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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

February 01, 2006

Blimey! Smell the Future

CNN Money has an interesting article arguing that Apple has already won the battle for the digital living room.

Pundits do love making themselves hostages to fortune, don't they? But read on and you'll come upon this little snippet (emphasis added):

"Talk to Jeff Zucker, the new CEO of NBC/Universal. In an interview with Newsweek he said that iTunes had generated $2.5 million in download revenues just in the last three months. He also said it was helping him decide what to air. Because of the unexpected popularity of one show, 'The Office,' on iTunes, TV viewership shot up and it won a coveted Thursday night prime time slot."

That could mean - in the future - no more audience research by set-top box (well, I'm aggrieved that nobody ever asked me what I watch), no more focus group programming. The vast potential download audience will tell them - in real numbers - what really works, and what does not. It could make the ruthless cut-throat world of programme scheduling even worse, or it could turn it into a kind of science. The likes of Firefly might stand a chance in this brave new world.

In related news, I was reading in the Radio Times how the Who Do You Think You Are genealogy programme gets over 5 million viewers for BBC2 - extremely high for that channel. Which is more people than watch Celeb Big Bruv on the other side.

Give people the opportunity to vote with their mouse button on iTunes, and TV might get (even) better.

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