Article Title: The revolution will be televised
By: Shai Tsur
“Gil over at De Gardener has posted videos of a talk that Jeff Pulver gave about two weeks ago at the last Garage Geeks event. Pulver talked about his vision for the future of television. And that future resides on the Internet.
Much of Jeff’s speech revolves around the idea of using RSS as a delivery platform. Which isn’t too surprising, since he is currently very involved with Network2, a new Internet venture that seeks to aggregate all the independently produced episodic content on the Web and create a kind of uber-television network for it.
In the last couple of months I’ve been immersed in the New Media world. It seems that after years and years of hype about TV and the Internet coming together, it’s starting to happen. Joost is the highest-profile example, but there are literally dozens of companies working on becoming the NBC (or Fox, or Comedy Central, or whatever) of the Internet.
As I see it now, no one group will emerge as the 800-lb gorilla of the space. There is too much content out there and — at least in the realm of top-tier content — a lot of gorillas already competing with each other. What I think we will see are a number of different classes of television broadcast online:
- The Big Kahunas — These guys will be serving up professionally produced, premium content to the widest available audience. This includes not only episodes of Lost and Desperate Housewives, but also the latest Shakira videos, as well as re-runs of Happy Days. As mentioned, Joost looks like it will be a major player in this category as doubtlessly will the still-unnamed NBC-NewsCorp project
- The Middle-of-the-Tail Guys — Here you will find episodes of independently produced shows like Ask a Ninja, Chad Vader and Jeff’s favorite, Feed Me Bubbe. Not to mention thousands of other examples of people doing their own series. The content will likely be shorter-form and not quite as slickly produced, but my feeling is it will manage to find an enthusiastic audience. Network2 is looking to dominate this category.
- One-offs and amateurs — The traditional realm of YouTube, Metacafe, and their ilk. You want videos of cats playing the piano? This is the place for you.
Of course, these categories are far from fixed and rigid. I expect we will see a lot of overlap between the players, not to mention various other broadcast models such as live vlogging. However it plays out, it’s going to start playing out soon. And as soon as it does, the ad dollars are going to start rolling in that direction.”