Lawyer and tech analyst Ranjit “a.k.a. Ron, never Ronny, and for godsakes not Ronnie” Mathoda (hat tip to Seeking Alpha, which reprints his stuff from his blog) has lined up the case for and against media streamers like AppleTV and the others we feature here on TVMama vs. good ole’ DVD’s. Let’s see what he says, and then we’ll have our say:
His reasons why Internet distribution is better than DVD:
1. It’s cheaper to do marketing through teases with content snippets and sharing. YouTube ratings and Facebook’s social graph let people know what content their communities prefer.
2. It’s easier to allow people to upload. Only a select few get DVD’s made. Anyone can share their video online.
3. It’s easier to encrypt on the Internet.
4. The Internet interface can be revised and updated, as will Internet-connected consumer devices.
His reasons on the other side of the equation:
The ways the Internet is inferior are:
1. It’s cheaper to move large amounts of data on discs than by copying bits. (Trucks are cheaper than the Web – for the moment.) He says the advantage trucks enjoy is diminishing, because the Internet is evolving swiftly and peer to peer file sharing systems dramatically lower distribution costs.
2. Legally it’s cheaper to move discs then to copy bits. Copyright law requires you to obtain rights to copy bits electronically but lets you move them around physically without permission.
3. It’s painful to hook up the Internet to hi-def TV (for now).
The trend (as Ranjit sees it):
1. The Internet is going to become a better place to market, upload, store and encrypt data than physical discs.
It’s unlikely the legal cost advantage of physical distribution will disappear – unless DRM becomes a dead issue (iTunes, anyone?). But the growing Internet advertising market will draw more professional content online. (see under: Joost)
Internet-to-hi-def will improve, he says. We agree with that – that’s the whole idea behind TVMama – to write about and advocate for easier/better/faster/cheaper media streamers and interfaces.
Well, I guess we agree with him on all counts. Score one for the web. Will this occur before 2007 ends or not? That’s what I doubt.