Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Future of Media, also Brownback

Short, feel-good day of news:

> The Daily Show's new site isn't just a good idea. It's the future of TV online.

Companies have been pulling their hair out over how to fight YouTube pirating all their shows. Comedy Central is showing us it's easy: You just offer a better product.

Short Version: The new Daily Show site has every minute of every episode the show has ever aired, archived, tagged, and searchable by date and topic. That's dramatically better than the YouTube hodgepodge. Better yet, Viacom has all the masters, so they can make their content look better to boot.

Basically, Viacom is moving with the phenomenon instead of against it. It realizes there's a demand for the clips, so it seeks to be the best place to get them, and monetize with advertising. You know, like television has done since always.

How long can it possibly be before all TV, hell almost all media, is handled this way? You can't stop people from getting your content for free online. You just can't. But you can be the best, easiest place to get your own content online, then monetize the resulting traffic. The content providers have the resources to offer dramatically better options than the pirates, as long as they can figure out how to make money on it without seeming evil or cumbersome.

Television has always been a free medium. It's shocking that it's taking this long for them to figure out the web.

> Hey, while we're on the topic, check this out. Every relevant document in world history, in one ultimately credible, free searchable database. How do you say badass in seven languages?

Note the Google funding. This seems exactly in line with Google's larger plan to index and organize all the world's information. The books are the main hurdle to that goal, and don't think Google's not working on that.

And as ever, I feel compelled to point out, if you index, organize and essentially control all the world's information... isn't that sort of a plan for world domination? There's something kind of weirdly nefarious in Google's awesome mission statement. They may be supervillains at Google, that's all I'm saying.

> And finally, as my editor said when she assigned it, "One fewer candidate who doesn't believe in evolution..."

And okay, yeah, so Brownback only had 1.4% of the vote. That was still too close for my liking.

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