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Study Says No Future for Video iTunes

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the video-wants-to-be-free dept.

Media 189

eldavojohn writes "Reuters is running a story on a study that claims "Online video sites that sell shows and movies such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes will likely peak this year as more programming is made available on free outlets supported by advertising." Many channels have wised up to offering their content hosted from their own sites for free — with commercials — to cut out iTunes as the middle man. End result? Predictions that services like iTunes-Video have no future."

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No future for DVDs (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19114171)

There's television!

Re:No future for DVDs (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19114473)

There is no future for video because, how often do you want to keep watching the same old video again and again. With songs its different, but watching a movie again and again just dosent cut it, unless of course its porno!!!

Re:No future for DVDs (5, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115201)

Wait until you have kids.

Thomas, Caillou, Disney movies, over & over & over again.

Can't get the songs out of my head....

Re:No future for DVDs (3, Funny)

LEgregius (550408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115647)

Yeah, my sons love The Three Caballeros [imdb.com] . I have seen it so many times that I have the Portuguese lyrics memorized.

nice sig (0, Offtopic)

drerwk (695572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115699)

You win my favorite sig of the week.

There is no future for ANY physical media (0, Offtopic)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114553)

We have the internet, memory cards, etc.

Any physical format like DVD or CD is laden with DRM and makes it harder to cover to a portable format (MPG,AVI,MP3,ogg,etc.)

TV is dying due to the 20+ minutes of commercials per hour.
And these are the same 4 commercials repeated throughout the same hour.
Even good commercials are repeated to a point where they become annoying like the worst commercials.

Re:There is no future for ANY physical media (0, Redundant)

dknj (441802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114637)

We have the internet, memory cards, etc.

please preview before posting. memory cards = physical media

yes i am being pedantic.

Re:There is no future for ANY physical media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19114799)

I think you will find that while memory cards may be physical media the poster may have wanted to differentiate between videos that are often DRM free and distributed via the Internet, memory card and hard drive compared to the physical media he listed, which are more frequently DRM bound such as DVD etc.

If you truly were being pedantic you ought to have spotted the lower case i on Internet too.

Have fun. : -)

Re:There is no future for ANY physical media (1)

yahooadam (1068736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115331)

>TV is dying due to the 20+ minutes of commercials per hour.
>And these are the same 4 commercials repeated throughout the same hour.
>Even good commercials are repeated to a point where they become annoying like the worst commercials.
So true

I know there have been quite a few ad's i have liked the first time i saw them, but by the time you've seen then 20 times in 1 day, it wears off very fast

And the 20 Min's per hour is ridiculous, (mostly on sky) your paying for the service, and yet you get almost double the ad's as the free channels (ITV / C4 - in the UK)

Re:There is no future for ANY physical media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19115771)

TV isn't simply dying because of the 20+ minutes of commercials per hour. It's like the RIAA blaming dwindling CD sales on P2P and nothing else while one of the reasons is that people simply have a limited amount of money and more of that money is now going towards other items such as DVD's and games (or even non-entertainment expenses such as travel and restaurants). Time is also limited and people now have more choices. Even if one was to rid every show of ads, the WoW addict won't be going back to his TV.

Re:no future for ITunes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19114605)

Its the DRM, stupid! Get It! Or are the media so deaf that they are dumb and blind as well and only support video Itunes for money or because they have been threatened or part of the monopoly and are really the mouthpiece of it?
People just hate DRM and will do anything to get away from it. They listen to commercials anyway on cable pay tv that they have to pay for as well...and some monopolist assbites and their whores in congress are trying to even put a 'broadcast flag' on that! This writer will buy his/her video on DVD or CD. Preferably CD or most preferable VHS tape. Then and only then we have it. Otherwise we'll have to move to Russia, which remains the free-est of all countries with respect to true freedom.

weak science (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19114717)

There was a time in our history when the world-as-you-knew-it was the same one that your parents knew, and would be the same one that your children would know. The division of social classes, their economic wants, their means of fulfilling those wants, their cultural values, etc., did not change over one, two, or even three generations. In that environment, the concept of the "economic man," and the whole business of making predictions based on the science of economics, had some genuine effectiveness to it.

In these times, all the above listed factors change every decade. Not only do we know very little about what world our children will face, we know very little about what our own values, needs, and means will be in the next ten years. Because of this rapid pace of change, by the time any sort of economic model has enough data upon which to base predictions, all the data no longer apply.

Therefore, as far as I am concerned, all such analysis are little more than crystal-ball review.

The risk-takers are the ones who shape our world from one decade to the next, and the unknowns are just too high to say with confidence which risks are worth taking. There are no safe investments, but the betting window never closes.

totally off (2, Insightful)

jj13 (974374) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114823)

Has anyone realized that apple doesn't make much of a profit from the content offered on it's itunes store? If apple is offering all this content simply to push the sales of ipods, macs (and now appletvs) where there IS a lot of profit, why shouldn't apple start offering free video downloads that are ad-supported, with additional drm such that you can't fast-forward while a commercial is on screen? or maybe just make you watch a short ad (not even necessarily embedded in the video file) before you can watch a show...this would be dynamic targeted advertising, but would require an always-on connection, just a possibility. Bottom line... Who says apple can't provide free downloads? If they have the download infrastructure already in place, wouldn't it actually BENEFIT content providers to just offload video to apple? That way they wouldn't need to spend resources developing their own distribution systems.

No future for TV (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115287)

> There's television!

No future for television... There's Internet.

I don't think so (5, Insightful)

llamalad (12917) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114189)

I can't be the only one who'd rather pay a couple of bucks to watch without commercials...

Re:I don't think so (5, Funny)

blackjackshellac (849713) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114249)

Yes you are, and we all know why!

Nice try Gates!

It worked for radio & music too (2, Insightful)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114269)

iTunes seems to be quite a success despite free music downloads and subsidized music in the form of radio. I don't see why videos would be any different.

Re:It worked for radio & music too (1, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114339)

The difference is that itunes music is very close in terms of quality to CD music. There's a much bigger difference between 480p video and 720p or 1080p video; once blu-ray and/or HD-DVD becomes ubiquitous, I don't think many people are going to stick with itunes. Obviously they can increase the quality but I don't think a large percentage of potential customers have the bandwidth to make it worth it to download videos like that.

