John Battelle interviews Mike Homer, CEO of Kontiki.
In April he and former Netscape cohort Marc Andreessen launched the Open Media Network, an audacious nonprofit that intends to host video files and create an Internet TV guide.
Business 2.0 caught up with Homer on the day the network launched.
Why are you calling the Open Media Network “the future of public broadcasting”?
OMN is a free public service that enables consumers to view and publish legal content on the Internet. Digital distribution technology is now capable of doing a good job with video on the Internet, but there are still a lot of factors within the industry that keep producers from putting a wide variety of content online. We wanted to find a segment of the broadcasting industry that was willing to move first — and that’s the Public Broadcasting System.
So what’s holding back the rest?
First is concern over cannibalizing their current channels of distribution. Second is concern over piracy. And the third is the lack of a demonstrated business model.
How does OMN differ from other recent offerings, such as Google’s planned video service?
Well, the big difference is that we have already created a user interface and a TV guide — you just click to get OMN, and then there’s no instruction required. The other thing is its ability to handle very large files. Anything longer than 10 minutes or of high quality will have a substantial file size. That requires a grid delivery technology like Kontiki’s, which fundamentally enables the business model.