FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, March 28, 2005

Internet Television Distribution

We've discussed this many times before, but Chris Anderson at Long Tail has a post that summarizes everything that's wrong with today's television, in terms of demographics, falling ratings and ineffective advertising models. Anderson points to a rather jargony article in MediaPost, a publication for advertising media buyers, suggesting that TV advertising is reaching a critical tipping point that could transform the advertiser-broadcaster relationship.

However, the post also points to solutions -- not for the powers that be, but for the viewer. One of the most intriguing is a company called Brightcove, which was founded by Jeremy Allaire, the co-creator of the Cold Fusion programming language. Brightcove allows a way for independent video producers to distribute their works through the Internet. In a sense, it's like Napster for video, except with a business model that allows content creators to get paid for their work.

Brightcove certainly has the potential to be highly disruptive to the television industry. One thing standing in its way, though, is the need for more broadband Internet in the household. But Brightcove attempts to address another major sticking point in content distribution, that of rights management. Once those problems are solved, we could indeed see a "perfect storm" that transforms television as we know it.