Disney’s taking the next step… information wants to be free!

So Disney took another step on its inevitable path to the new emerging model of media distribution.  Broadcast at a certain time and only to be watched at home on your couch is so restrictive and unneccessary it will be ridiculous to my daughter. 

She already has trouble with the idea that the show might not be “on now” either the Replay worked or something is wrong.  She has even asked me to download it from the web if its not on the Replay.  Just for reference she is not yet quite four.

So what did Disney do?  They put more of their back catalog up for free download.  So first its Apple and .2.99.  Now its free and on their website.  They have the content, why go through a middle man?  They need to remove that friction. 
As I have blogged before, the real question is can they maintain a “mainstream” audience at all and a meaningful corner on the talent market.  Or does the fragmentation of attention simply erode that like water cutting through rock?

There is a role for an aggregator.  Ranking, auditing, providing a nexus around which certain types of products will show up from the long tail.  The hyped big stuff though will go right from the producer to the many customers cutting out all middle-men.  Torrenting, ubiquitous wireless data coverage, more capable mobile devices.  The medium range question for Disney and others to answer is how to build proper hype for the new items as they are ready for release and what is the proper rate to maintain interest without burning it out?


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