Re:It worked for radio & music too (5, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114439)

Have you seen the videos on NBC.com? The difference between the NBC.com videos and iTunes videos is like night and day. I'm probably one of the least picky people about my video quality, but even I think that NBC.com looks significantly worse than your average CRT television. It reminds me of watching television with rabbit ears, only worse.

Re:It worked for radio & music too (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114523)

If a dedicated server setup like Itunes can't keep up with the quality what makes you think comedy Central or NBC can? I purchase shows from iTunes whenever I miss an episode in a story arc. The end display quality is usually better than what I can record on my computer directly from the TV broadcast.

HD content though can only be done with HD, and therefore is worse than regular broadcasts

Re:It worked for radio & music too (1)

jkiol (1050424) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114623)

I don't think it will work, but for different reasons. I think a majority of people will be willing to put up with commercials for TV, rather than pay for it. 99 Cents for a song that has at least a little bit of replay capability is ok. 1.99 for something that 99% of the time has no replay value I think is kinda steep.

Re:It worked for radio & music too (1)

Retric (704075) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114857)

Well plenty of people pay over 100$ a month for cable. At 2 hours a day that's 1.67+$ / hour...

Re:It worked for radio & music too (1)

jkiol (1050424) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115151)

Not everyone watches specific shows. I know a lot of people that just turn on the tv to watch something, and they channel surf. But I take back my comment about it not working, there are a lot of people this can satisfy including myself.

Re:It worked for radio & music too (4, Interesting)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115433)

You know... My first internet connection was on two leased line 9600 bps modems. We had a Siemens server running SINIX and a couple graphical workstations running Collage. My first post-web home connection was my trusty 14400 US Robotics I already used for BBSs. I still have it and it still works.

Of course, it was before the web.

In ten years, my home internet connection became five hundred times fatter. If we disconsider clever compression techniques that could be invented in the meantime, we can imagine that a 10-fold increase would be required for HD movies to be feasible.

Just seeing how fast broadband was adopted here in Brazil (first at 256Kbps and these days in the Mbps-range) accompanied by a sharp drop in prices, I can't imagine not having a link fat enough for HD content delivery in 5 years.

People tend to forget that whoever offers video subsidized by commercials will do whatever they can to prevent you from skipping them.

I think that the videos you will be able to purchase on iTunes will still cater to the normal Apple audience: those who can pay a little more for a whole lot more convenience.

Re:It worked for radio & music too (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115937)

You forgot "and middling quality" on that list of things people pay for from apple.

Fanboys, flame away. My karma can take it.

Re:I don't think so (2, Interesting)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114509)

I'd like to think there's room to mix and match, just watch the shows you kinda like and buy the ones you love. Joost really needs content and the buy-in from CMS, Viacom, Hutch and others makes it an interesting proposition and the BBC's iPlayer will hopefully cause chaos to all those ratings muppets! See blog [goffee-freelance.co.uk] for thoughts on them...

Re:I don't think so (2, Insightful)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114771)

Sixty million Britons do exactly that.

Although, only the BBC channels are advert-free. And you have to pay for the BBC channels, even if you only want the non-BBC channels. (They could have fixed this by broadcasting BBC programmes scrambled and requiring a viewing card; the transition to digital television would have been the perfect opportunity to introduce this. I am currently awaiting a response from my MP as to why this was not done.)

Re:I don't think so (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115369)

"And you have to pay for the BBC channels, even if you only want the non-BBC channels"

But would you actually want to? Unless you like endless big brother (which apparently is restarting soon, god dammit!), ITV Play and the crap they have on the commercial channels, the current system is optimal imho. Sure, some claim they watch Sky TV or cable exclusively for a while, but sooner or later everyone realises that brain cells need companions and so end up switching back to watching mainly terrestrial channels.

Re:I don't think so (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115399)

(They could have fixed this by broadcasting BBC programmes scrambled and requiring a viewing card; the transition to digital television would have been the perfect opportunity to introduce this. I am currently awaiting a response from my MP as to why this was not done.)
I hope you have several good books and a grain of salt handy, since I'm sure you're in for quite a wait before you get some silly justification. Why would your MP answer with the truth, which is, "That would reduce revenues to the point that BBC programming would have to be cut drastically"?

Re:I don't think so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19115507)

Also, the BBC website is soon to become a free version of iTunes itself, with nearly all programs freely downloadable.

Re:I don't think so (1)

bensode (203634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114849)

Although I'm not into the iTunes video for TV, I prefer to buy the DVD series at the end of the season. No commercials, accessible when I want it to be and no DRM that I am aware of. It's nice to see that the networks are stepping up and making it available online but I really doubt that will kill iTunes Video ...

Lame (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114197)

Let me see. I can go to NBC.com and watch a show in horrendously low quality with annoying commercials, or I can spend $1.99 a week to watch the same show in H.234 480p with no commerical interruptions. Oh, and I can collect the seasons and watch them whenever I want.

Seriously, this doesn't make any sense. And can television stations really say that they make more money per viewer with commercials than they do with iTunes downloads? As far as I see, the episodes on NBC.com are carrots intended to get viewers hooked on the shows. The quality is intentionally limited so as to convince new viewers to tune in on television or iTunes.

"No Future" (3, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114503)

I think it's pretty obvious that downloaded shows make a lot of sense at the moment. So do DVDs of shows - it's convenient and you can use them offline.

Imagine a future, though, where wireless broadband is cheap and ubiquitous. Subscription websites generally do poorly and people are willing to sit through advertising in order to get something they want for free. If I can tab to another web site during commercials, I probably don't care that things are delayed for a couple minutes.

Eventually, the issue will be about time. Some people's time is valuable enough that they'll purchase the DVD or download the series. For the masses, the commercial approach is fine for them. Personally, I think it's good to have choices.

Re:"No Future" (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114581)

Except that if you can "tab to another web site" during commercials, and everyone else can (enough people to justify the point you are making), then they won't make enough money off the commercials. So they will make the commercials longer, superimpose them on the show so you can't miss them, etc.

Re:"No Future" (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114673)

> Except that if you can "tab to another web site" during commercials, and everyone else can (enough people to justify the point you
> are making), then they won't make enough money off the commercials. So they will make the commercials longer, superimpose them on
> the show so you can't miss them, etc.

