[opendtv] Re: News: TV Braces for the Apple Tablet

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 08:29:03 -0500

At 5:17 PM -0600 1/27/10, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
Perhaps, but I'm trying to decipher what "dominate that business" means for consumers.

Maybe this can help Bert.

I don't watch much stuff from the broadcast networks, and I don't watch most of the cable channels that I pay for each month. If I can get the content I want to watch for less than the $70/mo I am now paying I will likely drop cable and move to an ala carte approach to buying media content.

If Apple can support this goal and help the media industries move to a new infrastructure where they can be fairly compensated for their content, then it is likely that Mike is correct - Apple will be play a dominant role in this transformation.

What I find most interesting is that I first met Mike while working on the ATSC standard; as a representative of a major CE company he was trying to guide the future of television along a path that was an evolutionary change to a long standing business model - how many years did NTSC dominate the U.S. TV business?

To his credit, Mike was a bit more open to the computer industry vision of the future that we were promoting, however, in the end, the broadcast and CE industry chose poorly, and spent another decade trying to prop up a dying business model while throwing up barriers to "convergence."

The fact that Mike now views what Apple is doing as a more viable path to the future says volumes about (dare i say it) Hope and Change.

Steve Jobs is a modern day Pied Piper, trying to lead the media industries into a future where they cannot only survive, but thrive, based on a market driven approach, rather than government enabled monopolies and oligopolies. With feet planted firmly in both the media and CE industries, Jobs is in a unique position to help facilitate the convergence we anticipate nearly two decades ago.

Here's my rephrasing:

An Apple pay-TV service would pose a dramatic challenge to other services, including Hulu or the web sites run by the broadcast networks themselves, which today provide that programming free of charge. The price is probably going to be $1.99 per episode, although Apple is trying to get that reduced to $0.99 per episode. (What a relief!)

These programs are NOT free of charge - they are still filled with commercials. And there have been many recent indications that Hulu and others are going to start charging for the service - you can bet that the ads will still be there.

Apple sells commercial free versions of most popular TV shows for $1.99. This is WAY too expensive and Apple is well justified in trying to get the price down to 99 cents - IMHO it should be less than 50 cents. The reason why Apple has been successful with iTunes (both for music and video) is that they have worked with the congloms to show them another way to do business. And they have allowed the congloms to charge far more than the product is worth to gain their support.

Perhaps now we can move forward to a new and more equitable infrastructure for digital media distribution...


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