A slew of news over the last couple of days concerning content owners and their attempts to make sense of new distribution channels just says to me "uncomprehending death spiral". Consider:
(1) NBC's content is gone from iTunes
(2) Universal has set limits on the music its artists can stream on MySpace
(3) Fox has signed up to sell its content over iTunes
(4) Universal has signed up to provide free music via Nokia
What's the consistent theme here? The people who think they own the content trying to work out how they can deal with new distribution channels without just handing over all their market power. If anyone in this picture was thinking about how people are really getting hold of that content and watching it / listening to it / mixing it with pictures of their cats they might actually be on to something.
Oddly, the people who seems to get it this time are BT Vision, who are releasing movies with embedded ads, which means the movies can be shared across p2p networks (BitTorrent) without losing the commercial upside. This is monetising the fragment par excellence, a genuinely thoughtful commercial solution to the real problem of how films are actually being distributed and watched by consumers.