03. 22. 2007
Milonakis on the web and then the TV
I wanted to take a brief moment to say good job to MTV. The network is planning to release all the episodes from the next season of the Andy Milonakis show for purchase online, and the episodes will be available before they air on TV. iTunes, Amazon Unbox, AOL Video, Wal-Mart, and Xbox live marketplace will be selling the episodes at prices of $1.99 per episode, or $9.99 for all six episodes. The first episode will be a free download from iTunes later this week, and I'm excited about what this means for the consumer. The Apple TV couldn't have started shipping at a better time.
I'm glad to see that the networks are finally opening up, and it may be that someone over at MTV's parent company Viacom really does have a master plan for embracing the technology that consumers are already using. The Viacom lawsuit against Google has gotten quite a bit of bad press, but it isn't about a company trying to squash the free use rights of consumers. It's about money. Google and other video hosting sites are currently making money from ad revenue and infometric data, and the company is using copyrighted video to make that happen.
Free use protections are generally limited by commercial considerations - which is why we can all support P2P or copying some mp3s for my mother, but corporate websites hosting someone else's video might be a problem. Eventually this copyright and trademark dispute will be moot - My prediction is that we'll be able to freely trade mp3 and mpeg files in the market and the price of music and video will fall to a point just above free. It just takes time to convince the stodgy ol' media companies that the new system is in everyone's best interests. Everybody needs to calm down and quit panicking, but still contribute to the EFF just in case.
Years ago I was at a party watching Andy's old dorm room videos, and the entire room was in stitches. We shot him an email to say that he was the funniest internet musician on the planet, and good 'ol Andy emailed us back within a couple of minutes to say thanks a lot. He's a class act, and I'm glad to see that he'll enjoy the fruits of this initial experiment (which I predict will go very well). The image above is from the Andy Milonakis Show website.