How will they know I'm not watching the commercials? If a product is advertised on different tv stations, magazines, hoardings, radio etc, how will they be able to determine which one is more effective?

Re:"No Future" (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114975)

How will they know I'm not watching the commercials?
Because they aren't selling any products?

We're talking long term. Eventually they will notice that their business model is not working, so they will change their model.

If a product is advertised on different tv stations, magazines, hoardings, radio etc, how will they be able to determine which one is more effective?
Ummm, people actually work very hard on this problem. Are you suggesting that in this multibillion dollar field, no one has a clue what works and what doesnt?

A kings ransom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19116089)

Imagine a future, though, where wireless broadband is cheap and ubiquitous.

Sounds like a line from Ma Bell back in the 60's about video phones.

Ubiquitous maybe, but cheap? No. The base for broadband has been set and it will only rise from here.

Re:Lame (1)

sanmarcos (811477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114521)

It is H.264, and your point only gets amplified by the fact that Apple might soon offer HD quality releases, add to that the bunch of exclusive content they offer sometimes.

Re:Lame (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114571)

It is H.264

Yes, thank you. That was completely my typo. And I fully agree. Apple has upgraded the video quality once already. As the average bandwidth improves, I see no reason why they wouldn't offer 720p in the future. It's just that right now there is no serious competition in that area. (The XBOx 360 stuff is still getting the kinks worked out.) So for now, at least, Apple is sitting pretty.

Plus... (1)

sterno (16320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114923)

I can take the Itunes video and watch it on my IPod, or watch it on my AppleTV. Well, in my case I don't have an AppleTV, but I hook my MacBook up to the TV and use the handy remote control and do things that way. I've watched video through ABC.com's site before and the quality is decent, but I have to be at my computer to do it. Watching it on my TV isn't practical and I can't take it with me. It's okay if I want to catch up on a series and not pay $2 an episode.

Frankly what I hope to have some day is the ability to just do paid subscriptions for all of the shows I watch. Even if I'm paying for each individual show it would save me a whole lot of money if I could cut back on my cable package or eliminate it entirely. If I dropped cable all together and bought the shows I actually watch I'd probably cut my annual costs in half.

Re:Lame (1)

AssProphet (757870) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115055)

You're right, the competing options suck, for now, but this is more about the future. They're betting that sites like NBC.com will wise up provide more viewer friendly services for free, undercutting the iTunes video market.

The thing is, Apple is nimble, and while networks might begin to rise to the challange, I don't think Jobs & co. are going to just give up. I do agree that If iTunes Video fails to compete it's going to fall. I think the problem with the article is that it assumes that Apple can't or won't compete. Since when did journalists know a damn thing about what Apple is capable of?

Re:Lame (1)

e-ignite (973134) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115599)

There is a big difference between the offerings from iTunes and the "ad-supported" versions on the broadcaster's websites. Firstly, the ads on the website versions are not skippable - that's a big turn off for many users. Crucially thought, the website versions are tied to your computer - it's (AFAIK) not possible to copy these and upload them to your iPod to watch on a long journey for example. These ad-supported versions won't be downloadable either since this would make it impossible for them to control what ads are actually watched and which are simply skipped.

Being from the UK, I've yet to experience any TV/movie content on iTunes, but it's something that I would certainly be interested in. Provided the price is right, I'd far rather pay a modest amount and be able to watch the program at any time on a device I choose (eg. my laptop, desktop, or on my iPod). The ability to pause / fast forward etc. is a nice addition, but the ability to watch it at any time is the real key. The online versions offered on the likes of the NBC website are not going to be available indefinitely, so if you particularly enjoy one episode, you'll have "paid" to see it by NBC's advertising, then you'll have to pay in hard cash to ensure you can watch it as many times as you like.

Contrary to the opinions expressed in the article, I think that selling TV shows on the likes of iTunes has a bright future - especially since it has (so far) only launched in the USA. I personally believe it will grow exponentially when deals are struck internationally - imagine how much of a premium that US networks could charge by offering "pre-release" versions of TV shows to an international audience. In the UK, we usually need to wait almost a year for a new series of a TV show after it's been shown in America. It's a large market with a large amount of money still to be made - sure, it's not perfect, but I believe it can only improve and expand.

The Question Is... (1)

EgoWumpus (638704) | more than 7 years ago | (#19116189)

Will the guys doing this study be fired when their prediction proves false? Or will they be rehired because it was understood that it was an advertising move and may not pan out?

Haven't we Heard this Before??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19114215)

5gb
No Wi-Fi
Lame....

Shows with commercials are not "free" (2, Insightful)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114229)

I would pay iTunes substantially more to watch programs without commercials or movie trailers.

Re:Shows with commercials are not "free" (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114383)

Actually, iTunes shows are not without commercials. Many of the shows have commercials embedded in the movie file. What they are is without commercial interruptions. Commercials are placed on the tail end of the video where you can choose to watch them or shut off the playback. This is vastly superior to the DVD solution of, "you MUST watch these commercials every time you turn on this DVD."

I don't know about anyone else, but I actually like seeing occasional advertisements. Especially things like movie trailers and new show promotions. My problem is that I don't like being forced to watch them repetitively. iTunes gives you the best of both worlds in that respect, and in a way that is unlikely to offend the die-hard anti-commericalists. (Dare I say it? Anti-commercial Nazis?)

Re:Shows with commercials are not "free" (1)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115053)


I am very pleased with the location and duration of advertising on, say, iTunes downloads for The Colbert Report and The Daily Show. Very limited and at the end.

I don't have cable, so iTunes is the only legit channel I have for some shows. Other than the DRM garbage, and the erratic timing with which the videos are released after airing, I am generally pleased with the arrangement.

Re:Shows with commercials are not "free" (0, Offtopic)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115361)

Dare I say it? Anti-commercial Nazis?

Indeed, every time you skip a commercial you endorse eugenics, human experimentation, work camps, and anti-semitism. Oh and that whole second world war thing.

What is wrong with paying for a show without commercials? Everyone knows where to go find new movie trailers. But damn, you were at least informative and had an honest respectable opinion before you concluded that people who don't like commercials are extremist and comparable to the perpatrators of a real human tragedy.

What is that supposed to mean exactly? Every time you ignore/skip/pay for commercial free content someone takes a "shower"?

