Mission: Denial

Tim Jarrett:

  In their haste to try to break Apple’s well-earned stronghold on the content download market, NBC is starting its own download service. Rather than charge for the downloads, the downloads will contain unskippable commercials, and according to the Times the downloads will “degrade after the seven-day period and be unwatchable.” Jeff Gaspin, president of NBC Universal Television Group, calls this “kind of like Mission Impossible.”

That, naturally, is a perfect set-up line, and Tim runs with it. All the way to this from Fake Steve Jobs:

  So, fair enough. Bring on the big media cluster fuck. Roll out all the different systems that don’t work together. Bring on all the different kinds of software, none of which will work as well as iTunes. Bring on a zillion different user interfaces, a zillion accounts you need to set up, a zillion new usernames and passwords and a list of which services can work on which devices in which format. Right. When you’re good and tired of that, we’ll be here waiting for you.

There’s certainly room for a download service to beat what Real Steve offers. Hell, we need one. Or many. But whatever succeeds won’t have a service model based on value subtraction.


  1. Julian Bond’s avatar

    Remember AllOfMp3? It’s still around.

    I’m still waiting for an official western download site that uses the same model, interface and pricing. Amazon? Oh, right. The Entertainment cartel would never allow it.

    This is the point where I start getting angry with Apple and the Apple fans. The usual argument goes “It’s not Apple’s fault iTMS uses DRM, it’s the RIAA/MPAA”. But who’s the supplier and who’s the customer? I don’t buy from the RIAA/MPAA because they don’t do retail. Apple is my supplier in this instance and I won’t buy products from them that are Defective by Design.

    Just Say No To DRM

  2. Jonathan Peterson’s avatar

    Back in 2001, while at BellSouth, I wrote about what I called the MediaNet – http://way.nu/medianet/.

    “Any medium whose distribution system disallows equal access to content from both amateur and professional publishers won’t work in a broadband world. Defining a platform by aggregation of content type (audio, video, etc.) will work, defining a platform through the aggregation of content by publisher will not.

    Though it seems obvious, content publishers must compete on content, not platform.”

    Isn’t it funny that content publishers don’t want to be forced to compete on their content?

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