Thursday, May 26, 2005

DRM, DCMA, XVid, Bittorrent - the present and the Future

Okay, I'm reading this very good thought piece about Microsoft's potential domination of the DRM media space. I agree with this article's conclusions. I had a brainstorm about how one media scenario could play out. I agree that Microsoft's DRM is spreading widely. I also believe that XVid (the opensource variant of DivX) combined with Bittorrent is currently the most compelling content distribution vehicle. TV content is flowing at a terrific pace around the world. The TV execs are supposedly pulling their hair out over this situation.

Hey content creators, here's a free idea that could reap big rewards. Instead of fighting the inevitable and shutting down bittorrent sites - embrace and extend (an old Microsoft saying). Here's the idea. After each TV show is aired, TV networks should self publish XVid copies of the show with an ad embedded in each of the shows that one has to "collect". Each subsequent episode would add another clue to the collection. One has to download all the episodes to get all the clues. Once all the clues are collected, the downloader would be able to use the clue collection to obtain a discount on the subsequent official DVD version of the show. Imagine the marketing opportunities! Because of the viral marketing, they could sign on and prove to advertisers how many people they are reaching even more accurately than using the current buggy Nielsen rating system. I have some experience here as I once worked on TV ratings at Arbitron many years ago.

Seems like a plan to me?

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