How does open distribution change the television production paradigm?  It’s something to which we’ve devoted significant conjecture and, as is often the case, the scrambling music industry may paint a picture of possible business models for the future of television.  According to The Boy Genius, Artist Jay-Z is launching a record label with Apple.  So what does that mean?  Is a full fledged video production studio next?

It’s at least somewhat counterintuitive. ### The David that’s almost single-handedly disfigured the goliath recording industry by virtually eliminating the need for traditional methods of distribution is starting its own label. Isn’t releasing your own, independent content the wave of the future? And in a world where the means of production AND distribution are at the fingertips of artists, who needs labels or studios?  What value do they bring? 

I have long suggested that studios, networks and labels could bring value to democratized market by refocusing efforts on scouting, vetting, developing and, most important, marketing multiple brands related to specific flavor or style of content.  This is congruent with the model followed by the very successful internet-TV studio Next New Networks, with whom we’ve been continually impressed.

Perhaps Apple has recognized the value in this approach and will, itself, devote resources to scouting, vetting, developing and marketing digital content, starting with a label headlined by young HOV himself.  But the flexibility of an open medium means that their relationships with artists will be fundamentally different. 

How might this model apply to the long-tail of television production?  Should the iconic consumer electronics company really get its hands in content production?  Can the market sustain a handful of internet-TV studios? For one thing, I assume we won’t see anymore of these Jay-Z HP ads.

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