Comcast’s purchase of TV network NBC and movie studio Universal seems backwards to older media veterans who remember the ascent of upstart cable versus the powerful Big 3 TV networks in the 70’s/80’s. It proves that media itself has become a commodity to be digested across a panoply of distribution channels. It just so happens that cable, with its reliable subscription revenue streams and multiple channel assets, now has more financial clout than advertising based network TV and with it, the ability to finance programming through a movie studio as well.
Moreover, TV/cable and Internet are merging towards display across a common TV/monitor display platform. Cable channels pay significant syndication fees to broadcast relevant programming. They are curating content for their audience. However…
Social media facilitates the same content curation done by cable channels. Justin.TV allows anybody to broadcast hit movies (illegally) like a Showtime channel and now, personal broadcasters can get paid for it as a pay-per-view affiliate:
Obviously, copyright issues on Justin.TV seem to fall by the wayside just as they have done on Youtube (Google no longer seems diligent in deleting uploaded copyright content). This tolerance becomes a moral hazard that makes copyright protection unenforceable.
Like other content, video has essentially become free and curatable. For every Hulu, there will be copycat channels. Even Hulu’s exclusive licensed content are easily replicated by screen scraping video software like Camtasia.
Justin.TV’s pay-per-view channels will be the first of a new video revenue model that YouTube (which already announced this intention) and other video channels will follow. Why? Because everybody wants to be a broadcaster.