Jim Long - Digital Media and Culture

Internet TV – Is Now The Time To Build New Networks?

There’s been a lot of movement in the web video world of late, and as a micro media mogul at my very core, I’ve been paying keen attention to it.  Broadband proliferation, the rise of smart, connected TV’s, set-top boxes from Google, and PC to TV app-based systems like Boxee, are all driving forces behind these shifts. Now, with web entrepreneurs like Jason Calacanis jumping into the fray on the content side, there are some indicators that a new, vital marketplace is emerging for web TV content.

The long term vision is to have 30 shows that each have a natural audience of between 10,000 and a million people, Maybe they have on average 100,000 views each which means we could have 3 or 4 million people a week watching these shows pretty easily I think.

– Jason Calacanis, from LA Weekly post

For some time, I’ve had this idea to create a stable of niche market shows that appeal to passionate, targeted audiences – and build on a social web component to help viewers be more engaged with the content.  Now I’m certainly not the only person who’s had this idea –Revision3, Next New Networks, and TWiT, among others – have been enjoying successes as trailblazers of this medium.   At the same time, the field of battle is littered with good web shows that failed to get the traction needed to become self-sustaining.  Here’s a couple “good” failures I created myself.

Crafty Nation Episode

Pregnantly Plump Promo

The reasons these failed are instructive and manifold, but thankfully we failed fast.

New Marketplace – New Risks and Complexities

Never in the history of television has it been easier to bring a show to market.  Gone are barriers to entry of FCC licenses, prohibitive transmission facility costs, large staffs, and high priced talent.  Just about anyone – this very minute – can launch their own web TV show.  As with the blogging market, the cream rises to the top. Those with more resources, higher volume, and better content get more traffic and are as a result, more successful.

I’m operating under the assumption that any content play like this will have advertising as the primary revenue model.  Premium content models would depend on the niche and the quality and utility of the content in question.  I believe that there is a delicate balance between niche and scale here.  Beyond that, you have to take into account whether the segments that you target are broadband connected and inclined to watch web video.

New web TV delivery platforms are opening up new distribution pipes for content producers, and as more people watch web TV on their “smart” connected TV’s, the more indistinguishable the experience will be from watching regular TV.  Having said that, I believe the more viewers blend the PC to TV experience – pushing web video to their 42″ flatscreen HDTV’s – the more they will gravitate toward higher production value content – separating the wheat from the chaff.

Is This Really What The People Want?

Consumer demand for this type of content also appears to be mercurial.  While by some accounts, web video – and not just the short form kind – is seeing increased consumption rates during traditional prime time hours, much of it via some PC-to-TV connection.  At the same time though, Nielsen research says overall online video consumption is down for the first quarter of 2010.  I wonder if the reason for the decline might be that people are becoming more selective about the online video choices they make, especially for those watching on their big screens.

The success of video content networks like these hinges largely on the availability of broadband.  The expectation is a seamless viewing experience between regular TV and web delivered video on your TV.  As Verizon is ending their FiOS deployment and AT&T threatening to slow their broadband rollout, that leaves cable companies wiring houses with fast pipes.  Unless they can find a way to make money off of “over the top” video, they have a vested interest in seeing it as a threat.

So this is a very complex marketplace with a lot of moving parts.  My hat is off to those who have had success thus far.  As demand for this content rises, it will be instructive to watch the market levers that drive successes and setbacks for web video ventures.

What’s Next

As I said in this interview with Don Martelli of Shamable, “Good ideas and good products aren’t enough”.  As the web video ecosystem matures, new players taking the field will have to balance startup cost containment with immutable, inevitable burn associated with creating high production value TV.

Me? I’m sitting on the sidelines for now waiting to see who enters the fray next.  So readers, are any of you closet micro-media-moguls?  Are you watching video “over the top”?  What kind of shows would you watch?

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  • http://www.insignificantthoughts.com Vinny

    I think over time, online video will make a dent in television viewing, but as long as we still have sports and local blackout restrictions, some of us *cough* will never be able to completely cut the cord. Online content is good, and there are plenty of ways to get traditional shows online, but sports? Still the killer app. Once that gets figured out, bye bye TV.

