Pay Once, Watch Anywhere

I had heard rumblings and excited murmurings about this the last few months, but had not really understood what IT was until yesterday.

It, is a SlingBox.

What it allows a user to do, is to take any media they have in their home, or on their home media network either via hard drive, live cable, DVR or soon by IPTV and “Sling” it to any other device they have. Laptop in mid-air in Germany? No problem. Cell phone or PDA wherever you are (on a 3g or better network, of course), no problem.

What it means is that if a user has paid for or otherwise acquired content at home which, in my opinion, is probably the best place to choose what you want to see, they have to buy it or acquire it only once.

There’s no additional monetization that comes from licensing different resolutions (a rather complicated set of thoughts I had earlier in this post, but I think this is probably the fairest thing I’ve seen for the consumer in a long time. It is absolutely fair use all the way.

And seeing as how the distributors these days continue to screw the content owners and producers anyway… it would sure be a lot easier for producers to sell their content to one place (at least in the case of SlingBox owners) and let the user and their system do the appropriate scaling rather than having producers shoulder that cost.

Cool gadget! Want One!

Clear Blue Skies

This Tuesday marks my last day of adventure at CBS’ Wireless division, with my decision to exit, or more my agreement with my boss that I would exit since we could not come to (logical) agreement over some key elements of the divisional structure.

The experience, while it hasn’t been great, has certainly opened up other doors, and on top that has provided some excellent perspective on a few things about this brave new world of of alternative media.

New (alternative) media executives, for the most part, do not have a firm grasp on the realities of what drives their business. By that, I mean that there is not a clear understanding of the things that make producing content a tricky, expensive, and time consuming endeavor.

While the strategic opportunities for some really innovative programming and divisional synergies are there, the groundwork, the foundations for doing so must lie on leadership that understands, really understands the business of the people whose product their business relies on. A global grasp of ALL the moving parts and their values is critical to turning drought-ridden land of digital media (inside of Old Media) into fertile soil.

Just like many other distributors, the sneak-around is alive and well. Some of the strategic and legal implications of what is going on in this business right now, is disturbing from a Producer’s standpoint. A lot of it comes dangerously close to destroying some very important production company relationships if these things are not pro-actively handled.

But there’s no rain in sight, and clear blue skies are not always a good thing. There’s plenty of people basking in the sun, but the things required to support life (food and water) are nowhere to be seen.