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Content Undercover: A New Content Opportunity

Citizen videographers, home-wide entertainment getting closer, personalizing entertainment By Miles Weston

Trends columnist Miles WestonNo, we are NOT snobs.  We just dont watch much TV because, hey, there isnt much worth watching.  But the new TV?  Hey, thats got even more good/bad stuff.  Its fun, its funny, its bad, its pathetic, but in a sick sort of way, it is real.  It could be the saving grace for your video everywhere, anywhere.  

The Internet changed everything.  It changed the way we work together.  The way we work with friends and family.  The way we get our news and information.  It is slowly changing the way many of us will get our entertainment.
It also offers an opportunity for content developers?of both music and video?to express themselves, reach an audience interested in their content enough to buy it and perhaps even attract a large enough audience to make a living.

While it is true that the RIAA aggressively sues any site that even looks like people are sharing their content, they find it difficult to go after sites that promote and support independent musicians.  The MPAA is closely watching the new video sites that are emerging to ensure none of their content is shared on the open market.

Suddenly, hundreds of thousands of videographers around the globe are beginning to see that a new era is beginning that can get their stuff shown without having to grovel at Hollywoods or the networks doors.  Will they get rich and famous creating the next Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane, Forest Gump, Top Gun, Friends or All in the Family?

Probably not.  But if you attract even 10+ fans in one million people on the planet to pay a buck or two to download your show or get hooked on your Inet series?thats a pretty big number!

After all, there are thousands of folks in the creative capitals of the world paying their union dues and busing tables waiting for a call from the production/distribution house, so taking control of your own destiny isnt such a bad thing. 

Video over the Internet is here?just ask Viacom, Yahoo and others.  Millions of video clips?online ads, show previews and other video content?is being downloaded and viewed all the time.  Web video publishing tools are widely and economically available.  If you dont want to launch your own Web video delivery, there are distributors like Brightcove, ManiaTV, ChannelBlast, Scripps, Blinkx and others available to handle the burden.

Since Im an avid diver, I got interested when I read about being able to watch segments on my PC from Eco-Nova and after visiting If you cant dive all the time, at least you can watch videos and even some live feeds of underwater exploration?  Too cool!

Ok, so maybe they will only attract three to four hundred thousand subscribers, but multiply that by one to two dollars a month and thats a decent chunk of change!
String together enough shows, movies and videos that are of interest to you, and you could easily abandon your cable company and never miss missing a segment of Desperate Housewives or Lost.

Face it.  T.S. Eliot was right when he said, ?Television is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.

You Arent Alone
Of course, just as we have a mob of citizen journalists, every hack and weirdo with a camcorder will have the same idea of instant riches or will use the video-enabled Internet to make his/her political or apolitical statement.

But that is the marvel of IPTV.  It may be bad but you wont sit through 3-4 minutes of ads to watch a reality show.  You can watch bad reality, free of commercials.

With the global adoption of DVB (Digital Video Broadcast) standards for 95% of the global market (Figure 1), Intel and Microsoft are more than ready to serve a market that is just beginning.

Fig. 1

The move is being streamlined by the wired and wireless organizations around the globe that are moving from dial-up to broadband connections which meet the needs of video downloads (Figure 2).   Consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet for music downloads, photo exchange, information and even purchases. The FCC reported that in 2003 approximately 23 percent of the U.S. households had broadband capabilities in their homes and predicted that by 2008 broadband penetration will grow to 56.3 percent.

Fig. 2

Forrester Researchs study this year of CE and Internet access found that Internet users watch just 12 hours of TV per week compared to 14 hours of those who are offline.  Industry analysts are confident that these people will be using their Internet connection for all of their entertainment as products become more widely available, easier to install/use and more economical.

That seems to be where Intel and Microsoft are placing their bets. 

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Related Keywords:video over IP, Internet video, videographers, content, RIAA, MPAA, content protection, web video, IPTV, DVB, home networks

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