[opendtv] Re: The New Laws of Television

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 11:06:26 -0400

Tom Barry wrote:

> > The main thrust of his thesis was that piracy
> > had to be *welcomed*. In your thinking above,
> > instead, piracy would continue to be dreaded.
> And which one do you think is more likely.  ;-)

Granted. I also didn't agree with his premise. It
takes a huge leap of faith to make your business
model dependent on fanatics buying the DVD boxed
sets just because "that's the thing to do."

> But Craig was basically talking about ways that a
> media product could be differentiated into
> different levels of service based upon both video
> quality and ad density.  Like regular TV it would
> be possible to give away one tier of service and
> yet have a premium model where there are fewer (or
> no) ads, better picture, and less censorship.
> People would still pay for the premium service but
> for the free service it might be acceptable to
> embrace or at least tolerate "piracy" in order to
> gain the larger audience.

There are two problems with this:

1. It's the same point Craig has made many many
times, and it does not respond or relate in any way
to the article's ideas.

2. Once you have created a "premium" program stream,
*that's* the one the pirates will target. Not the
dumbed down version. So you end up being just as
vulnerable to piracy, or maybe even more so, than
producers and networks are today.

As things are today, the networks expect to make
money from the original ads, from some portion of the
monthly fees collected by umbillical services that
carry the content, from syndication, *and* from the
boxed sets. As opposed to depending only on the last
item as their source of revenue.

Perhaps, if the producer didn't need to depend on
networks to get his product out there, he could
make the same income by just selling the DVDs after
free Internet distribution/pirating? That would be
the relevant point to wonder about.


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