It might be surprising to learn that the piracy-nemesis MPAA, may be ready to offer "free" versions of their movies supported by advertising or opt-in marketing schemes.
Most users wouldn’t probably mind if the free versions were in lower quality stereo-only SVHS/Hi8/SVCD format – which is slightly better than VHS. That way studios would still be able to offer higher quality DVD/Blu Ray/HD-DVD versions, which they could then sell via downloads or otherwise. Distribution of movies need not be free.
After all, Time Warner’s own survey showed that more than 70% of the 1.7m illegal movie downloaders in Germany would purchase movies if a legal equivalent exist. This goes to show that if people are not treated as petty criminals, there’s always a way to work things out.
Already Amazon, Google and other Internet giants are queuing up to launch their own TV program and movies selling schemes. It is, however, the little known Vongo – short for Video On the Go - that pioneered unlimited online movie distribution on the Net, offering unlimited viewing for £6 per month. Unfortunately the service is only available in the US.
When Eric Frankel, one of the senior executives at Warner Bros, said to the New York Times that the media giant has more programming in its warehouse than it can sell on traditional TV, you know that something big is brewing.
No wonder telcos in the US want to grab their share of the entertainment industry pie by trying to force content providers into paying to use their networks. 2006 is going to be a very enthralling year.