Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Video Content and New Platforms

Rob Frieden, Pennsylvania State University College of Communications and Dickinson School of Law has published Next Generation Television and the Migration from Channels to Platforms. Here is the abstract.

Consumers have access to an ever increasing inventory of video content choices as a result of technological innovations, more readily available broadband, new business plans, inexpensive high capacity storage and the Internet’s ability to serve as a single medium for a variety of previously standalone services delivered via different channels. Access to video content is becoming a matter of using one of several software-configured interfaces capable of delivering live and recorded content anytime, anywhere, to any device and via many different transmission and presentation formats. This means that content creators and packagers can no longer rely on a single linear model of program delivery that locks viewers to channel-based distribution technologies. Instead consumers increasingly expect to have access at their convenience and on more flexible terms and conditions. 

Platform access offers many legitimate, questionable and absolutely illegal opportunities to access both amateur and professional video content via the transmission of video files for subsequent replay, via real time streaming of files and even the retransmission of live programming, including pay television sporting events. Because of the great potential for piracy content providers and broadcast, satellite and cable intermediaries have grave concerns whether and how to provide new access options. 

This paper will examine the ongoing migration from channels to software-configured platforms for accessing video content. It will assess strategies of both market entrants and incumbents to use technological innovations for acquiring, or maintaining market share. The paper also will consider whether incumbents may overcome competitive threats by devising new ways to lock down content and prevent consumers from fully exploiting new options, even for lawful content sharing and recording.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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