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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Hollywood & The Future Of Video Over The Internet

(Via Scobeleizer) Mattgoyer points to an excellent series of articleson the Future of Video On The Internet. The article published in three parts viz.- PartI and Part II and Part III anlyzes the emergence of internet as a strong media for rendering video over the internet and also examines hollywood's reistance to the scheme and how Hollywood could be fighting a losign battle. Excerpts with edits and comments:

while the real time model of broadcast and cable maytake some time to be widely embraced over the internet, that shouldn’t prevent the internet from becoming a new distribution system for video content. The internet has features which compensate for its limitations, making new models practical today. For example, the internet has the most flexible of network architectures. It also has huge amounts of storage and processing power, both at the core and the edge. And the software platform of the internet is mature, and can easily be modified to meet the needs of consumer video. Best of all, the cost of experimentation is negligible in comparison to alternative broadband architectures, such as cable and satellite. Imagine a store and forward model analogous to email. Imagine variants of TiVO, without the arbitary limits. Imagine business models that leverage the intelligence of computer technology, enabling personalization not only of programming, but also of business models, including advertising.
One of the favorite things about the internet is the "long tail". With cheap storage and a flexible architecture, the internet removes many limitations of physical distribution. In retail, it allows for infinite aisles of merchandise. In journalism and politics, it enables limitless voices to be heard. The effect of the long tail has been to change the nature of retail, journalism, and politics - and many other categories - by increasing the choices available to consumers. Proponents of IP TV and similar models insist on perpetuating notions such as programming channels, inherently limit ing consumer choices due to hollywood – which is comfortable with channels and is generally reluctant to embrace change. Hollywood’s control of video content is not absolute, but it’s broad enough that few businesses and investors dare to challenge it.Hollywood generally gets its way, but history shows that it is not always right.(Do you remember how hard the studios fought against VHS?)

Hollywood needs to recognize that as a platform for video, the internet is not the same as theaters, television, and DVD. It is possible that the value of Hollywood-produced content is not as high on the internet as it is in traditional distribution media. Then again, perhaps the internet will generate incremental demand by stimulating the "long tail" for legacy video content. Television and movie executives need to be open to new business models over the internet, both for their libraries and new content. Just as MTV and advertising spawned new art forms in video, so too will the internet. This goes way beyond pricing and distribution models.

Categories : Video, internet, Emerging technologies.

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