News from the IPTV world continues to come at us with no signs of slowing, as the industry’s many moving parts take form. There are content issues with rights and aggregation; technical issues with bandwidth and video delivery; and local and national ad delivery and the valuable targeting that IP technologies enable. These issues will be addressed at the Kelsey Group’s Drilling Down on Local Conference in March in this panel;
1,000,001 Channels: But Is Anybody Watching?
TV used to be simple for everyone. But the newly fragmenting world of video search, mobile TV, on-demand cable and IPTV makes the range of potential consumer choices staggering. What are the new technologies that are rapidly turning TV from a mass medium to one that is highly personalized? What is the new consumer "video consumption" model, and what are the implications for networks, content producers and advertisers? Will a million "Wayne's Worlds" and the potential "Tower of Babel" effect destroy the medium for advertisers or open it up to a range of exciting new possibilities, including some for SMEs?
But for now, here are a few news bits from across the industry.
— SlingShot Media was founded by former Yahoo! execs to act as a sort of Hollywood talent agency that will bring together talent and content for online and mobile distribution. The company’s contacts in both Hollywood, and in the online world are hoped to create value in bringing the right content to the right online distribution channels. Given that content aggregation is an ongoing challenge with IPTV, this middleman or agent type of model could be one that grows (apart from the self published long tail type of content that will have a separate place among the Google Video-type offerings).
— Videobomb.com has launched with an interesting model that is similar to the online news site digg.com, which places aggregated news items (without human editors) in order of popularity, or hits. The site hasn’t been monetized yet but will likely be ad supported in the future.
— NBC Universal has formed a content partnership with Aeon Digital which has an entirely new model for IPTV delivery. The service requires a one time fee of $299 for a set top box that connects to a broadband line. Users can then access on demand music, television, and movies for an additional fee. It also comes with a built in DVR.
This is somewhat similar to offerings by DaveTV and Akimbo, and like them it will face challenges to survive in IPTV’s next generation. When telcos launch their IPTV services later this year, the IPTV world will be divided between their closed system service offerings (video watched on your television with a set top box and a range of channel choices), and video viewed on your computer screen that will encompass most of the long tail content out there.
Services such as Aeon fall somewhere in between, and have deficiencies when stacked up against Telecos and the online aggregators. Their revenue models also aren’t as flexible, having only fee based content. Telecos and online aggregators by comparison have existing channels for ad delivery (including targeted and local ad delivery which will be an important attribute of IPTV), and fee based video on demand. As we’ve said in the past, this flexibility in charging customers will be important in experimenting with revenue models and consumer preferences.
–Lastly, Disney has expanded the video content available disneychannel.com by making full episodes of some kids programming available for free. It will be ad supported and allow advertisers the ability to stream full-length or customized spots next to content. More here