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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

`Why are striking writers so intent on getting a cut of Internet profits?'

That's the question LA Times writer Joseph Menn asks in today's paper. The answer is that digital media revenues are poised for explosive growth ... and the Internet-connected TV in the living room could mean that writers don't earn as much as they once did for TV and cable broadcasts...and consumers may not spend as much on DVD purchases and rentals.

From the story:

    "The real winners from the writers holding out are the people in five or seven years," said analyst Laura Martin of Soleil/Media Metrics.

    Exactly how entertainment will be delivered in the future is a matter of speculation. "In 10 years, there will be a monitor on the wall in the family room, and it will be connected to a box -- maybe an Xbox, maybe something else -- and I'm going to watch [content] on demand," said Richard Wolpert, an L.A. investor and former chief of strategy at RealNetworks Inc. "That's not going to be delivered over cable, it's going to come over Internet protocol."

    Bypassing broadcast and cable delivery could wipe out a big chunk of residuals that writers now collect when their material is rerun. Wolpert said that explains why the writers are so intent on staking a claim to all new modes of transport into the home.

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