Daniel Cook of Lost Garden has another thought provoking article up on Gamasutra, this one on the casual games market. Targeted more at developers, it's still an interesting look at the promises and pitfalls of the current distribution models:
In the new world of high profit margins, limited middlemen and free green lighting for all, innovation would inevitably flourish. And for the most part, once you account for Sturgeon's inevitable law that 90% of everything is crap, this is exactly what happened. More game developers poured into the market and some truly wonderful games were born.
Middlemen, however, were not eliminated. They merely evolved.
It's lengthy, but provides some new insights on the possible evolutionary paths this particular part of the industry could take.
The Casual Games Manifesto [Gamasutra]