Just a couple extra minutes of thought and you could have had a better persuasive argument and your credibility.

Re:Shows with commercials are not "free" (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115523)

Ever heard of "Grammar Nazis?" Yeah, it play on that. It's also a sideswipe at Godwin's Law [wikipedia.org] .

Lighten up a little. Being so serious is going to take years off your life.

And in case you're wondering, I'm one of those people who "pay for shows without commercials". I have no cable service and rely on iTunes, DVDs, and websites like NBC.com. My reference (which was a joke anyway) was not aimed at your average, "I'm tired of sitting through commercials" consumer, but rather the extremists who think all commercials are evil and should be expunged from existence. Of course, these also tend to be the same people who think that they should get all this high-quality, commercial-free content without having to pay a dime for it. How that's supposed to work is anyone's guess.

In any case, I think I'll dub you, "overly serious Nazi". Because you're just so gosh-darn literal. :-P

Re:Shows with commercials are not "free" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19114885)

Then you are a moron.

If you really care about skipping commercials, stream the video to a file and fast-forward through them when you view it later, or buy a DVR.

There is no reason to ever buy a show off of ITunes and people who do like to waste money. The difference in quality is negligible, and nothing is lost in the content.

This could go either way (5, Insightful)

TheSciBoy (1050166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114245)

For my money it could go either way. Yes, people are worried that the movies they buy won't work on their device. Probably to the point where they won't even try it once. This can be helped by offering a 3-minute preview of the show in question in the exact format of the purchaseable file, for example. This is an obstacle that can be overcome.

However, IF you can watch the same thing for free, with similar quality, only the irritant of commercials remain. However, this is a big irritant and I think most people would skip them if possible. As long as people are able to skip the commercials somehow, then the free option will prevail, however, the providers will never stand for this.

Buying content will allow people to play said content on portable devices. Commercials fed services will have to be streaming to keep the user from skipping commercials. So, different users will want different kinds of content.

Re:This could go either way (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115363)

I see one big reason why we won't have commercial supported internet television. Bandwidth. Broadcast television works because it scales well. Once a provider has secured the rights and paid for the infrastructure to broadcast a signal, the costs for additional customers are often not significant. On the other hand, for internet television each new customer required a fixed amount of bandwidth, which must be paid for. Some of that bandwidth cost might be externalized, but that will only make the fixed cost model a fractional power rather than linear function. Predicting the bandwidth needs, and paying for it, will be a problem that is likely not well understood by the broadcast network people. Even the cable people, who have to charge for the feed due to fixed physical per customer costs, are not operating under a fixed bandwidth per customer model.

Therefore any internet television will not only have to work out how to charge for the streaming media, but also how to manage costs. Recall that iTunes does not make a lot of money. Also recall the Apple does not want to do subscriptions, not, I believe, because people do not want it, but because of bandwidth costs. The predictable method of delivering content over the internet is to have the customer pay for each download, so the cost of bandwidth can be figured into each purchase. And no matter what DRM exists, once the content is on the customers machine, it is potentially a sale, even if it a subscription service.

ughh yeah, mmm-kay (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114293)

Why do people insist that the world be black or white; beta or VHS; HD-DVD or BlueRay?

What the author should have said is that iTunes perhaps has yet to find the video market content that targets it's user base. Just because content providers are finding that they get more benefit by not having a middle man for distribution does not mean there is no room in the market place for what iTMS has to offer... or any other content distributor, can you say YouTube or others like it?

While CBS, NBC, BBC et al can find profit in distributing their own content, it is aggregaters that will create 'channels' that users will be willing to subscribe to. Just like broadcasting companies of years gone by, it will be aggregation channels that people end up watching.

Already there are too many web sites with video content and too much content for the average user to keep up with. In the end, due mostly to operator overload, users will end up just watching their 'favorite' channels of video content on the Internet. Just like there are different Internet radio stations because of taste and ease of use, video channels will emerge as the 'new tv' networks. People are often just like sheep wanting someone else to tell them what to watch. This societal effect will make its mark on Internet video content too.

The good news in this story? Content creators are seeing that they don't need a distribution company for the Internet. Perhaps musicians will see this too and wriggle out of their contracts to start putting more music content out there without the RIAA tax.

Movies to go please... (2, Interesting)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114297)

I could see them making a nice chuck of change. Think about the amount of travelers alone who have iPod's... Imagine a USB based kiosk at an airport with movies for downloads. Or... Even a USB next to your chair which would allow you to rent/buy movies at will... How many people get on a plain/train each day... All you need is a fraction to buy a movie. Its apparent whoever wrote the article is not thinking out of the box.

Bull (0, Flamebait)

Zaurus (674150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114311)

Let me be one of the first to say that this story is so off-base that it will likely never be referenced by anyone in the future.

Re:Bull (1)

Lijemo (740145) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115453)

"Let me be one of the first to say that this story is so off-base that it will likely never be referenced by anyone in the future."

I disagree.

After all, "640k ought to be enough for anybody" and "we predict a world market for, maybe, five computers" and "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." are still referenced frequently.

Spread the word (1)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114333)

Congratulations! Someone's on a roll. Now, please go see the folks at HBO and tell them how wrong they've been all this time. ;)

What's this? (1)

Magneon (1067470) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114361)

What's this? Somebody nay saying apple? Promising a quick demise of one of their products? Eminent failure?

They couldn't possibly be being sensationalist and trying to cash in on apple's success now could they?

/sarcasm

Re:What's this? (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115127)

Either that or they just get out of the beleaguered 1990s.

Disagree (5, Insightful)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114409)

It's one thing sitting at your desk and getting to watch a TV show, and syncing it with a mobile device and watching it during your lunch hour at work. If I'm home I'll watch it on TV, but if I dont have time and want to watch it whenever I want from wherever I want then a video ipod sounds nice. So there will be a market for it. Plus I'd rather pay a couple bucks for on-demand ad free content then free and usable only via the web with ads.

Re:Disagree (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114649)

I don't think the author implied that the various solutions would force you to sit at your computer and watch them rather than watching on your tv.

Re:Disagree (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115149)

exactly. I can't stand watching flash based mini shows on my computer. I would rather download the content and watch it on my tv, than watch a tiny box on my computer screen.

