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BitTorrent Expands Daily Show Downloads

BitTorrent has expanded its The Daily Show with Jon Stewart clip library, based on this Wired interview, where Stewart and TDS executive producer shrug (If people want to take the show in various forms, I’d say go.) at online clip sharing. Wired writes:

Between blog links and BitTorrent downloads, hundreds of thousands of people watch clips online each day rather than on TV. In other words, in form if not in tone, Stewart’s Daily Show offers a glimpse of what all TV may one day become: something we can consume in many distillations, at a time, place, and device of our choosing.

In addition, TDS Executive Producer and Stewart offer their views on digital convergence. Excerpts from the interview:

Wired: The Daily Show really exemplifies that sort of new model. It’s on a cable network, not broadcast. It’s among the most popular shows traded online. People download and watch the whole thing, every day.

Executive Producer Ben Karlin:
The one thing that you have control over is the content of the show. But how people are reacting to it, how it’s being shared, how it’s being discussed, all that other stuff, is absolutely beyond your ability to control.

Jon Stewart:
I look at systems like the Internet as a convenience. I look at it as the same as cable or anything else. Everything is geared toward more individualized consumption. Getting it off the Internet is no different than getting it off TV.

Wired: So applying your Goodness Theorem, if you start putting real content online, then you’re going to get more outlets for good stuff.

Sure. But it’s not done that easily. Obviously, there was this first wave of people during the bubble who thought, “Oh my god, we can put TV on the Internet,” and all those people, all that money, went into all these digital things, Internet network plans, everything like that. And
they are all pretty much gone. They were probably too soon, and the technology and the bandwidth weren’t there. The stuff that works on the Internet right now is short things that don’t really need production quality or anything that has an underground guerrilla quality to it.

Wired: Ben, I read something in which you talked about how network television and cable were going to become one and the same.

Only in the sense of perception. From a creative standpoint, there used to be this idea that network was the holy grail and that cable was where people went who couldn’t work on network. That’s the old model. And now that there’s just as many quality shows coming out of cable – on FX there’s good shows, Comedy Central has good shows, HBO … I think the audience is going to cease noticing, “Oh, that’s got the NBC logo on it.”

Stewart: It’s the idea that the content is no longer valued by where it stands, in what neighborhood it lives. What matters is what you put out there, not its location. I think that’s what people have come to learn from the Internet – it doesn’t matter where it comes from. If it’s good, it’s good. Just because our channel is after HGTV and right before Spanish people playing soccer doesn’t make it any less valuable than something that exists in the single digits on your television set.

Karlin: The bottom line is network television is going to have to figure out a way to produce its shows less expensively in order to survive and compete. And cable shows are going to have to figure out a way to pay people a little more, probably, as they start getting the same kind of revenue out of their shows that the networks get.

The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom. That’s all it is. All those media companies say, “We’re going to make a killing here.” You won’t because it’s still only as good as the content.

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By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

One reply on “BitTorrent Expands Daily Show Downloads”

Okay, I think Jon Stewart’s comments in the Wired article are coming from the fact that MTV Networks, the parent company of Comedy Central, just launched both Nickelodeon and Vh-1 online cable channels where you can download shows and watch them on your computer- – this link will not work on Macs though.

I have a feeling that Comedy Central will launch their site soon.

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