Craig Birkmaier wrote: > What article did you read? > > The author started with the premise that Apple has enough money > to buy Hollywood, but quickly smashed that idea: > > "But it is very unlikely Apple would just snap up all the major > media companies. It would be a post-acquisition mess, not to > mention the antitrust issues it would raise. No, all Apple needs > to do is take a few billion dollars of that cash and start > licensing the rights to stream first-run TV shows and movies. Which is still not saying that Apple would be generating its own content. It's saying that Apple would become licensed to distribute the content of the Hollywood studios, as a monopolistic choke point. This was the suggestion that instantly made me think "frying pan to fire, or actually worse than that" (or words to that effect). > He would no longer be able to say that ALL content owners should > be able to do whatever they want with their content. Apple would > be different because "their" walled garden is only accessible to > devices that rely on the Apple ecosystem. Exactly right. As long as multiple content sources compete, and their content can be viewed by multiple competing platforms that are UNRELATED to the content sources, everything works fine. Once you allow for the collusion that Craig has come to embrace, only because of Apple, but which he once vehemently opposed, that's when we run into problems. For example, you want a la carte? Heh. Good luck with that, once you are totally beholden to another walled garden. > Never mind that HBO, Showtime and most of the cable networks > license content that is ONLY available to cable subscribers > using proprietary set top boxes. Of course, all you're suggesting is adding Apple to the list of walled gardens for HBO distribution, even though there's no need for such walled gardens anymore. We are talking about Apple and we're talking about Internet distribution, not cable of DBS umbilicals. Technology changes, Craig, and with that, business models should too. So, Apple would not JUST become another MVPD (when no MVPD middleman is needed), but they will ALSO be an MVPD that has been known to mandate all of the equipment, from the web-site/portal to the display. The worst of all worlds. > Why do TV content owners currently rely on the closed ecosystem > of the broadcast networks and cable? > > I'm not talking about content that is developed and owned by the > five big media conglomerates. I'm talking about all the > independent producers who have little choice but to cut deals > with the media conglomerates, since they control distribution. Actually, we just got the FOTA Bounce Network added into our CBS affiliate's channel, here in DC, as of 1 January (more or less, that's about the first time I noticed it). But the simple answer is: spectrum. Before Internet distribution became practical for wideband streaming, cable and satellite had much more spectrum available to them than FOTA. So niche channels, with tiny audiences, are just not a good match for FOTA. They can't get the ad revenue to make it viable to go FOTA. That was before Internet distribution was practical. > Why don't independent producers just create their own content > portals and stream their content, either for a fee, or "free" > with embedded ads? They CAN! Now they can. With a caveat. With all that huge choice, a small-timer will have trouble getting noticed. But the bigger operations will have NO TROUBLE advertizing themselves, so there's NO EXCUSE to become slavishly beholden to an isolated portal for everything anymore. If some site, like Hulu or iTunes or Netflix, wants to help promote small-time productions, go for it! For the rest, don't allow yourself to be lulled into useless walled gardens. Consumers have to figure this out and quit caving in. Bert ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.