Face of Television has me asking: How will content (be it TV, movies, old, new) be distributed? I also include books -- content is content, the medium for the content changes but good content will always sell. Has anyone thought to try a pay-on-demand for content ie., subsidize the production costs by getting the audience/fans to pay for new episodes, thus skipping the broadcast networks? I know there was a campaign to raise money, in this way, to save Star Trek Enterprise, and there was an attempt to bittorrent a Star Trek Spoof recently on a pay-for-download basis. For shows with a decent cult following (eg., Firefly, Arrested Development, etc.) isn't it possible to fund the production without network participation (assuming all license agreements can be cleared?"

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12 comments

For On-Demand (1)

Punboy (737239) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068424)

For on-demand content, I want to push a button and have some guy named Joe hand me a DVD of the content within 300ms.

Re:For On-Demand (0, Troll)

briancurtin (901109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068522)

once the on-demand content bringers outsource, is it acceptable that Joheeb hands you a DVD instead of Joe?

Re:For On-Demand (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14069102)

Have it your way.
I would rather push a button and have some girl named Josephine come naked and bring beer.

Possible but unlikely (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14068494)

The concept of bringing the shows to the fans directly is possible and doable, but very few producers with proper credentials want to do it, because they're terrified it will end up losing them money somehow. A show I've created was on the verge making the move to the web when some fool added up numbers and mused out loud that they might only make 90% of what they'd make from standard international distribution... (but really, he was saying: "If we become the biggest hit show in the history of mankind, our licensing revenues would eclipse the GDP of western Europe! Beat THAT, Internet!"). So the idea was shelved, because there's a bit too much certainty in fans-per-show than suckers-in-foreign-broadcasting-company. So I'd say you need someone to make the AJAX of web shows, and THEN all your favourite shows will be re-invented for the web, with cheaper effects and b-er-list actors.

Of course, the whole concept may be flawed anyway. Very few people will pitch in to make anything anyway. We, the /. readers of the world, are too cynical and selfish to invest in anything other than gadgets for ourselves. Here, take this example: I've got plans for a series about a group of charismatic con artists who swindle $5M from WoW players through an elaborate scheme. It's got comedy, drama, danger, sex, the works. 13 episodes, 10 minutes each, one a week, and an online puzzle that ties into the plot. If I can raise $7,000, it can go ahead. Who's with me?

[crickets]

Right.

Amazing (0, Offtopic)

Punboy (737239) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068525)

Wow, you can tell how amazingly enlightening this article is. A whopping 2 comments in 30 minutes. Must be a slashdot record. ;-)

Re:Amazing (0, Troll)

Woldry (928749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068589)

Well, it is a Friday night. People probably have dates--

Oh wait, this is Slashdot. Never mind.

Re:Amazing (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068941)

Perhaps it just shows how everyone finds flaws in pay-per-view systems, but no-one has clear idea how one should work in order to work properly.

I've been drafting a business plan with couple of my friends for a ip-tv solution which would offer streamed video over internet, protected by drm, but still platform independed. We have semi-working software and delivery point at tier-1, so bandwidth isn't an issue. Only thing basically missing is the program licensing.

For the cash model, we've been thinking of offering something like $1-3/movie, with 2 or 3 commercial breaks lasting 2-4 minutes, depending on the movie rating. Access to certain movie is granted for 24-48 hours from the moment of sale.

For series, 20-50c/episode with one 2-4 minute commercial break.
Episodes would be sold as a season kit, that allows the user access to them for 30-60 days, and they can view whichever episode in order they choose during that time.

Some sort of bundling is also a possibility, pay $20, watch 10 movies at the time of your choice, etc.
Aim is to keep the costs lower than on rental dvds, and make profit by selling advertisement time on the shows.

Re:Amazing (1)

Punboy (737239) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068990)

You should see Blockbuster and Netflix as competitors with their monthly flat rate and delivery services. Perhaps instead of charging $20 for 10 movies a month, maybe limit it per day or week. Currently I get 6-9 movies per week with Blockbuster btw.

Re:Amazing (2, Insightful)

macshit (157376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069810)

2 or 3 commercial breaks lasting 2-4 minutes, depending on the movie rating

"Commercial breaks" are one of the most execrable things about watching a movie on television; why the !@#$ are you emulating that?

During a series originally intended for TV, it doesn't matter so much, because they're structured around the need for commercials, and for films, before and after are fine -- but not during the movie.

Subsidizing production costs (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068654)

This wouldn't work except for maybe reality tv shows. The Save Enterprise campaign raised about $4m. That might pay for maybe 2 episodes. IIRC.. DS9 used to cost about $2.5m per episode, B5 about $1.7m so I'd bet newer shows cost at least that much. Then you have to deal with profit sharing, ownership (wouldn't you want a piece if you put a few thousand in?).

Re:Subsidizing production costs (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069085)

Meanwhile, somewhere out there in Internetsland, the owner of the save Enterprise website and his tabby cat (named 'Enterprise') are enjoying the 4 million bucks.

It will work... (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 8 years ago | (#14076966)

It is just a mater of time and we will get video entertainment on line. Little companies like ICraveTV got legally crushed when they rebroadcast TV on the internet. Cable companies don't like it as you might drop the lucrative TV part of their service. Telco's are still crying because the lost out on being the number one in internet access. These companies are stagnent and have a vested interest in seeing video on demand over the internet fail.

But if a big player with lots of influence, cash and technical know how were to step up it will happen fast.

Maybe that is why google is building those monster sized supercomputers on a truck???? Don't mean to start rumors but what does one need with a machine like this except to broadcast content? http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/20/151424 4&tid=217 [slashdot.org]

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