Short positions? (2, Interesting)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114413)

I sometimes wonder if stories like this (or the breathless "iPhone is gonna generate more revenue than a patent on oral sex" stories) are intended to briefly move the stock price one way or another. It would be interesting to study the AAPL movements against key announcement, headlines, rumors and actual performance. I supose we wouldn't learn much, only confirm our intuition that headlines and rumors affect the short term and performance affects the long term, but it might be fun.

Re:Short positions? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114873)

AAPL is up .32% at the moment, on a day when the NASDAQ is down the same amount and the Dow is up .2%. So on a see-a-point-draw-a-line basis, I'd have to say there's nothing better for Apple stock than negative articles about their prospects.

Headlines do move stocks, but not little one-shot things like this. The market dismisses study articles like this one. There may be some investor who says, "Some research analyst says it's gonna tank? Get me outta that!" but it's less influential than, say, an upgrade or downgrade.

At the moment Apple stock is being driven steadily upwards by speculation about the coming of the iPhone, and by several consecutive quarters of better-than-expected earnings. iTMS video is a tiny blip on their earnings radar, and investors care about it only to the degree that it drives iPod sales, which have been an enormous win for Apple.

In general, don't try to time the market to headlines. If you're reading the news on the Internet, everybody else heard it before you did, and the price already reflects the news. As a Slashdotter you're better qualified to judge the significance of long-term trends than your average dipstick, so you can do well investing in tech stocks. But for market-timing you're going to get your butt kicked by a bunch of technical day-traders. (Not that they're getting rich, either, for the most part, but their herky-jerky movements on the news make it hard to apply cogent analysis of that news to the stock price.)

Re:Short positions? (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 7 years ago | (#19116041)

Of course headlines and announcements affect the stock market. But there's a world of difference between "the headline affects the stock price", which is natural market behavior, and "the headline is intentionally worded and timed to affect the stock price a certain way", which is illegal.

Paying extra for uninterrupted viewing (3, Insightful)

955301 (209856) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114425)

My time is valuable to me. My friends value their time as well. Tivo's value is not just time shifting, but also cutting out crap. If I have to pay Apple a premium to do this for me and watch only a few shows because of the cost, to me that's better than watching crapisode after crapisode put only solely for the purpose of having something to insert commercials into. And if I feed the demand for something which competes against AdverCrapIsodes(r) it's a bonus.

In my little world, this guy is off target.

People pay to get their time & choice back.

Why not let a friend record them for you? (1, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114709)

I have friends all over the world who record my favorite shows, expunge the commercials, and let me borrow them! I don't pay a cent except for bandwidth, and if I like the show enough I'll buy the DVDs to support the artists (Venture Brothers, maybe the next Simpsons set, Family Guy, etc...).

It works great, just like asking your neighbor to tape your favorite shows when you go on vacation.

Oh...the bad part is, the media companies can't make any money off of it.

who will advertise? (3, Funny)

tim90402 (1040444) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114431)

Was just looking at a list of the top 10 spenders on advertising. 4 of them are media companies (Time-Warner, Disney, GE (NBC), and News Corp) and 3 are telco's (ATT, Verizon, Sprint). If all of their products are going to be free, who will be left to buy ads?

Re:who will advertise? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114917)

Their products are free to the consumer. Subject to one or two provisos.

Disney buys advertising ("Own The Little Hans Christian Andersen Rip-Off on DVD Today!") but they also sell advertising on their own channels. Same goes for Time-Warner, NBC, Fox and more or less any television station the world over.

And when another TV network, either in the US or elsewhere, shows a Disney cartoon or a Fox show, Disney/Fox/Insert Company Here gets paid.

You can be reasonably certain they'll also be selling ads. What, you thought that free 2 hour movie you just downloaded was 2 hours of movie? No way. 100 minutes of movie, 20 of ads. You want the high-resolution version with no ads? (Or, for that matter, the last 10 minutes of that TV show where you find out that the chauffer killed the prince)? Well, that can be yours for just $9.99.

Re:who will advertise? (1)

tim90402 (1040444) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115205)

Sounds a bit circular. I buy ads on your site, you buy ads on mine, and we both book the revenue. Works great as long as there are investor dollars flowing into the system.

One stop shopping (5, Insightful)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114527)

Many channels have wised up to offering their content hosted from their own sites for free -- with commercials

I'm not sure they've taken every aspect into account. While 'free' sounds good, I'm pretty sure people don't want to hunt all around different sites, all with different viewing/codec requirements, all with different site logins and other logisitcal hoops, just to find something they might want to watch.

On the contrary, I believe sites that will survive which can collect the most shows/movies from all the content providers in one place, all with short previews, all encoded reliabily the same. While the 'Net allows for wild west style secluded towns for each studio, it doesn't have staying power. People tend to prefer a centralized distributor they can count on.

iTune's biggest issue IMHO is that they need more studios to supply content in order to make them a one-stop shop. The studios need to get past this walled garden idea.

How many times do we have to see this? (4, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114533)

First of all, how many fucking idiots in the world are there that write studies and articles like this? EVERYTHING IS NOT BINARY! THERE DOES NOT ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ONE WINNER AND ONE LOSER! FUCK!!!!!

The Internet has not replaced TV. TV did not replace radio or the movies. Movies and radio did not replace stage shows. Smartphones have not replaced PDAs. Etc etc etc. Can't ONE FUCKING JOURNALIST accept the fact that some things will just stay around?!? Sheesh.

Now, on to the actual premise of TFA: I love that ABC and others are making their content available online. HOWEVER, I do NOT like that I've got to fire up a browser and watch shows streaming. I *want* to be able to download shows and watch them with no de[[[buffering]]]lays, and watch them over and over, and skip around with no delay, and be able to watch it some day in the future when ABC quits hosting the file, etc etc etc. I don't like buying video from iTunes--the fact that it can NEVER be watched without a) a computer, b) an AppleTV, or c) an iPod pretty much kills it for me--but I like watching shows in a browser on my so-so Internet connection even less.

Long story short: this will NOT be the end of iTunes. Hint to fucktard "journalist"/"researcher" #42571: TiVos and videotapes ALSO render iTunes obsolete--but it's still around. Get a fucking clue. Douchebag.

