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The Challenge of Monetizing Content In A Changing Era

The video programming industries remain an exception to the dynamic of the Internet's disruption of established distribution channels for content. For the music, newspaper, and, increasingly, the publishing industry, the Internet has presented a major challenge to their business model and the ability to monetize content. For the video programming industries, however, movies and TV offerings continue to enjoy popularity?and traditional providers continue to enjoy healthy revenues?even as the Internet expands its reach and impact. The question for established video programming providers?and would-be disruptive upstarts like YouTube, iTunes, and Hulu?is whether they can successfully add value (e.g., personalized advertisements), raise quality, and/or cut costs to attract consumer interest. For the owners of high quality content, moreover, there is a high stakes question as to whether such upstarts are friend or foe. After all, once consumers start receiving high quality content for free, it is difficult to later monetize those offerings. In this conference, we shall frame the challenges and opportunities facing the established and upstart video programing distribution providers. After so doing, we will focus on the strategic issues facing the content owners, who are seeking to maintain the best of the legacy distribution arrangements and leverage opportunities based on the networked digital environment. Finally, we will take a look at the video programming industry from the perspective of the music industry to evaluate what lessons can be learned.

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