Speaking to world leaders at Davos last week, Bill Gates gave television five years to live, due to an explosion of online video content and the merging of PCs and TV sets. “Because TV is moving into being delivered over the Internet –and some of the big phone companies are building up the infrastructure for that- you are going to have that experience all together,” Gates said.
In the years ahead, more and more viewers will hanker after the flexibility offered by online video and abandon conventional broadcast television, with its fixed program slots and advertisements that interrupt shows, Gates said.
\"Certain things like elections or the Olympics really point out how TV is terrible. You have to wait for the guy to talk about the thing you care about or you miss the event and want to go back and see it,\" he said.
\"Internet presentation of these things is vastly superior.\"
\"I\'m stunned how people aren\'t seeing that with TV, in five years from now, people will laugh at what we\'ve had,\" he told business leaders and politicians at the World Economic Forum.
At the same gathering, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley said that the impact on advertising would be profound, with future promising far more targeted ads tailored to each viewer’s profile.
Super Bowl Ads once again
Super Bowl means best commercials of the year. And since the pre game and the game is endless, is there a better way to watch them that having them on demand? Enjoy
YouTube and Google have 51 % of all visits to the top 20 video sites
Compete.com released a list of top twenty video sites. If you add Google and YouTube together (10.2 percent of the market share and 41.1 percent), they are half of the online video market. Break and Metacafe have tiny shares. One notable site missing from the list is Revver.
The top five sites account for 80 % of the online video market. 58 million people viewed at least one video in December 2006.
Brightcove to chase the consumer side
After having closed $59.5 million of funding, Brightcove is widening its focus from commercial and professional video to chase the consumer side. This week the company launched Brightcove Personal, allowing users to set up channels to post their own video. For now, this free channel creation service is quite raw, and has some glitches.
To know what is the latest on politics strategy go to My.BarackObama.com social network website. The Senator from Illinois running for President 08 has launched a social network. It allows create a profile, start a blog, add friends, set up groups and coordinate events. This is the next level in high-tech campaigning. Some analysts think it will be tremendously successful.
A television listing website with web video and user generated content
MeeVee.com, a television listing website, added this week Network Video and Community Video sections, which include sharing site clips alongside streamed episodes on network sites. They show also the results of searches you set up by adding interests.
“We’re the first ones who are kind a putting the whole thing together,” Neil Kjeldsen, MeeVee VP of marketing and content, suggested. His hope is that this could be “what convergence might look like.”
The Network Video tab on your guide shows ‘legal’ content like official streams from the TV networks and news outlets (See for example the new Fox On Demand section on MySpace, developed for HD streaming). The Community Video tab is for user clips — both unofficial clips from television and user created content. Clicking on a clip opens it in a new window or tab with a MeeVee header frame.
Location matters when it comes to tech and great ideas
The much-hyped prediction of the death of distance has not occurred. “Geogle’s astonishing rise and Apple’s reinvention are reminders that, when it comes to great ideas, location is crucial. “Face-to-face is still very important for exchange of ideas, and nowhere is this exchange more valuable than in Silicon Valley,” says in the New York Times, Paul M. Romer, a professor in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford.
Venture capitalists, who finance bright ideas, remain obsessed with finding the next big thing in the 50-mile corridor between San Jose and San Francisco. About one-quarter of all venture investment in the United States goes to Silicon Valley enterprises. And the percentage has risen, to 27 percent in 2005 from 21 percent in 2000.
Great technology ideas can come from anywhere, but they keep coming from Silicon Valley because of two related factors: increasing returns and first-mover advantage. The best and the brightest technologists from around the world make their way to northern California, says, also in the Times, tech columnist Pascal Zachary.
“In terms of creativity, the Valley remains as far ahead of the rest of the world as ever.” “People in the Valley generate new ideas and test them much more quickly than anywhere else. They aren’t a super race; it’s their environment.”
AP will integrate citizen content into its network
AP news agency has jumped into citizen journalism, making it one of the biggest development so far in the history of the user-submitted content.
