The broadcast industry is experiencing a period of rapid transition. On one hand, we have the Motion Picture Association of America uploading fake torrents to discourage torrent use. On the other hand, TV executives are starting to sit up and use online media to gauge the popularity of their programs.
Quote from guest post by Guinevere Orvis, who is involved in the broadcast industry:
I was shocked the first time I heard the same claim from another group: from some very knowledgeable marketing types one day over a year ago in a boardroom. One of them simply asked, “Is the show on BitTorrent? How many people are downloading it?” The rest of the group looked genuinely interested in the answer from a demand point of view, not from an outraged one. I’ve since heard the same thing again several times, from different companies.
It even goes as far as using unsanctioned downloads of their shows as a measurement of legitimate demand:
Broadcasters aren’t posting their shows directly on PirateBay yet, but they are talking informally and giving copies of shows to a friend of a friend who is unaffiliated with the company to make a torrent.
At the moment, the only missing bit of the puzzle appears to be getting a definitive business model or at least methods to monetize online content. The next few years looks set to be interesting indeed.
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