January 2007 is over for the Year of Living Digitally project. I learned something very interesting in my first month:
Not only can I get everything I want, it’s cheaper (and better) this way.
We did that piece on the numbers of it all. This path is a bit annoying (technically), but actually cheaper in the long run … but it is more important than that. Here’s why:
The infrastructure is already in place to buy content ala carte. Right now, it’s the “big guys” to select from, but that will be changing soon. Amazon is already pushing hard their relationship with CustomFlix.com but we’ll see a dozen more just like ’em before the end of the year. Heck, indie bands have been using CDbaby as their iTunes connection for over a year now. The infrastructure is quickly coming together – for everyone.
Ala carte is getting more and more attractive to almost everyone. I told my most non-techie friends of the Year of Living Digitally project and they’re comment was that they’ve been doing that for years – they just called it renting the shows they liked from Netflix (and not paying for cable) – and they don’t even need an Xbox (or Apple TV). Even my non-techie Father has mentioned that is must be nice to send my money to the people who deserve it (instead of the cable company).
Ala carte is a model that smaller content producers can thrive from. They know their stuff is good enough and that a profit can be made from just a tiny slice (heck, sliver) of a big network’s pie. It scares the #(*& out of the big content providers because they’ve been used to forcing a lot of garbage with the “package.” This package concept is quickly beating eatin alive by many ala carte options. Heck, look at what iTunes did to revive the single.
I’m just thinking out loud here but if the world is moving to ala carte and the infrastructure is quickly coming into place where anyone can sell ala carte, we just need a big index of content to choose from.
Ain’t that what this whole Internet is about?