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Is Content Kaput?

26 февраля 2009

Yes! says Time.com. The age of content as king of the media jungle has passed. Dozens of newspapers have shuttered their doors; companies such as News Corp., Time Warner and CBS have jettisoned billions of dollars in assets via write downs; broadcasters are threatening to flee their long time allegiance to "free" TV; and the get-it-for-nothing internet model has its fork in us all.

Good grief. Time to get out the sleeping bags and survival rations. Or maybe not. Says an old, old canard: Once Time has discovered a trend, it's already peaked. But who needs old canards? We have a few more items to point out. Like the near $4 billion that Disney recorded in media network revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008. (Admittedly that's down from 4Q07, but hey ... four billion.) Or like recent Nielsen data showing television viewership on the rise even as broadband video continues to proliferate.

This is not to say that the multiplatform video model doesn't have its challenges.  Booming competition has bit deeply into old-style business plans. Today, nearly all U.S. households have a choice of at least two non-internet video providers (DirecTV and DISH); the vast majority have three (two DBS and one cable provider); and millions more have their choice of one of two major telco TV providers.

Add to that a scenario the raging growth of internet viewing: According to a recent survey from Integrated Media Measurements 20 percent of primetime TV watchers also watch some TV online ... a fact which has led some Jeremiads to predict a catastrophic internet overload.  Mix competitive factors with this increasingly tight bandwidth space plus the never-ending threat of piracy and both content providers and platform operators face more sharp edges than the court of King Henry VIII. In short, content may still reign as King. But a food taster sure wouldn't hurt.

At the end a look at some of programming's big, big challenges. Think video ... think threats to video ... and the looming monster beyond the shower curtain is, without question, the internet. It's something that NBC's Jeff Zucker once famously referred as offering a trade of "digital pennies for analog dollars" and its might has been growing steadily since that day nearly five years ago when Disney broke industry ranks on internet issues via an iTunes video download deal.


By Evie Haskell

Источник: http://www. mediabizcorp.com

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