Re:How many times do we have to see this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19115501)

First of all, how many fucking idiots in the world are there that write studies and articles like this? EVERYTHING IS NOT BINARY! THERE DOES NOT ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ONE WINNER AND ONE LOSER! FUCK!!!!!

The Internet has not replaced TV. TV did not replace radio or the movies. Movies and radio did not replace stage shows. Smartphones have not replaced PDAs. Etc etc etc. Can't ONE FUCKING JOURNALIST accept the fact that some things will just stay around?!? Sheesh.
Mod parent up.

Re:How many times do we have to see this? (1)

isaac (2852) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115795)

TV did not replace radio or the movies. Movies and radio did not replace stage shows. Smartphones have not replaced PDAs.

On planet Earth, these things did happen for the most part. TV turned radio into a niche product for the car and the clock radio where it had been the dominant mass medium and home entertainment. The movies did replace stage shows, literally - vaudeville houses became movie theatres practically en masse; the corpse of theatre as mass popular entertainment (Broadway) is just a tourist attraction. And, even on planet Nerdulon, smartphones have almost entirely replaced PDAs. I see more Treos today than I ever saw Palm V's in 1999-2000.

Just because there are horsedrawn buggies in Central Park doesn't mean the automobile didn't replace carriages.

-Isaac

Whoa (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114537)

"Many channels have wised up to offering their content hosted from their own sites for free -- with commercials"

Wised up - just like that, eh?.

Yesterday they couldn't unwrap a corndog and now they've figured it all out and they've got iTunes on the run.

The world....is such a funny place....isn't it...?

I mean, I'm always keen to see things work out for others. And I love the serendipitous nature of this whirlwind we call 'now'. But who among us would have not been taken by surprise to see the words 'wised up' and 'channels' staring back at us from within the same sentence.

Well, good for them, right! HUPHUPHURRAH!. After all these years of chasing their cute stubby little analog tails while bumping the audio of their next commercial and struggling with prime time in multiple time zones and interrupting Bonanza with news of a new First Kitten, well - there can be only one thing to say.

iTunes is dead! Long live iTunes!

(Now where was that renewal card for TV Guide... Honey!!)

Future (0)

Yoda Jedi Master (1101773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114583)

Online video sites that sell shows and movies such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes will likely peak this year as more programming is made available on free outlets supported by advertising.


See the past, one must, to see the future.

Did free TV stop DVD sales? Hm.

The birth of "Web TV" and "Web DVD", we see. The same it is: place for everyone, on the web you can find.

Way to ignore history (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19114597)

Seriously. If the history of media tells us anything, it's that people by and large prefer to own their content. Hence the success of VCRs. Hence the success of DVD box sets. Advertising supported streaming will appeal to some subset of viewers who just want to be able to catch an episode they missed, but I highly doubt it will cut into the Video iTunes market in any meaningful way. The services are barely even comparable. One chains you to your computer to watch, gives you little opportunity to ffw, pause and otherwise control your viewing experience, and has low quality to boot. The other is highly portable, gives you complete control* of the viewing experience AND is high quality. There may be a little overlap in the markets, but I doubt it's much.

* Modulo DRM crapola preventing you from device shifting your content

Joost.. (1)

BuR4N (512430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114663)

If there is anything that will put a dent in Itunes its Joost, solid concept, network backing and the creators have a track record of creating stuff that stirs up some dust in the industry (www.skype.com)

who sponsored this study? (5, Insightful)

awb131 (159522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114691)

Starting four years ago, I had a Dish network subscription plus a TiVo. I haven't seen a TV commercial since, except for the rare occasions I was doing something and couldn't get to the fast forward button. Two months ago, I realized:

1. I really don't watch too much other than movies and a couple of TV shows that are available on iTunes. I definitely never watched anything when it was actually being broadcast -- usually several days later.
2. The total monthly cost of these things is more than my motorcycle payment.
3. I could get a Netflix subscription, buy the entire seasons of the shows on iTunes, give up nothing, and save a few hundred bucks a year.

So I cancelled the satellite, unplugged the TiVo, and haven't really missed them since (except when my girlfriend is over and wants to watch something; all that's hooked up to the TV now is a DVD player and the XBOX 360.)

I call shenanigans on this study.

Re:who sponsored this study? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114979)

If it weren't for my wife, I could do the same thing. Problem is, she watches so much crap on her TiVo that isn't available on d/l or fixed media it would never work. My daughter could live on packaged programs and movies, and I almost never watch TV except for movies and some shows which are available on disc by the time I get around to viewing them. For the $700 we spend on programming, we could buy a lot of fixed media or downloads.

Actually, now that I come to think of it, maybe we could get by with the right media center. I would just ahve to wean the wife off of TiVos suggestions for the latest history/biography stuff she likes so much.

Re:who sponsored this study? (1)

jkiol (1050424) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115045)

Your post made me realize I don't really need my cable subscription anymore, and I could save a bunch of money. Thanks, please mod parent up.

Re:who sponsored this study? (1)

Stamen (745223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115591)

Before my wife, then my girlfriend, moved in, I had a similar setup and it was great; she enjoys the cable.

I'm not going to lie and say something like "I just watch a few hours a week, and only education shows on PBS". I probably don't watch the average of 4 hours a day of TV that most Americans do, but I watch my fair share. In my humble opinion TV is producing some of the best content right now (I'd rather watch a night of Lost or 6 Feet Under DVDs than many movies).

What worked great for me is no cable/antennea, then I got the 5 disc option from Netflix (3 discs weren't enough). With this setup I could watch a couple hours every night and never be without a disc. The rest of my video watching was downloaded; either commercial shows via Torrents or iTunes, or better yet, non-commercial programming, which although not as well produced, is often more interesting and unique than "professional" stuff.

Once you watch a serialized TV show on DVDs, it's really hard to go back to watching 1 show per week. Watching 3 episodes in a sitting, then 3 more the next night is the perfect way to consume TV.

You do have to wait until the next year to see the show, but there are so many out there, you can go back and watch all those years of Alias or Sopranos you never saw.

As for TFA, give me a break. Watching video on iTunes or the like, will only increase.

ABC's got it right (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19114759)

Like many viewers I can't watch regular tv anymore. Too many commercials. At ABC.com I can watch 43 minutes of Lost with 3 separate 30 second commercial breaks for free and at a pretty good resolution. 30 seconds is short enough that I generally don't leave during the breaks (good for the advertisers) and a total of 90 seconds of commercials is a minimal distraction from the show. I occasionally buy 24 from iTunes because it's not available for free online (legally) and the quality doesn't seem any better.

