Don’t get too used to download videos from iTunes, friends, because new data suggests both content providers and consumers are poised to gravitate toward free, advertisement-based streaming video in the near future. Paid video downloads are set to peak this year, raking in an estimated $279 million, according to Forrester Research. The same report calls iTunes’ video download service a “temporary flash,” suggesting that ABC’s model of streaming shows online for free is where the market is heading. Part of the reason is the aversion people have to paying for video that they can’t easily watch on their TV. Apple TV is supposed to fix that, but I don’t know that it’s taken off as well as Apple might have hoped.
Bottom line: “Free is going to win,” probably because it keeps soap companies happy more so than that it being optimal for you.