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Take Your Cue from Simon Cowell: the Pay Per View “X Factor”

There’s another huge happening in the Pay Per View world: Simon Cowell is planning to broadcast a pay-per-view, Internet-only show — from Las Vegas. What does this mean? It means that PayPerView on the web is here to stay, and it’s only going to become more and more widespread.

Pay Per View’s “X Factor”

Whether or not Cowell deserves his reportedly multi-million dollar salary for American Idol is debatable. But there is no doubt that the snide Brit knows how to make money. And it’s a good bet that if he’s putting his muscle behind this revolutionary new Pay Per View concept, it’s going to be very, very lucrative. Best Pay Per View Hosting Service

What gave him the idea? Rumor has it that it was the Cinderella contestant, Susan Boyle, on Cowell’s very own show: Britain’s Got Talent. There’s hardly a web surfer around who hasn’t heard of the matronly, small-town Englishwoman whose audition tape received in excess of 30 million views on YouTube.

For this project, Simon joined forces with noted British billionaire Phillip Green. The two are said to be shopping for a major casino-hotel venue in Las Vegas which will host the new show. Based on the British hit show, “X Factor,” the Internet-only pay-per-view version will exploit the kind of content that Cowell has perfected via Britain’s Got Talent and American Idol for the last few years. (American Idol is generally touted as one of the most — if not the most — watched show on television.)

The Expectations are High

How successful will the venture be? No one can say. It’s still a very new area. While the British partners’ stated claims are probably unrealistically high (they have been quoted as saying they expect tens of millions of viewers to “tune in” twice a week), they are venturing into uncharted territory.

Still, whether or not the show reaches anywhere near their projected audience numbers, it is sure to serve as a vanguard in what is becoming one of the growth industries of the decade. One thing is certain: the Pay Per View model of media distribution is poised for exponential growth over the coming years.

Simon, Pay Per View, and You

Even if Cowell’s new program never reaches any where near the numbers he’d like, it still serves an important purpose for smaller pay-per-view ventures. Namely, that it familiarizes more people than ever with the concept of paying for content online. And this is important.

For many years, broadcasters and other [especially video] content providers have wondered how to monetize their intellectual property. With the advent of streaming video on the Web, the distribution channel was there, but the market wasn’t necessarily ready. That is changing — rapidly.

As more and more players enter the world of Pay Per View — Google, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and now American Idol maven Simon Cowell — the web viewing public becomes comfortable with the idea of paying for content online. And for those trying to generate revenue from their content, that’s a good thing.

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