With lots of folks suddenly debating a la carte channels for paid TV systems, thanks to the FCC's sudden change of heart, it looks like Tom Evslin has come over to our view that it isn't the bundles that are outdated, but the concept of the channel. Evslin predicts that the next generation of children will have no concept of what a channel is because they'll just subscribe to shows individually. The thing is, just as setting up a la carte channels would mean a big change for cable companies, setting up the ability to subscribe to individual shows would be an even bigger leap. That's why it's unlikely the cable companies will be the first to go there (though, they've done some experiments with on-demand shows). It's the perfect way, however, for the telcos pushing IPTV to jump into the game, by offering something a lot more interesting and different than just a cable copycat.
Sounds a lot like vlogs, podcasts and the RSS subscription mechanism... So how long is it before apple mimics or just plain uses the RSS subscription model so used in their podcast directory to deliver a seasons of shows in their store. RSS distribution is perfectly compatible with DRM'd videos or songs. Technically Apple doesn't need the RSS, but they do need a mechanism for allowing your to "subscribe" to a season of shows and automatically deliver each new episode as they come out. Right now you have to keep coming back and buying each show one by one as the season progresses. I randomly pick their January expo for this to roll out... but must admit it's probably not high priority for them.... at least not untill they have a larger variety of content and sales have become more robust.
As for TV channels... I think they're going to be here for a long time to come in satelite and broadcast TV... but no... channels make NO sense whatsoever in the digital domain... just like "streaming media", which I wish would just die already.
Techdirt:Forget A La Carte Channels -- Unbundle The Shows