The television industry has a chance to embrace the Web, the emergence of new technology and new ways of distribution in a way that the music industry has so far failed to, and continues to refuse to.
While the music industry has rallied against anything that isn’t wholly in their grasp and under control, and instead fought to continue along the path of a dead business model, television doesn’t have to make the same mistake.
Without Accepting File-sharing
Of course, the industry isn’t going to roll over and capitulate in the face of illegal file-sharing of its television programmes, but there are ways and means of getting onside without annoying every single customer you once had.
The music industry has the big problem where a small select group of companies, known as the big four record labels, control everything, and if they don’t like your idea then it is doomed.
In fact, the only people to have really embraced the Web and the possibilities it creates are the independent artists, except for experimental mainstream artists such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails.
TV Is A Different Animal
TV is a different animal, with a much broader spectrum of programme-makers, and studios, although all are controlled to some degree by the big broadcast networks.
Which makes the latest idea by eMusic an intriguing one. eMusic currently sells DRM-free mp3-only music over the Internet. That DRM issue has prevented any of the major labels signing on, so the indie labels rule the roost.
eMusic To Sell DRM-free Video
Now, according to NewTeeVee, eMusic CEO David Pakman wants to make the move in to selling DRM-free MPEG-4 files as well. But, he is only interested if the networks and studios would sign on the dotted line.
He hopes that as DVD sales decline, and peer-to-peer file-sharing increases, the networks and studios will gradually see the light and come on board with the idea of selling direct to customers.
A Chance To Get On Board
The television industry has already shown more of a willingness to work with the Internet rather than rally against it with services such as Hulu and the BBC iPlayer being introduced. Hopefully the success of these innovations will mean further progress is made.
The music industry has completely messed up its chance to be at the forefront of a new generation who use the Internet as their main method of obtaining material. Let’s hope TV doesn’t make the same mistake.
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