Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Good Deal

Posted by Adam Graham on May 14, 2007

From Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Online video sites that sell shows and movies such as Apple Inc.’s iTunes will likely peak this year as more programming is made available on free outlets supported by advertising, according to a study released on Monday.

Sales of movies and television shows are expected to almost triple to $279 million in 2007 from an estimated $98 million last year. But unless the average consumer begins paying for their online video en masse, growth in sales will likely peter out next year, according to Forrester Research.

“In the video space, iTunes is just a temporary flash while consumers wait for better ways to get video. They’re already coming,” said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey, the author of the study, who also called the paid download video market a “dead end.”

Forrester estimated that sales growth is not likely to triple or even double in 2008 and beyond, after early adopters and media addicts have already started using the services.

Confusion over different video file formats, difficulties watching downloaded videos on television screens and other technical problems have kept average users from paying for shows online.

Efforts by traditional media distribution companies to make more of their shows available for free on the Internet — including the Hollywood-backed film service MovieLink, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s service and Amazon.com Inc.’s Unbox service — are also working against paid services.

Led by Walt Disney Co.’s ABC.com, TV networks including News Corp.’s Fox are offering some hit shows online for free.

Good news for consumers indeed. Here’s to the death of Itunes video. The whole concept of buy videos you watch on your computer online has always struck me as a tad absurd, particularly if you’re talking about shows that you would TIVO normally.

Of course, what I’m waiting for is for Internet video to advance to the point where you can subcribe to a single channel or single show for a simple price and enjoy all the episodes that are playing that month. For some reason, Universal decided to short Dragnet fans, release Season 1 in a no-thrills box set that still cost around $35 for 17 episodes with one radio episode thrown in. For now, the option to see more Dragnet is either:

1) Subscribe to Digital Cable, and pay for all the tripe that goes with it to get TV Land.

2) Buy a bootleg set offline.

The former I refuse to do on principle, the latter is illegal and immoral. Whether I like it or not, Universal Owns the Copyright. The good news is that the second season of Dragnet should lapse into the public domain in 2043, so at last I’ll be able to get the DVD.

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