Download everything everywhere! That's today's headline, and it couldn't be more exciting. But is it lucrative? Does anyone make any money off anything, or is it all a loss-leader?
I always puzzle over this stuff because, in each case, the content is too expensive vs. what anyone will pay to download it... except YouTube.com.
For example, I see
wants to be bigger on the Internet. But what does that mean? Putting
on my cell phone? Having treasure hunts on
Without a Trace
that can only be answered online?
You will hear and read about all sorts of attempts to monetize every gadget and every program, but the only kind of model that works is where you don't have to pay for the hardware or the content:
Once again, Google is the winner, except this time it is YouTube. For example, the
deal today (in which it's reportedly in talks to distribute YouTube videos on cell phones and TVs) is my kind of deal. Google does nothing. You do all the work by doing a video; Verizon takes it and Google gets compensated.
It's just like what Google did to newspapers. It expropriates them. Google's like a Bolshevik! It takes the property of others and expropriates it for Google!
The only rival to this model out there is
, where people are already so happy with going to iTunes.com that they are comfortable paying, so it isn't much of a chore. The Apple model works, too.
But the main sticking issue here is that the
and the CBSes and the NBCs still
do not have their heart
in this game. They're still thinking about prime time and making big hits. They are concerned because big offline hits, even single episodes of hits, just totally dwarf anything that is done online. You can try to get additional runs online, but that cannibalizes reruns.
That's why original programming done for the Web, done cheaply, is the hope of the future.
I wonder if
hasn't gotten a bid because of the legacy of America Online and
. That colossally bad deal has kept a lot of good deals from being done.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Yahoo!.
Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for
Action Alerts PLUS. Listen to Cramer's RealMoney Radio show on your computer; just click
here. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" at 6 p.m. ET weeknights on CNBC. Click
here to order Cramer's latest book, "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click
here to get his second book, "You Got Screwed!" and click
here to order Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict." While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by
TheStreet.com has a revenue-sharing relationship with Traders' Library under which it receives a portion of the revenue from Traders' Library purchases by customers directed there from TheStreet.com.