The End of Appointment TV (3, Insightful)

zentec (204030) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114793)

What the networks have been failing to grasp (and many here have mentioned) is that there is not going to be just one method of distribution. The spate of technology has empowered the viewer to watch on their own terms, and the content creators would be making a drastic mistake to bet on one technology edging out the other. Some people will want to watch it on the AppleTV, and some people will be happy to download it with their media PCs while others will hang in there with their Tivo. Many more will elect to watch it on their iPods or tiny cell phone screens while sitting on a train to work (or hopefully, not while driving to work).

Appointment TV is dead; the networks and broadcasters need to wake up to the fact that everyone showing up in front of their televisions at a set time to watch Idol is becoming as arcane and antiquated as the family life portrayed in 1950's family sitcoms. They need to realize that in order to capture every eyeball, they'll have to distribute it on cable, on the download sites and services for products like AppleTV, on their own web sites, on cellular networks and every other place where they can find eyeballs. To ignore this will simply result in less dollars for them because they are not making their shows available to the largest number of people.

This is BS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19114809)

PEOPLE spend money at iTunes.

Not studies, probably sponsored by failing competitors.

Play With Ourselves (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114851)

If we could play our media for our friends (real ones) online the way we can currently lend the our CDs/DVDs, this whole BS house of copyright cards would collapse. And there would be a lot more transactions, that entrepreneurs could monetize in ways other than just controlling the content. Including a reasonable royalty scheme (not the now more-draconian webcast royalties) that would pay artists better and more directly from their audience.

Burn (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19114947)

I'll buy from a service that costs about the same as netflix ($2/movie) and lets me burn the show to a standard non-DRMed DVD the same way iTunes costs $1 and lets me burn the song to a standard CD. Services that are more restricted are doomed to failure because lets face it: that's crappy service and as a consumer I'm wise to it.

Nope. For a few reasons (2, Insightful)

tji (74570) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115095)


- Convenience. I don't want to hunt around to find the content I'm looking for, deal with different codecs and quality issues, and try to get it working on my Mac (my attempts thus far to view things like the NCAA basketball tournament games, or portions of The Masters, have been wildly unsuccessful.)

- Viewing Experience. Nobody wants to watch these on their computer. Apple already has the AppleTV, or even Mac Mini as good settop box options.

- Familiarity. The existing iTMS user base is huge, we already have accounts there and are exposed to the video choices, making it easy to take the leap into video.

- Integration. There is value in having the option to view the content on my laptop, iPod, as well as my TV -- without jumping through hoops and transcoding. This will be even more important as the next generation of iPods, with iPhone interface and widescreens, become available. having the video on a portable device becomes even more useful / usable.

I'm not saying iTMS is the pinnacle of multimedia.. but it's the best thing going right now. I am hoping that free/legal options become more common in the future. But, I'm thinking something along the lines of MythTV, except easy to set up and use. Record HDTV programs for free with an antenna, convert them to a good format for use on a variety of devices, and integrate with a nice settop box for TV playback. MythTV can do this today, if you're willing to spend the time/effort and acquire the knowledge necessary. This is definitely an area ripe for a startup.. but it needs to be one that is willing to live without exploiting all the lock-ins that everyone else attempts with this sort of thing.

Depends on the quality (1)

forgoil (104808) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115203)

If we are talking about some kind of crappy webbased horrid low resolution crap, who cares? I want it directly to my TV in at least 720p and preferably 1080p with high quality surround sound.

Besides, iTunes is not the big competitor, the torrent/ftp/etc sites are the big competitors, they have the nuts.

Can I watch that other stuff on my iPod? (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115251)

The only think that'll completely eliminate the viability of video in iTunes is something that can completely replace the functionality of video in iTunes.

When I get a video in iTunes, it's so that I can download it onto my video iPod, to watch it on the bus during my commute, or while waiting for my food at a restaurant, et cetera, et cetera.

I'll give you an example: Heroes. The web site lets you watch episodes for free. I've still bought some episodes via iTunes. Why? The web site used streaming video. I don't want to watch on my computer. I want to watch on my iPod, which doesn't have a net connection.

I can see both sides of the coin (3, Interesting)

Murrdox (601048) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115383)

As an example on this, let's take myself.

I love watching LOST, but I am awful about actually sitting down and watching it when it is on TV. I always miss it.

Back during Season 2, I was still catching up. I really wanted to watch the episodes that I missed. I had missed a lot of them. So, I figured $2 is worth the price of an episode. I went to iTunes, and I bought about 12 episodes of Season 2 to catch up to where I needed to be. It was really cool, the quality was good, and I was pretty happy with it.

Fast forward to now.

I still miss LOST regularly, but I don't buy it from iTunes anymore. I go to www.abc.com, and I watch it online. I can watch it in full screen, and I just have to sit through a 30 second commercial a few times per episode. I consider that a free trade, considering that if I was watching it on TV, I'd have to sit through FIVE MINUTES worth of commercials several times per episode.

The only issue I have with the ABC content is that sometimes the streaming isn't quite fast enough, and the video feed can get locked up. I don't have to deal with that on iTunes. Also, you can only go back 4 episodes. So, if I missed an entire season, I couldn't get it on ABC.com. However, I would imagine that ABC has something in the works to rectify this situation.

In summary, I'd rather watch a few commercials than pay $2 for an episode if I am given the choice.

UNLESS

I want to burn the episode to DVD to watch later. THEN I want a high quality digital copy with no commercials, and I'd pay $2 for it. Unfortunately, iTunes doesn't allow you to burn video to DVD, so I can't win on that front at all. If Apple can get rid of the DRM requirement on their downloaded videos, to let you burn them to DVD, I can see a market for them. Otherwise, eventually the free content will win.

Yeah, and Apple iTunes sales collapsed in 2006. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19115531)

Forrester's page views must be low again. Time to leech some Apple PR.

http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/12/ 0357223 [slashdot.org]

And it Violates 235 Patents!! (1)

olyar (591892) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115585)

I'm thinking you could make this a reply to any and all Slashdot articles.