    • newmediajim

      Hey Vinny! Thanks for stopping by! Isn't YouTube trying to do
      something with sports? I'm no cord cutter either. All of this stuff
      fascinates me, but 1: the experience and content aren't there yet. 2:
      Mrs. Long isn't a big fan of web video :)

      • http://www.insignificantthoughts.com Vinny

        You mean cricket? :-)

        Honestly, I don't know if they are but the NHL and MLB both have streaming; they just block local games. In other words, if you're a fan of an outermarket team, go for it. Enjoy. If you're a local guy? No good.

        That has to change and that's probably not going to change any time soon because the broadcast nets aren't going to want to share local broadcast rights with the leagues or other companies.

        Who knows. Maybe that'll change.

        • http://melodieturori.com Melodie

          ESPN3.com is carrying some fringe games (college baseball, etc.) online, as well as every game of the World Cup live. I believe the last USA game drew almost 800,000 streaming viewers — more than I would have expected. ESPN is also running some kind of live mobile video too.

          • newmediajim

            Melodie, just curious, do you have your PC connected to a big TV?

          • http://melodieturori.com Melodie

            I've hooked it up to a 27″ and what I think is probably a 36″(ish) that my parents have. My only complaint would be ESPN's graphic for score and time; the text is a bit too small and can be difficult to read. However, we get to S-Video through a DVI to Video adapter — I think if we had a TV that supported a different link (VGA or HDMI?) the quality would be better.

  • http://thelongview.tv Thomas Lawrence Long

    What I've been reading lately (in the Jurassic technology of print media) suggests a gargantuan struggle between Web World and App World, between Google and Apple, between open source and proprietary source, between “free” and “fee.” How does that affect this landscape, Jim?

    • newmediajim

      Hey Bro! Well Google and Apple are both in the publishing business.
      Google has a well established ad network and Apple is currently
      developing a mobile ad network. App fee based, app delivered content
      is growing in the iPad market and my provide a boost to magazines and
      newspapers. Neither Google nor Apple ad networks could likely
      generate CPM's to sustain a video content unless you're seeing
      astronomical traffic.

      Interestingly, video is becoming app based. Boxee is PC to TV
      entertaient center software that has apps instead of channels. I
      think from the content side, the “be everywhere” axiom applies

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  • http://www.ann-sense.com/ Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR

    As a consumer, I couldn't really tell you want I want to see… What I do want is limited commercials and the convenience to watch a program where and when I want to see it. I'm just glad we got the Blu Ray player connected to the Airport and now can stream videos from the Internet… watched the X-Files and LIttle Britain TV series last night making me a very happy camper.

    On a related side note, have you seen this article from Social Media Times on ShortForm.tv? Apparently it is a site where web video play lists can be created for continuous viewing without all the surfing. What makes it unique is it gathers the “best of” videos. Here's the shortened link: http://bit.ly/8XP6pK

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  • http://michelletripp.com michelletripp

    Jim, I really enjoyed this article! It's interesting what YouTube has going with its Partner Grants Program. It's working to identify small production companies that have the potential to create high-quality original content, and giving them funding to make it happen. YouTube sees the future of programming and consumer viewing habits. I've had the opportunity to see a wireless PC to TV connection (Netgear Push 2 TV) and it's incredible. The potential is astounding and your post does a great job of communicating what's possible.

    • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

      Michelle, I'm very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://michelletripp.com michelletripp

    Jim, I really enjoyed this article! It’s interesting what YouTube has going with its Partner Grants Program. It’s working to identify small production companies that have the potential to create high-quality original content, and giving them funding to make it happen. YouTube sees the future of programming and consumer viewing habits. I’ve had the opportunity to see a wireless PC to TV connection (Netgear Push 2 TV) and it’s incredible. The potential is astounding and your post does a great job of communicating what’s possible.

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/newmediajim Jim Long

    Michelle, I’m very excited about where independent video is heading. I really admire what the folks at Revision3 are doing and I think that model can be expanded beyond the echo chamber of tech. I have a few ideas about what is possible myself. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog!

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