I don't always agree with everything Mark Cuban says (he's still awaiting YouTube's demise) but I did catch up on his blog recently and came across a compelling argument for why the Digital Video Recorder, e.g. TiVo, is good for the TV networks. While the networks are fretting that people might fast-forward through the commercials, they've lost sight of the fact that on the Internet people won't watch the commercials at all. For the foreseeable future, the DVR is the one reason viewers will have for getting their content via those cable TV networks that pay the fees that are an increasing portion of the networks revenue stream.
Cuban goes on to point out that instead of making the DVR suppliers lock down their platforms and neuter their features, they should take advantage of the fact the the DVR has a PC inside and make them into more powerful engines for receiving and displaying content.
In his concluding paragraph, Cuban says to the traditional media companies:
Its time for you to finally understand the new world of technology and content. You have an amazing technology, the DVR, that has almost tripled its installed based to more than 30pct in just 2 years. DVR users watch 8 hours per month of time shifted TV, which by the way is more than total average consumption of 3 hours of internet video per month. Even kids 18 to 24 watch more video on their DVR than they do on the net ! Don’t you think its worth noting that the number of DVR users is growing faster than the number of video watching internet users ? The individual consumption of DVR video far exceeds internet video. More importantly, since most DVR users are cable/telco subscribers, they actually PAY YOU MONEY to do all the above.
Could it be that the big media companies could become champions of openness?