It seems that every day another great application comes along. This week, Yahoo announced a Tivo-like program (in Beta) that allows PC users with a video card to find and record programs to their hard drive. A potentially great and interesting application.
But as more and more network television content ends up on the Internet, where does that leave local affiliates? Hopefully, looking for how to change their business model. Local television news remains important, but revenues from selling local break advertising in top network shows may be at risk with online and handheld applications that allow alternate viewing.
It's becoming more and more clear that old business models can't be protected through legislation or litigation -- the winners will be the companies that adapt, serve their customers and make a fair profit for content providers and themselves.
Here are some additional thoughts of business models that need to adapt or face possible extinction:
- Newspapers: How long will the model of news every 24 hours with inefficient home deliver last? Many of us here read the Wall Street Journal nearly every day -- online. Many newspapers are adapting. They all need to.
- Local television network affiliates: See above.
- CDs, DVDs, etc.: It's getting far to easy to just download -- either via computer or on your television -- what you want. You'll just back up your stuff to an online service.
- Intrusive digital rights management: Making illegal copies of things for your friends -- or worse yet, outright bootlegging -- is wrong. Not allowing us to make a back-up copy of a movie or song we paid for is nonsense. Napster, etc., scared everyone. The pendulum will swing back to a more reasonable place.
- Most advertising: Too much of the industry is trying to figure out how to force people to sit through ads (like not letting us fast-forward ads on DVDs). That never works. Find a different way to deliver a compelling message to your audience, or fail.
In the end, the landscape is changing quickly. We must change with it.