Tuesday, November 07, 2006

When Entertainment Becomes a Commodity

Amol Sharma and Kevin Delaney at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) have a splendid article (subscription may be required) today on Verizon's effort to bring YouTube videos to its cell phones.

Verizon Communications Inc. is in advanced talks with YouTube Inc. to bring the popular Web site's videos to cellphones and television sets, in what would be a landmark link-up between telecom and Internet video.

An agreement would allow Verizon's customers to view some of the most avidly watched entertainment on the Internet. That could advance the long-expected convergence of video and cellphones.
Actors, actresses, directors, producers, the whole Hollywood media world is watching the ground give way beneath them just like the newspapers. (All except the WSJ, of course. We love the WSJ and would never want anything bad to happen to it.)

Chad Hurley, YouTube's chief executive and co-founder, told an advertising conference last week that he sees a huge market in mobile services. The company has already launched a service that allows cellphone users to upload videos from some handsets to the YouTube site, but the clips can be watched only on a PC. The proposed Verizon deal would give cellphone customers an easy way to access YouTube videos while on the move.
The barriers to entry are coming down all over the place. If you're a comedian, you are now competing with orders of magnitude more comedians. If you're not funny, we can change the channel a thousand times over.

I leave you with a YouTube video. I just zipped over to YouTube and found this one of an archerfish catching an insect. It's way cool. If you don't know, archerfish shoot jets of water into the air to shoot down insects and eat them as they hit the water.

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