AP has teamed up with the citizen journalism site NowPublic, a site based in Vancouver with 60,000 contributors from 140 countries, and growing fast.
This agreement may include eyewitness accounts to originally-produced content. Recently Reuters struck a deal with Yahoo’s You Witness News.
CBS expands its mobile offerings
CBS has launched a mobile store, CBSmobile.com, where users can download a variety of mobile content, including games and special wallpapers and voicetones created specifically for the mobile phone from CBS programming.
The network plans to launch mobile sites in the coming months for CBS Entertainment, The CW, “Entertainment Tonight” and CBS’s online entertainment news service Showbuzz.com.
“If there is a killer app, it’s video”, says Cisco Systems
“If there is a killer app, it’s video”, John Chamber, Cisco’s chief executive said last week, after its company reported a 36 percent jump in profit in its second fiscal quarter, benefiting from growing demand for bigger, faster networks that can handle video.
Cable companies, telecommunications carriers and others are increasing spending to upgrade their equipment to send and receive video programming.
Microsoft’s YouTube style site came out into public beta this week. It is called Soapbox.
It is not terribly distinctive but it helps round out MSN’s set of blogging and other personal expression tools. It is expected to be a crucial part of Microsoft\'s new Live.com initiative, although the site is currently under the MSN domain.
By the way, Microsoft is not using Windows Media but Flash.
The MTV of the would-be filmmakers
Hundreds of would-be filmmakers post their videos online, hopping to catch the eye of a television exec. An independent production shop called Blac20.com receives huge traffic. The founders, two ex-NBC young, created this start up, now with six employees.
“We are a team of young writers and producers dedicated to creating broadband content that you might actually want to watch”. They say the want to emulate “the way MTV was hip and cool in the 80s””
Customizable results page when searching video
An upstart video search site called ClipRoller has invented a very customizable results page. Say there are six topics you are interested in. You can set up search-term channels, and bookmark the page. Every time you wish, you can get a picture of what’s new across multiple video sites.
It is like a Netvibes, but with all the widgets dedicated to the latest videos from any search query. The company behind is a New York City-based consulting shop originated with a YouTube-like project that won a business plan competition at NYU’s Stern Business School a year ago.
Vdc.com, the Cable of the Internet
There is a paid web service that allows you to watch television online called Virtual Digital Cable (VDC). But they have a problem: their lineup of contents includes stuff like ShoppingNBC, FashionTv and The Soundtrack Channel.
Time Warner, Viacom and Comcast, among others, are refusing to allow the purchase the rights for popular channels. So they decided to complain to the FCC, even if people at the industry say that federal authorities won’t hear them. The cable cartels are too powerful.
The open source Internet TV GetDemocracy celebrates its first year
One year after its release, GetDemocracy.com player is getting an update. Democracy is a free open source, multi-platform desktop application for watching Internet TV. Wired called it in 2006 “the future of net video”, but it has got little attention.
The new version of GetDemocracy supports playback of Flash videos right off of YouTube (but we found many errors). Over the last 12 months, Democracy has seen almost 1 million downloads. The founders of this project seek to democratize television. They set up a nonprofit structured after the model of Mozilla Foundation to be free from the pressure of a startup.
This is how they explain their idea: “You\'ve probably watched hundreds of tiny videos on websites. It\'s tedious. Democracy Player makes video on the internet way less frustrating and way more enjoyable. You can subscribe to channels of internet video, download videos, and watch them full screen, one after the other, all in one application. Internet video becomes internet TV. It\'s free and open for everyone to watch and to broadcast.”
There are more than 600 channels in the channel guide that is built-in. Get Democracy has released also software for publishing channels (RSS feeds) of video that supports BitTorrent, and creates a browsable gallery.
Summarizing the video industry
With so many companies vying to be the next YouTube, it’s easy to lose track of them all. Two Silicon Valley guys have started to compile a list of the main players in the online video space.
They have summarized the industry index in these categories: Video Sharing, Intermediaries, Video Search, Video eCommerce, Video Editing & Creation, Rich Media Advertising, P2P (Peer To Peer), Video Streaming, and Vlogosphere.