news of 2004-01-11

Now that the music industry is dead... ;-)

I initially wanted to name this little article 'Now that the music industry is saved... ;-)' but noticed that it isn't and remembered that WIRED magazine once said (not too long ago) that 2003 was the year the music industry died. Oh, well, this is not about music piracy for once, this is about video piracy...

This article is talking about possible solutions for the video industry. The article (and the McKinsey source they're quoting) says that while the damage is already done for music, it's not yet for video. Ignoring, of course, the wide availability of movies in DivX, Xvid and other formats, free for all (illegally) on various file-sharing networks.

Broadband, for many, many users, is already here. The kids (whether they're rich or poor, whether they have a credit card or not!) are downloading TV show episodes and movies as soon as they are out. Sometimes even before they're out. So let's just say: The damage is done already. And as it happened when Napster was stopped, the file-sharing won't die when 'they' stop one or two services.

Still, the article has one message that I think is important: The content providers should address the problem by working with the broadband providers. Cablecom Switzerland charges me each month for internet access, but they also send me my phone bill, as my home phone is connected to the cable modem. Wouldn't it be great if I could go to Cablecom's website, choose a flick or TV series episode and automatically get charged a bit after the download has worked? They could use an open standard, say MPEG-4, and add the same protection Apple is using.

And here's why this makes it to Apple already has the solution! Or most of it. Three easy steps, Mr. Steven P. Jobs: Create a video jukebox (like iTunes but for video) and call it iFlix (or whatever), then copy the store solution you're using for iTMS. The third step? License the store to broadband providers. Like that, Apple doesn't have to provide the bandwidth. Like that, Apple doesn't have to address the video industry themselves. Like that they can conquer the world before Microsoft knows what hit them, because it'll be a self-runner.
There's a fourth step, of course. Apple would have to add a third iPod product. The portable video player you can attach to your home cinema or TV set.

[ written by fryke™ on 2004-01-11 at 21:09 CET ]
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