Paying for Streaming Video

Paying for Streaming Video?
The research firm, Instat/MDR, reports that the market for streaming video will grow from $991 million this year to $4.5 billion by the year 2007. Asia and Europe will be big players, according to the study. The report cites three “phenomena enabling this revolution” — the growth of broadband, the creation of partnerships to provide quality content, and that people are “finally starting to pay for streaming services.” The last one is a problem for me. I mean, I’d love to believe it, but the report cites spikes in RealNetworks’ RealOne SuperPass service during the Iraq war as justification. That’s a little weak. Besides, the concept runs counter to Postmoderns’ belief that information should be free. Don’t get me wrong. What works today in terms of pay-per-view will work just fine online, assuming equal quality and cost, but to generate a market of $4.5 billion online will require a lot more than is currently available. Unless perhaps these guys were including the porn market.

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