TECH TALK: Video on the Internet: New Media

Will Richmond publishes a newsletter entitled Broadband Directions with a focus around IP-delivered video. This is what he wrote in one of his recent newsletters: Things have really heated up in the past six months as broadband has been recognized as a legitimate platform for video distribution and a key ingredient in all media business plans. This has happened because people understand that broadband allows unparalleled targeting, sponsorship and engagement opportunities at a very low (relative) cost.

Will also summarised some of the recent activity in the US context:

Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Apple Our firm calls these companies the “Group of Five” as these online behemoths are best-positioned to become next-generation, broadband-centric video distributors.

Cable Programmers Cable programmers have ramped up their launches of “broadband channels” to create new video-rich destinations for their audiences.

Broadcasters The major broadcast networks have been eager to position themselves as being multi-platform to exploit all new forms of digital distribution.

Everyone else Broadband is opening up opportunities for early-stage, niche video programmers (much like cable TV once did) as well as established, non video-oriented media companies (e.g. print media, online publishers, etc.) who want to extend their brands into video. There’s also an opportunity for consumer product companies to stake a new claim in video that goes well beyond standard ad units.

Business Week had an interview early this year with Mike Volpi of Cisco. He felt that IPTV happening is only a matter of time. He added: “There will be a lot more user-created video, especially as consumer video recorders and editing technology get better. Just as we reached a tipping point with digital cameras, we’ll soon reach a tipping point with digital video recorders. And there will be a lot more ad hoc video content, which is slightly dumbed down but still feels like it was professionally produced. It will be easy and cheap to make, like reality TV. And there will be professional content, but it will allow much more room for user preferences. People will be able to select camera angles or different endings for a show.”

Two commonly used words are timeshifting (think TiVo) and placeshifting (think Sling Media). Timeshifting allows users to watch the programmes of their choice at their convenience where the device (or service) records programmes much like a VCR used to do (or still does for some of us). Placeshifting allows viewers to watch the programming from their home cable networks via the Internet anywhere they want. Take together, both shift control from the broadcaster and distributor to the viewer. That is a common theme in the emergence of video on the Internet.

Tomorrow: New Media (continued)

TECH TALK Video on the Internet+T

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.