A Million Channel Universe


Photo from CTV online article

Earlier this month, YouTube announced that it is introducing all-you-can-watch channels that will require a monthly fee ($0.99 to $2.99/month/subscription). To date, reaction to this move has been luke-warm. But why? Wouldn’t the announcement of what is the pre-cursor of the a-la-carte channel model have TV lovers dancing in the streets? I suspect it’s because the proposed channel offerings are not exactly premium titles – children’s fare such as Sesame Street, Caillou and Inspector Gadget to celebrity monologues and Roger Corman B-movies. Even I wouldn’t sign up for the content currently offered. I get all the programming I can eat for my kids through Netflix. Hell, I get enough of the content I want to watch through it as well.

So while Rogers, Bell and the other cable, satellite and broadcasters may not be quaking in their boots now, I think they are worried. Or they should be worried. Because producers of content that the mainstream want will move to this model. And why not skip the middleman and go straight to the consumer? This a-la-carte model has been a long time coming. Now things are getting interesting.

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