Verizon and YouTube further doom ad-supported TV

My wife and I love movies. So last night, after watching the Bobby Darin biopic on DVD, Beyond The Sea, my wife was faced with a choice. I had gone to bed, and she could watch television or YouTube.

She chose the latter, because she figured she could view kinescopes of Bobby Darin, to judge how accurately Kevin Spacey depicted the 1950’s crooner. She was right, and YouTube once again rewarded her the way television cannot.

This afternoon we went to a matinee. Arriving early, we whiled away the time before the movie by watching Verizon’s V-Cast streaming video on my cell phone. In the darkened and quiet (pre-trailer) theater, we watched together more 3- to 5-minute eye candy. We chose segments of a favorite fake news program. Once again we were avoiding TV, and in fact circumvented the very ads that help to finance the basic cable programming coming out of my amazing LG 9800.

Bobby Darin on YouTubeThe only limitation to this harmonica-size idiot box is a dearth of interesting programming. But that may soon change.

Verizon and YouTube are reportedly in negotiations over the exclusive distribution of their content to their cell customers. This is exactly the magnitude of “pull” that domestic cell phone providers need to attract a critical mass of American cell phone users to this smallest of screens.

It seems inevitable that very shortly, far more people will be peering into their cell phones instead of at advertising-supported television. Watching the erosion of standard broadcast business models is almost as enthralling as finding on my computer, within minutes, a nearly 50-year-old video recording of Mack The Knife. And soon this idle fun may be portable.

And his teeth were … pearly white.

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