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Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Internet TV – Enterprises & Viewers

(Via Wash Post)Open Media Network(OMN) exemplifies the mini-stampede underway as entrepreneurs rush to exploit what they see as the dawning of the Internet TV age. The network is owned by a nonprofit foundation and offers mostly free content. It is designed to eventually be self-sustaining by taking a small commission on fees that video producers charge for premium content. An audience rating system is in the works to help users discover shows that other people have liked - and to help filter offensive content such as porn and pirated material. The system runs through central computers that will allow managers to track and take down unauthorized copyrighted material.
With Internet TV startups the cost of distributing video over the Internet for a program is much lower than broadcasting shows to millions of homes simultaneously, regardless of who actually sees them. Many special-interest shows might prove economical for the first time, while others already recorded might find fresh audiences. The audience-rating tools OMN is developing and software it has planned to let video producers offer subscriptions and pay-per-viewing looks very interesting. Producers will be able to limit the number of times users can watch a show or copy it to portable devices, using Microsoft Corp.'s digital-rights-management software. Startups like ManiaTV offers live streaming video on the Web for several months and plans to launch an on-demand download service next month. Traditional broadcasters, telephone companies are, developing their own systems for delivering TV shows over the Internet. MTV this week launched a channel of streaming video at its MTV.com Web site called MTV Overdrive
The big challenges facing Internet TV ventures are attracting quality content and finding the right audience. Search engine leaders, Google and Yahoo, are trying to match Internet videos with viewers. Trial video search engines have been already launched. Google recently announced plans to host video files on its computers, potentially laying the groundwork for its own Internet TV network. In all a new segment is opening up in the entertainment industry - this can become a very powerful channel down the line.

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