I just read Mark Cuban’s recent post and all of the comments about why internet video is problematic, why cable has it right and why video bundling is the only viable solution.
In the post he takes on Boxee and everyone that doesn’t think the current model of video delivery is best one for consumers.
And he asks why “internet people think content people are stupid”.
I wish he read my earlier post last week about what big media can learn from the software industry.
My very first point was we don’t think content people are stupid.
The software business evolved successfully. To me that means that there can be other successful models for video as well beyond current bundling models. There may have to be.
The thing about Mark that surprises me is that he’s resistant to change even though he was a very successful internet 1.0 entrepeneur.
Take a look at this post he wrote back in 2006 about web video & HDTV. At the time Mark didn’t believe that people would have computers that could connect to HDTV and if they did they still wouldn’t connect them to their HDTVs. (my response at the time is here).
Things happened in 2006 much faster than we all imagined with content & technology and the rules are changing constantly. Huge numbers of users watch video on their HDTV thanks to things like boxee, xbox, roku, appletv, macminis and linux boxes.
Who would have thought that movies are showing up on iTunes the same day as DVD release. That is a big change. Next up, I bet that movies will show up on VOD and iTunes the same day it’s in the threater. That will change the windowing business model big time – but it’s inevitable.
Studios will may charge more for this convenience but it’s driven by end user demand and technology.
And that is a good thing.
So now Mark believes that video bundling of the past & today is the only model for the future.
I really don’t agree. It will be a different type of bundling and consumers will get more choice. Just like they do with music. We get subscription and a larte and free. And I get this choice for any song I want essentially.
The software business showed a lot of creativity with new products and business models. I think content owners need to do the same.
Here’s one last point:
Evolution is a good thing and probably the only thing we can count on. The real compeition may not be bittorrent arounds or piracy (which will continue to thrive if content owners don’t embrace the open internet). The competition for cable, satellite and cable networks may be facebook, myspace, youtube, twitter, gaming and the like.
This broadband generation (folks growing up online) prefer facebook and their believed internet to cable tv. Thats the real issue.
It’s a competition for attention not a compeition for business model.
(disclosure: I’m an investor and on the board of Twitter & Boxee. Both companies mentioned in this post)