Chris Anderson writes about a conversation with Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent:
Unlike music and movies, where the industry is terrified of piracy and lost revenues, TV could easily use P2P to extend its “free-to-air” ad-driven business model.
The logic goes like this:
1. Most TV is already free, so nothing is being “stolen” in file-trading.
2. Most television content owners want to reach more viewers for their advertisers.
3. One way to do that is via more distribution, which is expensive in broadcast
4. BitTorrent provides distribution for free
So if there were a way to let the content circulate on the P2P networks with advertising intact, this would seem like a Good Thing for all involved.
There are, however, another four reasons why this isn’t quite as neat a fit for the networks as it appears at first glance.