By Gordon Meyer
Three years ago during the notorious WGA strike, one of the big issues on the table was the issue of a fair residuals formula for content delivered over the Internet instead of through the more traditional forms of broadcast or packaged media. At the time, the MPAA argued that this was all academic because the reality of Internet delivery was more theory than practice at the time. Well, boys and girls, that technology is advancing by leaps and bounds and much of it was on display at CES.
This is not terribly new. In 2010, more and more TVs and Blu-ray players offered access to streaming media services like Netflix, Vudu and others. It began with the introduction of “BD Live,” a feature that lets your broadband connected BD player bring in supplemental content above and beyond what’s physically on the disc through the Internet. With that connectivity already in place, it was just a short leap before the CE manufacturers started cutting deals to use this portal to deliver customers to those streaming services.
In fact, a lot of the newer breed of Blu-ray players are really set top boxes that also play BDs. And now, more and more flat screen TVs have added that capability. More and more TV manufacturers at this year’s CES were touting connectivity features, including the ability to download and install apps onto those TVs.
It all begins with the popular streaming services like Netflix, Vudu and a reviving Blockbuster online to bypass your local video store. Who knows what kind of content consumers will be able to directly access in years to come as bandwidth grows and the search and organization technology grow in sophistication.
Make no mistake though. The Internet is here now as a viable delivery medium for copyrighted content. And whoever comes up with an effective way to measure and monetize that content flow stands to make a fortune.