More Fun with Micro Media

Al Gore’s INdTV: The People’s Programmer ( The Washington Post is reporting today on some of the upcoming programming scheduled for Al Gore’s (yes the former Presidential Candidate who invented the internet) new cable news network called INdTV (say it like “indie”). Included are shows “That’s F*&#ed Up,” “INdTV Paparazzi,” “Citizen Reporter” and “All-Nighter.”

“The cable channel, which Gore and his investors reportedly acquired last year for $70 million, isn’t paying contributors unless it accepts their one-to-five-minute segments for use in an industry preview. In that case, INdTV will pony up $200, which grants it the right to use the video “in all markets and media . . . throughout the universe, in perpetuity,” according to a contract sent to contributors.”

Now THIS is the new media. Forget about Gore’s involvement as well as his political savvy in being associated with a show called, “That’s F*&#ed Up” for a second. The beauty of broadband, peer to peer, BitTorrent, podcasting, video and audio, blogs, the drop in price of HDTV cameras and the whole rest of new media thing is that it is going to open up media in ways that we have never seen before.

Most significantly, the new media is going to be a great exercise in the democratization of media and will usher in a new grass roots meritocracy based on actual talent (or trash depending on who you are talking to). Every creative college student can potentially become producer, director and actor. We will see much more by way of reality tv, things like Jackass, the Ali G show, etc. etc. There are so many creative low cost ways to develop content and now that the barriers and gatekeepers are being removed expect to see some really amazing new television.

Who will capitalize on the new “long tail” of media? If Microsoft and TiVo were smart, they should already be exploring ways to integrate micro media into their content offerings. What will be needed in the world of micro media will be editors, guides and aggregators. To the extent that Microsoft or TiVo effectively manage to organize and present through their respective media offerings new, creative and alternative content they will have that much greater of a chance of succeeding in the long run.

Gore’s new network smells of the kind of innovative and interesting micro content that is possible to develop these days. There will be a continued movement away from mainstream broadcast television effectively killing much of the sub par programming that currently resides and lives there. We will no longer put up with mediocre programming. The best of the studios will still be embraced and fresh new creative programming like Desperate Housewives or Six Feet Under will remain strong, but the other 90% of the crap that they produce will be short lived. It is already short lived due to the rapid adoption of PVRs but once the delivery of micro content is complete the whole landscape will change.

The challenge is to quickly organize the editors and get them in place to scour the internet, find this new content, and present it in the most efficient, searchable manner to the end user.

And the new micro media will not be limited to the inane and the crass, new versions of shows like jackass will thrive but so will simple things like little league games, church services, community politics and “how to” type programming.

Things are going to get very exciting.

(Thanks, Lost Remote!)

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