Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Exploding TV

Television as we know it is on the verge of a technological explosion. This is not going to happen next week, but it will happen faster than most people will expect. It's not too early to start doing your homework.

Yesterday we talked about what happens when TV content becomes available and addressable the way web content is today. We talked about Video On Demand (VOD), TV delivered over phone lines (IP TV), Video on the Internet (Streaming), and Downloadable Video (Bit Torrent). Link

These are the terms to remember (for the moment) until one or more emerge as dominant.
  • VOD
  • IPTV
  • Streaming (Internet VOD)
  • Bit Torrent (Downloadable VOD)

Jeff Jarvis is at the forward edge of all this. He seems to be one of the coffee klatch buddies who get together to plan the next the Next Big Thing. Despite his credentials ["JEFF JARVIS is former TV critic for TV Guide and People, creator of Entertainment Weekly, Sunday Editor of the NY Daily News, and a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner. He is now president & creative director of This is a personal site."] he comes across very modestly. He is into VLOGing, the video counterpoint to blogging. His blogroll and VLOGroll are worth a look.

: [Colon. That's how he writes.] The way to make big money in the longrun in the explosion of TV is to go around the present players. The current networks can't act subversively because cable MSOs have them by the balls (and won't let them put content out there on the internet to compete with cable) and rights-holders and lawyers have them by the neck (and will stop them from distributing content) and they're addicted to big money -- big expenses, big revenue, constant growth.

So learn lessons from the explosion of the print industry thanks to the advent of online: Many of the big players will be new players -- video Googles, Yahoos, Netscapes (RIP), eBays, Amazons, CraigsLists, and so on. Oh, there'll be money made by the old guys in addressable video; they'll make it sooner. But eventually, the subsversive companies will do to video what, for example, CraigsList has done to papers.

Walled gardens (AOL = cable MSOs; Pathfinder = oldstyle networks) will not prevail. Open, distributed, ad hoc networks will win.

Interactivity won't mean pushing a button to get "more about this" while you watch a TV show (as ITV is now defined, insultingly and boringly). Interactivity will mean recommending TV shows to the rest of the world, remixing TV shows, making TV shows: citizens' TV.
New tools and citizen producers will reduce the cost of producing TV to a comparative nil and there goes the barrier to entry to video. Link

No comments: