Originally Posted by Roy Tucker
The problem still remains with rights management and encryption of the digital content. How do you keep people from Kazaa-like trading of TV shows and movies?
I actually think this is going to be much easier than getting people to kick the illegal music download habit.
Part of it is the fact that using Kazaa/Ares/Bit-Torrent for teleivision shows and movies is that it's much more inconvenient than downloading music. A music download is usually only a couple megabytes and your odds of finding someone that you can quickly grab a song off (who has a fast connection) on a P2P filesharing service is pretty good for most popular songs. You can quickly grab what you need and have it to listen to in under a few minutes.
With TV shows, the filesizes make downloading difficult since it takes a large amount of time to download a file -- so finding a good source to download is often difficult and time consuming. When I've ventured into the occasional TV episode download (when I miss an episode of West Wing or Battlestar Galactica), it's been with mixed quality. Sometimes I'll get an episode in a matter of hours, sometimes the downloads will take full days or multiple days. If Apple can provide a stable download source where you can download a TV episode quickly and reliably, then I think they'll pull a lot of people off the free downloading due to the sheer convenience alone.
Further, I think the number of people engaged in trading and swapping of TV and movies online is far, far less than the number of people who participated in music swapping. Thus, I think the in-built reluctance to "pay for something we used to get for free" that a lot of people had against paying for MP3 downloads simply isn't present along with video downloads.
I think this is going to be huge -- I think the announcements from Apple were huge. The video iPod, with the video iTunes sales and the new "Front Row" software for the iMac look like they may finally be the products which bring about the convergence of TV and computing...