Thursday, December 21, 2006


According to this article from BBC News, the BBC is planning to make shows available for download/online viewing outside the UK through a partnership with Azureus, a popular file sharing program that uses BitTorrent technology. Hopefully this means US viewers will get to see shows like Torchwood and Dr. Who shortly after their airing in the UK, rather than having to wait a year to see a hacked-up and censored version on BBC America or the Sci Fi Channel. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing but good here.

More and more movies and TV shows are being made available legally online, via iTunes, MySpace, and various individual network sites, and production companies have made distribution deals now with BitTorrent, Kazaa, and now Azureus. While I will always prefer downloadable files to streaming video, the move toward dispensing content over the Internet is a good move, and I'm glad to see these industries moving in that direction. The music industry could learn something. What's the best way to manage rampant electronic distribution of product? Brutally smash those people doing it, driving them farther underground, while adding protection to your product that can crash people's computers and basically piss off everyone? Or find out what people are doing and figure out how to make money off it by providing a good quality product, easily accessed, for a reasonable amount of money so people will buy rather than download? The answer to that one seems to me to be a no-brainer.

The next step is for production companies to jump onto Internet-only productions targeted to niche audiences. How many people would pay a monthly subscription fee for a show like Firefly or Wonderfalls? Quite probably enough to finance it. Somebody needs to jump right on that bandwagon.