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I've been looking at an online music service called Blip.fm, which is a bit like a specialized version of Twitter, where the messages sent between 'friends' (if we can use that social media term) all relate to music tracks. Blip.fm locates music on the Internet (I wouldn't want to press for too much detail on how this is done) and makes it searchable, so that you can find the tracks you like and listen to them. At the same time, you can publish the link on the site, so that everyone else can listen too. It's a bit like everyone on the site becomes an 'Internet DJ'. The business model for Blip.fm is part advertising (banners for tickets and music related products) and referalls, allowing you to click on a link if you like a music track, and go and buy it on iTunes or Amazon.
It struck me that you could do something similar with video: For a company with access to a lot of content (for example Youtube), for example music videos and movie trailers, you could allow streaming of video for some nominal cost. Streaming to a web browser in a home doesn't give many options for billing, but how about streaming to mobile handsets, where you could charge per video; or for connect time; or data transferred; or an all-you-can-eat monthly package? I read somewhere that moviegoers are mainly in the 15-24 year age group, which fits right in with the profile of enthusiastic users of mobile phones. So in the 6 months until the new Harry Potter movie comes out, teenagers can console themselves with being able to watch (and share) the trailers, and generate a large new revenue stream.
Hopefully, some of the money will make its way back to Warner Brothers, and help to prepare Daniel Radcliffe for his impending lifetime of unemployment, as enjoyed by most child stars...