Old media, old think

From “Looking for the Proceeds in TV-on-Demand” by Richard Siklos in today’s NY Times:

StartOver offers digital cable subscribers a free restart button if they join a program in progress, with about 60 broadcast and cable networks participating in the venture. While the utility of the service is initially quite limited, Mr. [Jeffrey] Bewkes and Time Warner hope over time to be able to persuade the networks and their nervous affiliates to continue to extend the window when people could restart programs they have missed by hours and possibly days.While this may sound exactly like video-on-demand, the difference is that StartOver viewers can pause a show, but not fast-forward past the advertising. It is far from clear that such a service would gain acceptance in households where people with digital video recorders are already zipping through ads.

Wow. The ad skipping horse has left the barn and now Mr. Bewkes is looking to shut the door. In the same article Josh Bernoff, a Forrester analyst, offers an alternative. Bernoff believes VOD will evolve into and an ad-supported service that uses Google and Yahoo!’s click-through model.

These can be really exciting times for content producers, but we might be seeing music industry all over again if old media continue its old thinking. What’s amazing is that Bernoff’s model isn’t that revolutionary. It already has been proven to work.

Are old media really that set in their ways? The :30 ad horse is dead. You can put it on a respirator, but don’t expect it to pull the cart again.

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