Online Video: Content Models, Emerging Market Structure, and Regulatory Policy Solutions

21 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2019

See all articles by Eli M. Noam

Eli M. Noam

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics; Columbia Business School - Institute for Tele Information

Date Written: July 26, 2019


This paper, based on a much more extensive book that is being completed this summer, proposes a regulatory system for the emerging online video medium. Huge Changes are coming for culture and society, as TV moves from slow change to Moore’s Law dynamics. Cloud platform providers, which will be vertically integrated into content and data, will dominate the system. The reasons are the fundamental economics of such operations, plus the advantages of data. The changes that are upon us also require us to conceive of a regulatory system for this new environment.

Cloud-TV will transform content into experience. Its leading edge will be interactive, immersive, and individualized. This will affect Advertising and Marketing Applications, as well as Entertainment: film, games, sports, adventure, documentaries, adult applications. In consequence, Cloud TV will be an enormously powerful medium in social, cultural, and economic terms. The paper will analyze these impacts, and the problems.

The emerging medium will also be dominated by a few organizations, and will cause significant societal problems (as well as positives).

1. The new media system will have multiple problems, some traditional ones in new settings, and some new ones.

2. The paper will identify the problems and show that most them will not be resolved through competition.

3. Governments, in addressing these issues, will find that they can regulate most effectively by delegating the policing of problems to the intermediate content platforms and infrastructure platforms. This was discussed at last year’s TPRC.

4. Furthermore, a more open and competitive media system will make it more difficult to deal with these problems than a more concentrated system.

5. Arguably more important for open and diverse media is to deal with market power. The better alternative model would be to require a system of unbundling of the segments with market power, and their accessibility and interoperation by independent providers. That model is the unbundled model with access rights/links
6. Platforms with significant media market power (SMPP) accessed by right hold only limited liability for violations by those who use such access. They cannot impose restrictions beyond those of the law, or differentiate between content providers, beyond purely technical reasons.

7. The paper will work this out in considerable detail, and make specific regulatory recommendations

Suggested Citation

Noam, Eli M., Online Video: Content Models, Emerging Market Structure, and Regulatory Policy Solutions (July 26, 2019). TPRC47: The 47th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy 2019, Available at SSRN:

Eli M. Noam (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Columbia Business School - Institute for Tele Information ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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