Nothing, absolutely nothing, is going to come between the content owners and the $32 billion they earn every year in affiliate fees—that is, their cut of cable and satellite subscription revenues.
The prospect that these fees might be cut off or reduced is exactly what caused Hulu, a joint venture of Fox, NBC Universal, and Disney, to cancel its deal with over-the-top provider Boxee. And it’s why digital distributors like Netflix are having to shell out a lot more cash than they used to for content licensing deals. “As a result of these maneuvers, the current trend in the market is for less rather than more prime-time content to be openly available” over the Internet.
Wade Roush at Xconomy.com says –
I’m laying a bet, right here and now, that the days of the television as we know it—a standalone appliance with a built-in tuner, a goofy software interface, and an incomprehensible remote control—are numbered. Five or 10 years from now, if you have a TV in your house at all, it will simply be a dumb terminal, one of several devices that can “catch” the content that you “throw” to it from your main information hub. And that hub will be your tablet.
We need innovation in TV software; we need the whole ecosystem of audiovisual content to be streamlined and simplified and made more readily accessible. Spotify did this for my music, where Rhapsody failed me; it created a single, elegant application that was easy to navigate and that grouped together content I already owned with content I could stream, all in a familiar, iTunes-like fashion. What is needed now is a Spotify for television, with the iPad (or even, potentially, iPhone) as its hub, and with AirPlay enabling streaming to a “dumb terminal” of a screen. If Apple’s truly ahead of the curve on this one, then the iTV won’t be a piece of hardware at all, but rather a piece of software: television’s killer app.