Okay I admit that I'm coming to this conversation really really late. To say that I had an epiphany about on-demand is like saying you didn’t realize you were hungry until you’d already starved to death. It sure seems obvious now.
Now before I go on, I’ll re-iterate as usual, I know of nothing specific here, these are just some late night ramblings from a guy who has a teething kid and isn’t sleeping enough.
However I’ve really been thinking about this a lot. Not to take away from the cable card announcement at all (as I’ve been dying to talk about it). I think it is really important for today’s market and is a giant step forward.
But what about in 10 years? 5 years? With the AOL announcement, the whole Apple and video iPod and even the 10ft Akimbo plug-in are we moving very quickly into a fully on-demand world? Would a subscription model work? Can it be inexpensive enough - but profitable enough to allow you to get ONLY the content you want?
Imagine that you no longer get TV shows from the networks. Imagine you no longer get football games from ESPN. What if you got sports, in high quality, directly from the leagues? For a subscription fee? And what if those fees would vary. You could get a choice of a specific team, the whole league, a certain game. Maybe the fees go down if your team isn’t doing so well. Heck you could get Australian Rules football in America and get American Football in Germany. Your choice.
But take it farther out. What if you could subscribe to Lost for the year? Or all of the shows from ABC? Or beyond that what if you could subscribe to Lost and all other shows by the Lost creators?
I mean can you have simple interface where you can get any show ever made? Ever game every played? Can you watch the 1968 Olympics whenever you want? Could you skip to certain scenes? How cool would that be?
Does this model even work? What if you wanted local news? How would an emergency broadcast system work? How about people who couldn’t afford broadband? Would it even be profitable?
With all the talk about creativity lately on this blog – would it hurt creativity? I mean would a production company risk money on a new type of show without a bunch of marketing dollars behind it – and ad revenue? Look at HBO? They seem to be doing well with subscriptions.
I don’t know. Just some random thoughts on the subject. It just feels like the world is about to shift on this subject. Maybe it already has.