Update 11/15/2008: Only a few days before the largest BitTorrent tracker will celebrate its 5th anniversary, the Pirate Bay reached a new milestone. The site now tracks 25 million peers, which is more than the entire populations of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Denmark combined.
We’re at an important inflection point for marketing. And, it’s going almost entirely unreported and unremarked upon.
Here’s the thing. With video, consumers want “What I want, where I want, when I want.”
If the TV industry gets it right (see Hulu as a good example), we’ll have an amazing future with lots of opportunities for marketers and everyone in that food chain to do very well indeed.
If the TV industry gets it wrong, it’s very likely that consumers will cobble together their own infrastructure. They will use torrents, peer-to-peer networks, DVDs,and whatever else they can to get “What I want, where I want, when I want”. If that happens, people will be able to get what they want for free, without seeing any advertising at all.
if that sounds impossible, ask a friend in the music business how it’s going for them today.
The technical hurdles to putting your own infrastructure together are getting lower every year, and once people get used to it there’s no turning back.
The smartest guy on this subject bar none is Shelly Palmer. If part of your job is selling things to people, I suggest you start reading what Shelly is saying right away, starting with today’s article on Jack Myers.
You should also read Shelly’s book, “Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV“. This is important stuff, and these are important days.