Roughly Drafted has a marvellous piece on the latest nonsense about video downloads. It quotes the geniuses at Forrester thusly:
“Television and cable networks will shift the bulk of paid downloading to ad-supported streams where they have control of ads and effective audience measurement.” McQuivey wrote. “The movie studios, whose content only makes up a fraction of today’s paid downloads, will put their weight behind subscription models that imitate premium cable channel services.”
This is so stupid it hurts the Macalope’s furry head.
Forrester’s fallacy is in not realizing that iTunes downloads are not a replacement for broadcast or cable television.
They’re a replacement for DVD sales.
Yes, iTunes downloads are different in that you don’t have to wait months for the DVDs to ship and they don’t feature the extras the DVDs do. But they are alike in that you can time-shift your viewing, you can repeat your viewing as often as you like, they’re portable to a variety of devices (albeit Apple-only except for iTunes on Windows) and, most importantly, there is no advertising.
It’s as if Forrester doesn’t know that people go to Target every day and buy DVDs of TV shows and movies.
Ad-supported content online is the replacement for broadcast and cable television and these two things are not the same.
It seems like every year some brilliant think-tank issues a bone-headed report that says ad-supported X will replace its for-fee equivalent.
And it never happens.
Because people hate ads.