Like it or not, the option to download films and TV shows from the internet is here to stay. In fact, if things continue as they are it might not be too long before more "traditional" outlets for films and TV shows -- such as brick and mortar stores or even movie theaters -- are a thing of the past. It's already happened with the music business. Look around and tell me if you can find a Sam Goody or Tower Records in your neighborhood. You can't, and one of the biggest reasons why is due to people downloading music from online stores like iTunes.

However, all is not doom and gloom -- especially for producers of film and television shows like the major studios. If you happen to be a major studio, things look pretty good for you -- unless for some reason you haven't gotten into the online distribution business yet. If you have, this recent Variety article should make you pretty happy. If you haven't, well, it might be time to start -- that is, if you like to make money. According to the article, the next few years will find the online content delivery business exploding with record profits. Revenue in the U.S. alone from legitimate downloads of films and television programs will go from $538 million last year to $6.3 billion by 2012 -- a tenfold increase.

Some of the factors contributing to this dramatic increase are broadband penetration and changing consumer habits. Or, as Adam Thomas, a researcher at Informa, the group which released the revenue projections, puts it: "These trends are now so pronounced that the term 'social revolution' no longer seems too much of an exaggeration. With social change occurring on such a large scale, traditional media companies are being forced to change their behavior and business models to adapt their offering to consumer demand." You hear that traditional media companies? Time to change or get left behind.