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Friday, September 23, 2005

From Engadget: IPTV needs exclusivity

My pal Nabeel Hyatt pointed me to this solid essay from Stephen Speicher, which appeared on Engadget yesterday. The title is "IPTV needs exclusivity."

Speicher points out, accurately I think, that the only way for IPTV to take off is for it to offer something that today's cable, broadcast, and satellite providers don't: content that you can't find anywhere else. He uses Fox as one example (buying the rights to the NFL) and Sirius as another (signing on Howard Stern.)

Speicher writes:

    Most of the major PVR players have implemented mechanisms to handle Internet-delivered content. TiVo has begun testing downloadable Independent Film Channel (IFC) content. Microsoft’s Media Center Edition has its “Online Spotlight” where consumers can see repackaged mini-content. Akimbo, Dave.TV, etc. are all trying to get into the game. However, each of the players is missing compelling and exclusive content. There is nothing to drive the users to the new platform. Each is attempting to use either a) the same content available elsewhere or, more often, b) a hodgepodge of syndicated “micro-content.” Neither solution is compelling enough to create the needed paradigm shift.

I also happen to think that one of the things that will drive moviegoers and theaters to adopt digital cinema is exclusive content... stuff that you can't see unless you're at a digital theater. Disney's 3-D version of "Chicken Little" is a good baby step, but what about releasing a film that can only be seen digitally?