I’m already confused
Okay, so let me get all of this straight. NBC pulled out of iTunes because it couldn’t make enough money over there. Bye, Bye "The Office" downloads. But now,the company announces it will try its own ad-supported download model, NBC Direct, where users can view recent episodes of prime time shows and even download them, and their advertisiong wrappers, to devices. Okay, but then they will still have their streaming shows at NBC.com. And then there is Hulu.com, the partnership with News Corp.com that will syndicate and stream episodes across multiple media companies.
Well, all except CBS, apparently, because that company has its own distribution strategy, which involes scattering its properties far and wide. It declined an early offer from NBC and News Corp. to join the Hulu.com project. And it doesn’t look as if Les Moonves is all too eager to put CBS properties into whatever Hulu is going to be. Meanwhile ABC/Disney, which has been a bit quiet in all of this, announced it would distribute ad-supported prime time episodes initially through AOL’s portal in order to preserve the quality experience.
Who’s on first? What’s on second? I don’t know is on third?
It is understodd that the befuddled networks need to experiment with different distribution paths in order to find when, where and how exactly this famously fragmenting American audience wants its media served to them. But consumers don’t distinguish anymore among the networks. They don’t identify shows with networks, except for highly targeted cable brands. So the consumer comes into this year wondering where are the shows I want? Some are on AOL, some on Hulu, some on this NBC Direct? And whatever happened to all that stuff I was used to getting at iTunes? Heroes is hared enough to follow when I do nail it down on a single screen. Don’t add to the pain by making me hunt for it.
The current state of TV distribution on is dizzyingly inconssitent and it may well leave the consumer and the market more confused than anything else in the short term. You don’t have to turn your TV on a different way to get CBS or NBC or ABC. And we shouldn’t have to unravel the business strategies of major media companies before figuring out how and where to donwload our favorite show.