Barney and Betty on iTunes

Is there any money to be made in downloading television shows from the Internet? Multiple choice: How many videos have been bought and downloaded from iTunes so far? (A) 1.5 million (B) 3.5 million (C) 15 million (D) 35 million. And the answer is (D); at $1.99 a pop, that works out to nearly $70 million in sales.

That figure is enough to get the attention of Warner Brothers, and they just announced a deal to post episodes from some of its most popular shows including “Friends” and “Babylon 5”. Hanna Barbera fans will be please to know that “The Flinstones” and “The Jetsons” episodes will also be available.

Okay, 35 million videos is impressive, but keep in mind that this is less than one quarter of the people who watched the SuperBowl last year. Internet distribution of video content is growing rapidly, but is not threatening the traditional mass-market programming… at least not yet. Still, the major content producers are slowly discovering what the indies already know; the Internet is a great way to reach a narrow audience. I expect to see video content distribution on the Internet to keep growing rapidly.