So the iTunes Store just sold its three billionth song. Wow. That’s a lot of anything, regardless of what you’re counting. (OK, if you're counting grains of sand on the coastline of the United states, perhaps it's not a lot.) But more interesting to me is the pace at which Apple reached its latest billion-song threshold. It took the company a little less than three years to sell the first billion iTunes downloads. Then it took less than a year to sell the second billion. Now, just over six months later, the store has passed the three-billion song mark. (Playlist)
What if Public TV did a deal with Apple? Moving more and more inventory into the iTunes Store? What if there was a billion downloads in 5 years time? What if Public TV's share was 50 cents a show? What would half a billion dollars mean to the system? Is this a conservative or low ball estimate?
Online Video is already mainstream. (Pew)
The widespread deployment of broadband combined with a dramatic promotion push by content providers has helped pave the way for mainstream audiences to adopt online video viewing. The majority of adult internet users in the U.S. (57%) report watching or downloading some type of online video content and 19% do so on a typical day.
- Three-quarters of broadband users (74%) who enjoy high-speed connections at both home and work watch or download video online.
- Looking separately at those who have access to a high-speed connection at home, 66% report online video consumption, compared with 39% of home dial-up users.
- Yet, some online video viewers who have dial-up at home are able to supplement their access with broadband connections at work. Among those who are truly relegated to slow connections at home and work, just 31% say they have watched or downloaded video online.
Young adults (those ages 18-29) are among the most voracious video viewers. Three-in-four young adult internet users (76%) report online consumption of video, compared with 57% of online adults ages 30-49. Less than half (46%) of internet users ages 50-64 watch or download video and just 39% of those age 65 and older do so. On a typical day, young adults' video consumption also outpaces that of older users:
- Roughly one in three (31%) internet users ages 18-29 said they watched or downloaded some type of video on a typical day during the period of this survey.
- By comparison, 18% of internet users ages 30-49, 12% of those 50-64 and 10% of those 65 and older watch or download any type of video on the average day.
Many would like an easier way of getting higher quality video than YouTube (Can't get the Quality). Many don't want to use Bit Torrent - Many, as in music, are happy to pay. A deal with Apple could enable this.
What about the loss that stations might suffer to their pledge week fund raising if their content was available online? A lot of it is there now and soon all of it will be there. Very soon, the model of asking people to pay for a commodity that is scarce when it is in truth plentiful will fail. So the issue is to work out a revenue sharing deal for national content. There will be more than enough money around.
Some stations such as Oregon with great material in inventory, open up a new store of value if they shift from their current method of selling DVD's to selling material directly on the web. Stations such as KETC with a large and excellent inventory of 6 minute epics in Living St Louis can now get value from a format that is ideal for the web.
PBS have a large collection of Tasting the Content on their channel on YouTube now. Frontline has all of its material available here. Nature streams tasters here. Nature sells videos here. Materpiece Theatre has its shop here. The News Hour streams here.
Aren't we just a step away? What would it take?