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Media: Social Media Goes Public
CNBC.com | December 01, 2011 | 02:33 PM EST

1. There will be a high-stakes battle over whether consumers buy digital copies or subscribe to services to access limitless content without owning it.

Expect consumers to adopt cloud services from Apple,Amazon, Google , and movie studios (like Warner Brothers, with its 'Flixter' service ) to tap into their content libraries from anywhere. Hollywood will use these so-called 'digital lockers' to push the sale of more high-margin digital downloads, instead of lower-margin rentals. Meanwhile subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime will add more content to instant streaming, making buying anything unnecessary. The questions — how will studios restrict content on these services so it doesn't cannibalize digital sales? And which model will win?

The music industry will see a similar split, as streaming services like Rhapsody and Spotify gain momentum, facing off with iTunes, along with its newer rivals,Googleand Amazon. We may even see a subscription music offering from the tech giants now focused on downloads.

2. Television and the Internet content will converge.

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