InterNetworks, Distributing the Long Tail

Startup to offer digital TV, radio shows online for free / Open Media Network to distribute content OKd for distribution: Former Netscape Founder Marc Andreessen is working on a new free internet based network that will offer television shows, radio programs, movies, podcasts and video blogs for free online.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that this venture, Open Media, will focus only on media content that is authorized for online distribution and launches it’s beta today.

“It’s a wonderful showcase for state-of-the-art digital distribution,” said Mike Homer, founder of the nonprofit Open Media Network. “While illegal content has been the story, I think legal content in the audio and video world is poised to take off.”

It looks like initially that Andreessen’s Open Media interNetwork will focus a lot on public broadcasting media. A really interesting tidbit in the article is that, “The company hopes to make its guide available by this summer on cell phones and for TiVo digital video recorder subscribers to watch on regular TV sets.” This may be the first example of micro content on a TiVo.

As more and more interNetworks are created both TiVo and Microsoft would be well served to begin dishing them out to the living room through their respective platforms. Expect the number of interNetworks to explode. Andreessen’s venture is only the latest in a line up of interNetworks that will include micro content aggregators like Brightcove and CozmoTV.

What will be needed very shortly here will be a new micro content guide — a guide created, managed, edited and built around all of these new interNetworks that will begin to pop up. This guide will highlight interesting programming, providing ratings and ranking services, have advanced search capabilities including full text closed captioning type search where available and will function effectively with a 10 foot UI via remote control.

Although Microsoft builds platforms for others to build on and are not in the content aggregation business per se, they would be well served to consider building this comprehensive guide through MSN now, in advance of the upcoming rush of interNetworks that you will see unfolding shortly. Microsoft will then be able to market their Media Center PCs to niche groups of all sorts.

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