Long Tail TV
The Long Tail: Long Tail TVThe Long Tail has an excellent post out this morning on something that I have been very excited about for a while (MCE Posts poor numbers, More Fun With Micromedia, Akimbo Available on MCE 2005, Rife with Opportunity), microcontent as delivered by the television medium.
As IPTV becomes closer and closer to reality there will be an explosion in exciting new microcontent available and a democratization of the quality of content in general.
Entertainment studios, cable conglomerates and media titans have long held a strict control over the majority of content as it is consumed via televsion by the average American.
There are very powerful interests with very powerful incentives that do NOT want this to change. The economies built around the current distribution models are significant and Hollywood is only participating to the extent that they are being forced kicking and screaming into the new digital reality of modern life.
The Long Tail identifies a number of the upcoming deals that will further fragment what we see on our television including:
* TiVo announced that was shifting its focus from bundling deals with cable and satellite companies to delivering video from the web, including movies on demand from Netflix.
* Microsoft discussed its own progress in developing its Media Center 2005 system into an IP TV platform that any content provider could use to distribute their own wares.
* Akimbo, another TV-over-the Internet company, continued to build its library of streamable video and discussed its strategy to be available on Media Center PCs in addition to its current dedicated DVRs. I also spoke to executives at Vidmark, a new company still in stealth mode, which has similar plans (details when they decloak).
* Meanwhile iFilm and AtomFilms are offering more and more streaming video and short films, including iFilm’s brilliant Viral Video service.
* Yahoo! and Google are launching video search services on the route to delivering IP TV of their own.
* Then there’s Blog Television
The first major player (TiVo, Microsoft, DirecTV, SBC, Comcast, etc.) who builds a team of editors and begins not only publishing the microcontent of the long tail to their platform, but even more importantly builds a comprehensive searchable guide complete with rankings, recommendation technology and other features, will have a huge advantage over the rest of the field.
Similar to the “Looksmart” model of building editors to refine internet search, one of these major players should already be building the tools and content to deliver microcontent to their platform.
Getting around a lot of the legal issues will be tricky but as a good start there is much content available at places like the Internet Archive that is either Creative Commons or Public Domain and would theoretically be available with limited restrictions immediately. Another advantage to being early to the micro content delivery game will be the advantage of striking exclusive delivery deals for much of it from amateur athletics, universities, and other resources for content.