Tuesday, September 21, 2010

YouTube Chasing New Pay-Per-View Model

Apparently, YouTube is in talks with the major studios to "launch a global pay-per-view video service," which would let visitors pay to stream single movies.  Wow, what a concept!  Only pay for the privilege to watch once and save a considerable amount of money because you aren't keeping a copy of the media file.

Well, I wonder how long it will take for someone to do same thing for digital books?  I think many of us entrepreneurs are thinking about it, but it's the publishers who are afraid to let go of the control and distribution of their content, so IMHO, we will have to wait several years before it becomes widespread practice and more than a niche play.

Personally, I think single stream [or single read] payments are much more economical and valuable to today's average consumer and as a result, the hipper publishers/distributors who acquire the digital rights to rent chunks and entire eBooks - are way ahead of the game in the long run.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Is This The Beginning of the End for First Sale Doctrine...?

Guess What, You Don’t Own That Software You Bought

Hadn't seen a lot of chatter on this topic yet, but it smells "bad law" in my humble opinion. Many of the digerati have been hashing this topic from different angles for years, but can someone out there please help me follow the payola-logic of why our basic rights should be reduced just because the file in question is digital??

I understand that software is a little different than music, videos and games, but when are we going to update our copyright laws? So, if this ruling holds then, is it the end of "legal" garage sales and flea markets as we know them that include digital media and entertainment items ....? Also, what about innovative businesses predicated on selling used media like swap
sites and online exchanges? Time to go underground?

Is it any surprise that people turn to piracy when their rights are
increasingly taken away in the digital world......?

If I can legally rip a CD or DVD to make a personal backup copy, does that mean I can never monetize the original title in a secondary market when I'm tired of it?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

One Apple Nugget No One Mentioned

With thousands (maybe millions) of other Americans, I watched Apple's press event yesterday with awe and admiration. It was kind of fun to predict what Steve Jobs was going to say before he actually said it, based on rumors and my own intuition. While there were many comprehensive reports, articles and blog posts today all about the products/services that were showcased by Mr. Jobs, there is 1 angle/perspective that I don't think has received much attention.

What is significant to me, is the fact that Apple publicly acknowledged that it's original TV launch strategy and business model was flawed somewhat, leading to the PR/marketing nightmare of "hobby" being associated with the product. However, unlike its predecessor, the new Apple TV is clearly acknowledging that consumers prefer to stream online video, rather than download-to-own...with or without DRM. This is a huge behavioral and media consumption shift that cannot be ignored any longer by all of the players in the value chain. This is the future. Adapt or die.

So far, consumers have showed little interest in purchasing TV shows, and Apple's $.99 cent rentals may not drastically change that attitude, but I'll wager that mainstream America quickly hops on board the train, 1 dollar at a time, because the overall value proposition (price, ease of use and a closed system) is now more in tune with the demand curve that is exponentially growing beyond the early adopters. (Case in point, over 61% of Netflix's 15M subscribers "streamed" at least 15 minutes in Q2 this year, up from 37% in 2009.)

So, in my humble opinion, they made the correct tweak. The highly affordable rental price per show and the $99 hardware price are killer sweet-spots that will resonate loudly with the mass market, especially after their Marketing team trumpets the coolest Koolaid and the competition feels the squeeze and quickly becomes the latest roadkill (sure am glad I didn't buy my boxee or Roku yet...)