Fred Wilson on the Future of Television Delivery

Web Edition – NewsGator Online: “I think that’s (sic. TV Execs, iTunes, etc.) not a mass market service. I’ve watched I Love Lucy for years for free in my home, I’ve Tivo’d it and can go back and watch it anytime, and I am not excited about paying $1.99 to download and watch The Courtroom episode.

What I am excited about is downloading The Courtroom episode for free from Google, Yahoo!, iTunes, and whereever else it may be made available. Then cutting and pasting it to get to the scene I love and then posting it on my blog for others to do the same thing with it.

Free content without rules (DRM) is The Future of Media. The business model will be advertising and its coming, quickly. Where we are now is an interim step because nobody is yet willing to make the leap. But someone will soon and they will be rewarded for it with a advertising market that will compare with and possibly beat the size of the paid search market.”

Fred is right on here. Once the novelty of these $1.99 downloads fades sales will stagnate and we will be left with a broken business model that does not work. Sure there will be niche areas like selling hot new videos to teens, but in general this will not take off with the mass public. Free, on the other hand, will. Google, who offers *free* search, of all people should recognize this.

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