It is fascinating to watch the ongoing content wars. Most of the entertainment industry realizes that the growth area in the future will be online content. Netflix got there first and has staked out a business model where they function as a distributor and aggregator for other companies content. The big problem with that as I have been saying is that the Internet is death to distributors. It’s very design is to facilitate point to point transfers. Therefore I don’t see how they can make money in the long run with that model. Now there is also an aggregation function there which is more useful. People don’t want to have to load a different website or a different app just to see what is on that channel. Different interfaces will make it an annoying experience. Therefore Netflix has something of value there.
HBO is going to try out skipping the middle man (netflix) and offer an iPad app for their subscribers.
We are going through a natural phase of the online experience. Companies are trying to figure out how to make money there. Some have been doing so as aggregators (eg. amazon, netflix, hulu sort-of).
How this affected education is how inconvenient it will be for teachers to access and use this content in the classroom. What would be most efficient is to have everything in one place (google TV?).
This conflict isn’t over by a long shot.