Its like a FUD catchall. The pinnacle of FUD.

It violates over 235 patents!! ZOMG!!!

Who would ever pay for something you can get free? (1)

VeryVito (807017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115659)

Only cable TV subscribers, bottled-water consumers and XM radio consumers. Some people WILL pay for premium content sans advertising. (Anybody ever bought a DVD of a movie you can catch on late-night TV?)

iTunes vs. cable (3, Insightful)

lmpeters (892805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115703)

A while ago, I compared the cost of my local cable provider to the cost of iTunes. I figured that the most comparable level of service to iTunes was the one that includes a DVR and a few of the premium channels, which I think cost about $60 per month. Then I looked up on the iTunes Store the shows my family actually watches, and calculated how much each show would cost per month (obviously, I needed to do some conversions, since most shows are sold by the season rather than by the month). I omitted all shows that are in reruns, since I decided that if I were to drop my cable service, I would be more likely get such shows on DVD (either buy them or rent them e.g. via Netflix).

Some of the shows we watch aren't offered on iTunes (including MythBusters!!!), but when I calculated how much we'd spend if all the shows we watch were offered, I found that the worst-case scenario was still less than half the cost of the comparable cable service. Furthermore, iTunes offers a variety of advantages (no commercials, and we can watch purchased shows whenever we want) that no cable service provides and can't easily be translated to a dollar value.

My opinion, therefore, is that video through iTunes and similar services, while not as well-developed as video through cable or satellite, has the potential to be a significant competitor to traditional cable or satellite services.

At a crossroads (1)

kimble3 (736268) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115749)

I think it is wrong to imply that networks want to cut out iTunes as a middle man. Evidence to the contrary is clearly exhibited by the announcement today by CBS that they are moving away from offering video exclusively on their website and will begin to widely syndicate their content to other online avenues. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB11791043782 5901533-M5HqezmgdosZtIpH3agsJDzQVDY_20070612.html? mod=tff_main_tff_top [wsj.com] Just like in the early days of music downloads, people are looking for end-to-end solutions. They want to watch video on their TV's, not on the web. That is the big stumbling block right now. I do agree that the fate of purchased television episodes has an unknown future however. What I would really like to see is for the networks to offer shows as a free video podcast supported by embedded ads. That would provide the widest compatibility with existing and future products. In Apple's case, the iTunes store coupled with an Apple TV can support this right out of the box today and is a very seamless solution. In fact, I believe that is the main reason that Apple did not build DVR functionality into the Apple TV. The real unkown at this point is the cable/settop box companies and how they will enter the ring. One thing for sure is that change is coming and it's coming fast!

So... (2, Interesting)

lamarguy91 (1101967) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115757)

This will go on/off topic as I stream of thought this, but here goes:

Why do we even have to pay for television? Look at terrestrial radio: Commercials, talking, etc., but it's free. It's supported by advertising. Why isn't television the same way? Why should I have to pay $40/month for basic cable and still have to be bombarded by crap advertisements and junk I don't want to see? I understand the need to recup the initial hardware fees and such. It costs money to lay cable lines, install outlets in homes, etc. That's why there are up-front installation costs. After that, I shouldn't be required to pay to watch crap I don't want to watch. Satellite radio: $10-$15 a month, commercial free. I'd gladly pay for that. (Yes, I know that tv/radio are very different forms of communication, so keep reading...)

This goes back to the whole theory of people being overpaid. My cable bill is high because athletes and actors are way overpaid to do what they do. Yes, I understand that most athletes and actors are the best at what they do. No, I couldn't personally go grab a basketball and dunk over Shaq. That's not my point here. The concepts revolve around the fact that there are TONS of people who would love to act, play basketball, etc. and would do it for less money. It's why a movie ticket is now almost $10, and the cost to get an NBA nosebleed seat is nearly $40. And so what happens when "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" comes out on cable? Nearly 45 minutes of it's 2 1/2 hour timeslot are junk crap commercials. What's the special notation at the beginning of the movie? "Movie has been formatted to fit your screen" and "Edited for time". Don't edit it for time! CUT OUT THE DAMN COMMERCIALS! Maybe an actor does deserve to get paid a lot. Problem is, not every movie that comes out is like "The Green Mile" or "T2". There are plenty of "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector" movies to go around.

And so then we stand back and get to the point where people record shows on their TiVo and computers, cut out the commercials, and post on the internet. Then, the production and broadcast companies yell and scream because people are skipping their commercials. Hmm... I'm not going to waste my life away watching your stupid advertising just because you think I need to be bombarded for another 15-20 minutes by tampon, erectile dysfunction, and overpriced consumer commodity commercials.

Solution? There's on-demand movie channels... So make on-demand advertising channels. In the market to buy a new car? Flip to channel 121 to see ads from Ford/Chevy/Toyota/etc. Want the newest drug to keep your penis erect? Flip to 167 to watch the newest pharmaceutical ads. Want to see ads for new products that have been around for 6 months or less that you don't know about yet? There'll be another channel for that. Let people target themselves for their advertising! Don't try to fit me into some demographic slot and then shove crappy commercials at me.

So to get back on topic (I told you I'd be meandering here), I completely understand why people pay for ad-free tv shows. I just hope they're not screwing themselves and double-dipping by paying a cable bill as well. The market for iVideo dying? Doubt it. Those who can pay for it will. Those who can't will still download off the net. And the have-nots, well, they won't be reading this post because they are too busy trying to pay their rent to worry about broadband or cable bills. At least we are fortunate enough to have the problem of getting to complain about too many commercials.

Has anyone ever carried out a study of studies... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115779)

There's no point reading a study unless you know how likely it is to be accurate. I've never seen any kind of study to find out how accurate they are. So why should I consider this report as anything other than noise?

Don't buy pirated DVDs (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 7 years ago | (#19115991)

When you buy pirate DVDs, absolutely no money goes to the people that enforced region codes and hardware region lock for your laptop's DVD drive. No money either for people that put FBI warnings, and ads on the DVD you just bought.
So *don't* buy pirated DVDs, you'll make those people starve to death if you do.

Maybe true or not (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#19116033)

But considering Reuters is openly and for a long time, the official water carriers for EU agenda items it's hard to put too much faith in a 'study' from the folks spending millions of Euros to sue Apple in Europe into obscurity.
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