The Media Ecosystem (early prototype)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

pay-per-minute-media and download-to-own

In the UK, GreenGrass offers a white-label soltuion enabling broadcasters to stream TV content, only the consumer pre-pays for credits and is charged per minute (the example for ITN news is 1p/min [UK Firm Launches Pay-As-you Go Online TV Service].

An unusual subscription model for TV and I'm not going to second guess consumers in terms of whether or not it will be successful.

On the other side of the atlantic, Akimbo has launched a service enalbing viewers to download and own content rather than rent it [Akimbo Introduces Download-to-Own Platform for Video]

It is fantastic to see new subscription models for TV content that provide value to the viewer, there will be more. For once, they are being driven by the content publishers and new distribution technologies, challenging the pay per month per bouquet subscription model of the prevalent TV distribution players, cable and satellite operators.

How can the cable, satellite and IPTV operators adapt and enable new business driven subscription models? They can't. Conditional Access (CA) systems used on cable and satellite, like the equivalent IP based DRM on IPTV and the Internet, are closed, proprietary technologies that leave the distribution operators at the behest of the vendors that sell them. Not only in terms of their R&D and product roadmaps, but also their licensing and prices. Without open interfaces and therefore open choice, they can't easily change vendors to take advantage of new models that the business dreams up.

The ability for a business to cost-effectively and quickly deploy new products that provide the viewer with value will require significant change across the media ecosystem, it's time to make it open.

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