Home > Media Industry > The Great Migration

The Great Migration

November 16th, 2006

This week, Tivo announced that its customers will be able to view video content off the web on their television sets.

Apple announced it has partnered with major airlines to let passengers power their iPods in flight and watch iPod videos in their seats.

It’s all part of the great migration… from absolute control by television programmers to absolute control by television consumers.

I don’t have cable TV.

You know the old joke about 500 channels and nothing worth watching? It’s true.

In the world of print, I can choose from thousands of options. Why in the world of video should I be satisfied with just a few dozen?

I’m not and neither is my partner Bettina. So when we moved from San Francisco to the Hudson Valley Region of New York State eight years ago, we didn’t bother to get the TV part of the cable service.

Instead we watch movies from Netflix (why hassle with the poor service, high prices and limited selection of the local video rental stores?) and for the last year I’ve been watching programs on my office TV that come straight from the Internet (mostly from Google Video and YouTube.)

I’m not watching sports and sitcoms. I guess if I found that content worth spending time on, I’d get cable. Instead I’m watching exactly what I want when I want it which for me includes programs about music, history, science, current events and business.

This is the future of television and for some people it’s already here.

The often-made argument that no one wants to sit at their desk to watch long videos on a tiny screen is ridiculous. It reminds me of the business genius who turned down the chance to buy the Alexander Graham Bell’s patent for the telephone because he couldn’t imagine the commercial potential of what he considered a “toy.” Sure the first phone was primitive, but that had nothing to do with its potential.

We’re in the very, very early stages of the video on demand revolution. The current tools are clunky and expensive as all new breakthrough tools always are. But where we are now resembles nothing like where we’re going to end up.

My prediction: When all this finally shakes out, every TV will come with a broadband connection and an easy search console that will enable users to search the Net and find the exact programming they want wihout leaving the living room sofa.

If they’re going on a trip, users will be able to insert an iPod-like device into their TV, grab the programs they want for the road and where ever they are – in a hotel room, on a plane, in an airport or train station, on a cruise, or the back seat of a car – they’ll be able to plug their video storage device into any video player and watch what they want.

What you want to watch – when you want to watch it – and the one I don’t here as often, but will be equally as important – where you want to watch it. That’s the future of video.

The great migration is well under way.

Video is the new paper. If you’re in a business where communication with prospects and customers matters (i.e. every busy), now’s the time to start making friends with video.

Categories: Media Industry Tags:
  1. November 16th, 2006 at 15:01 | #1

    Amen to that.
    I’ve been uploading videos to Google and YouTube this year on lots of different topics. Most of them open (and close) with a title card that shows my URL. So far, between the two sites, I’ve had nearly 100 thousand views of my videos; in fact, one of them got shown on The Colbert Report. My traffic is waaaaay up and I’m looking forward to even more success in this medium.

  2. November 21st, 2006 at 09:37 | #2

    Hey Ken,
    How’s this for a “ghetto video”…
    Just thought you may want to check it out? My very first effort at selling on eBay using video. And by Ghetto I mean Ghetto!
    Mike Stewart has tried this on ebay and says it works. Thought I’d give it a whirl.
    I’ll let you know how it goes or you can check it out yourself here…
    I have 3 others to go up in the next few days too.
    You will notice in them how I’ve cross sold within the videos to the other related items. I thought it was a rough effort to start with but time’ll tell.
    Check it out now…

  3. Ken McCarthy
    November 22nd, 2006 at 16:28 | #3

    Hey Brian,
    Good luck with it.
    Do let us know how it turns out.

Comments are closed.