I’ve previously written two posts about Hyperdistribution in general and BitTorrent specifically. I think Mark is right to warn television companies, even the one I work for, to prepare for the future. He cites our sister network, Cartoon Network, several times as an example of delivering content in small chunks – the [adult swim] model. These bite-sized, funny chunks are the de facto content of the internet now and he posits will be the new face of television content.
Pesce gives us a laundry list of new devices and delivery methods that all amount to viewers having more control in more places over a wider spectrum of content. His central theme, however, is broadband connectivity as the new cable/satellite and search or viral popularity as the new network. As I stated before, I think the real opportunity in a landscape where hyperdistribution rules is an aggregator or community for reccommending content. Google and Yahoo! are natural fits, but they’re by no means gauranteed winners.
I share Gen’s (PVRBlog) apprehension that this will happen overnight, but I also think it will happen eventually. Television shows are already on the internet. Verizon is already “V-casting”. Battlestar Galactica is already podcasting. We’re already teaching people to expect to find us online. We can’t put a show back into the boob tube if it’s already out there, online.
I don’t have anything profound to add except the warning: be prepared. If you’re in the TV business, start thinking about ways to meet people in this new space. The easiest and most logical content offering is DVD-stlye “extras” they can only get online. Once someone is passed a funny/terrifying/dramatic/sexy as a podcast commentary or a deleted scene, they’ll be hooked. You can even put sponsorships, relevant ad units in these pass-along formats. That’s the first step and Lord knows what the second step is. All I know is that you have to plan to meet viewers on their time, in the flow of their own lives and that may not necessarily mean on the couch, with the fam and the remote.