It's sometimes entertaining when powerful executives don't seem to understand the rather basic market forces that they're facing. Take Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC Universal, who's done a pretty good job driving the operation into the ground over the past few years. In a recent interview, he apparently said (as he's hinted in the past) that it might make sense to charge for TV content online
, noting that:
I do not think that it is a foregone conclusion that content should be free on the Internet.
The problem, of course, is that we're well beyond should
. Sorry, Jeff, but you don't get to decide that. The technology and the market have already decided that the content is
or will be
free online. It might not be authorized. It might not be legal. But the content is free. "Should" has nothing to do with it, because the technology and the market don't care about "should." Yes, this sucks for those who only understand how to run a business when they're a gatekeeper who controls things, but it doesn't mean there aren't really good businesses built on free content. NBC should know this, since an awful lot of its history was built on exactly that... And I don't recall Zucker's predecessors whining about that darn "free" broadcast TV.