I think we can all agree that the old media is going to struggle with the new media model. Just redoing all those financial projections is going to be painful. Recalibrating the timing alone could take Excel experts months of work. The models are scary, there is no doubt about it.
That being said, one of the most ridiculous postures being taken is the “release to iTunes the day after the initial broadcast.” This is, frankly, a sop to advertisers who don’t want to dilute their viewing audience. But, at this point, the download audience is quite different from the watch-the-moment-it-airs audience. That’s not say there’s no overlap in viewership. But the audience who goes directly to download, do not pass go, is not the audience the advertisers will reach anyway. It’s time to erase the iTunes window and treat it as a primary, Day One source.
And it seems that Nickelodeon and Comedy Central are already going there — if not beating the appointment-broadcast schedule. Delaying availability makes no sense at all. The ipodbank.com post discusses certain financial issues; we’ll be back with more details of the money behind the iTunes product. If studios are smart, they’ll start thinking of the new media as an equal to traditional methods now.