More than a year ago I suggested to folks from Frontline that they put out their shows on BitTorrent, serving as the Alpha Seed. I’m pretty sure Dave Winer (at the same conference) said the same thing. Maybe I got the idea (like so many others) from Dave.
I also remember thinking, if not saying, that BitTorrent distro was inevitable. The economics of transmission map nicely to the sociology of the show. The market is a conversation among seeds. This is radically different from the transmitter-based system we have now.
So now comes news from Michael O’Connor Clarke that the CBC is quietly releasing one of their most popular shows on BitTorrent. And that it’s DRM free. As it ought to be.
Read the whole post. Follow the links. There lies the future.
Here in the U.S. the new challenge is for the entities we call stations to find roles and relevancies other than distribution of network shows.
The only answer, I believe, is the “One Fond Hope” I appended to the Ten Prophesies I uttered on a public media panel (and in this post at Linux Journal) exactly one year after delivering the BitTorrent distro advice to the Frontline folks (and to the rest of public media folks attending my closing talk there).
CBC can go with BitTorrent because they’re not defined as just a collection of stations. That is, they have stations, and they produce and distribute; but they are not tied to any one band or medium for distribution. When AM radio became too retro, they went about dumping it (including CBL/740, on which I used to listen to stories late at night when I was a kid growing up in New Jersey).
It’s different here in the U.S., where stations run the show. Literally. They still can, but they’ll have to become far more involved with their local and regional communities — which need no longer be defined by the reach of signals from transmitters. Because the new transmitters, in many cases, will be the listeners and viewers.