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More Battlestar and Media Distribution - The Cover Story
October 2013
 
 
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Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 10:51 am
More Battlestar and Media Distribution

I've watched all the episodes of Battlestar Galactica that are out on DVD, which brings me up to speed with the broadcast show on SciFi. First off, let me say that Battlestar Galactica is at least as good as B5 is in seasons two, three, and four. Of course, that's my opinion, and the series does appeal to some of my specific interests, but just from a dramatic perspective, Ron Moore is outstanding in creating immersion and involvement for each of the characters. I highly recommend everybody watch this, and if some component of the SFS wants to hold a TUB, I'll happily lend my DVD's.

Which leads me back to me continuing to watch. Fortunately, when the series picks up the second half of the second season in January, they will be making episodes available on iTunes for $1.99/episode, so those of us without cable can follow along. I love the direction media distribution is going -- less advertising, more direct payment for what you want to see. Of course, I'll have to evaluate how good the quality of this service is, but I'm hopeful that this form of distribution will catch on.

I was thinking about this after talking with mikecap the other day -- could you run a television show off of a viewer base of pay-per-episode consumers? I'm thinking so, and I'll tell you why. Suppose you have a relatively modest (for a major television show) viewer base of 200,000 viewers. You see 40-45 minute episodes for $1.99/show. Figure that the distributor is taking half of that, leaving you with a dollar per viewer per episode. If you have 200,000 viewers who are willing to pay two dollars for a full season of 25 episodes, you've raked in $5,000,000 in revenue. To compare, four-hour miniseries that kicked off the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica cost an estimated $10,000,000. Ultimately, of course, the cost-per-viewer has to sink below your adjusted per-episode fee, but I think that that's not a stretch in a world where people are willing to pay 40-50 dollars a month for many channels of television, most of which they don't watch. Considering ComCast wants to charge me 67.95/month to get "Standard Cable", I could download 33 episodes of whatever I wanted at $1.99 a pop for less.

So yeah, I'm hoping this "Pay-per-episode" thing takes off.

Tags: , ,
Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

8CommentReplyShare

silvermaeve
silvermaeve
Cess
Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC)

and don't forget...they can also still have commercials...like a bar running across the bottom with ads to calm the ad companies and then they can charge an extra fee if you want the "adless" releases...


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petercooperjr
petercooperjr
Peter Cooper Jr.
Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 05:19 pm (UTC)

While paying for what you want and only that is nice in some ways, you're going to lose some people since one needs to think "do I really want to pay $2 for this?" each and every time. If someone just pays $70/mo. for cable, it's a predictable cost and you don't need to think about it.

That said, it'd be nice if in addition to basic cable (which I have to get for the Internet service), I could pick the three additional channels I wanted for a few bucks a channel. I might even watch some TV then.

(Actually, I can get the Internet without basic cable. But then there's an extra charge for the Internet, which is about the cost of the basic cable service.)


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sirroxton
sirroxton
Adam Augusta
Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 06:35 pm (UTC)

I'm largely talking out of my ass as I haven't kept up with the media scene, and I haven't even had cable for, um, 4 years now, but...

It seems to me that cable companies have been trying to push on-demand infrastructure for a while. I think that once on-demand finally arrives for the bulk of viewers, we'll start seeing more intelligent business models for programming. Ultimately, the extinction of network conglomerates built around the cruft of broadcast channels can only help matters. *passes da hookah*


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pezzonovante
pezzonovante
pezzonovante
Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC)

Sounds like you'd find this opinion peice rather interesting.

And Charter actually has a solely on-demand cable channel aimed at the LGBT community called 'Here!' They have the premium content you pay $4 per item for a 24 hour period, and they have free content.


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coopster22
coopster22
Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)

I haven't been keeping up-to-date with the newest things, but I thought that these pay-per-episode things were only available on the iPod. What is the picture quality on those? Can you watch them on a regular television too?


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bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 08:40 pm (UTC)

As far as I can tell, they download in Quicktime format via the iTunes software and play in the application. I'm not sure if you can export it to an unencrypted format, but their documentation certainly suggests that iTunes is a seperate system from iPod, but that it seamlessly integrates with that technology.


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pezzonovante
pezzonovante
pezzonovante
Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC)

I'm sure someone will crack it eventually. If not, there's always TV-Out cards.


ReplyThread Parent
sirroxton
sirroxton
Adam Augusta
Thu, Dec. 22nd, 2005 10:29 pm (UTC)

So sad. *sniffle*


ReplyThread Parent