So bright

Brightcove, Jeremy Allaire’s new video-serving company, had lots of big news today: investments from AOL, Barry Diller’s IAC, Hearst, and Allen & Co. They also made a deal with AOL to distribute its video there. (Full disclosure: I think I’m on Brightcove’s board of advisors and I’ve introduced them to some companies.)

What I like about Brightcove — besides Allaire — is that they enable many models: ad-supported video, pay-per-view video, subscription video, and free video (that is, paid for by the producer). They make publishing and playing the video easy thanks to copious Flash (remember that Allaire sold his company to Macromedia and was there for sometime).

What will be interesting is seeing how this works with all the other means of video distribution that are popular: Bittorrent, of course; plus iTunes; plus TiVo to iPods and PCs…. There is no question that there is pentup demand for video among consumers and even more among advertisers, who’ve wanted to turn the internet into TV from day one. They want the motion and excitement of video. They also want the ease of buying TV upfront, but those days are over. Over.

Says Iconoculture‘s newsletter today:

Last month ABC and Apple started offering next-day downloads of major primetime programs. It started with Desperate Housewives and Lost for $1.99 per episode, and sparked a reaction (long in the works) from NBC/DirecTV and CBS/Comcast to offer similar content on demand for only $.99. Then, just this week, AOL/Time Warner decided to up the ante by opening up their back catalog of television content on AOL’s online network for free.

How did this on-demand flash happen? Wasn’t this level of à la carte TV consumer control and access supposed to be years off? No; not really. Consumers have already been building their own level of mix-and-match programming and TV personalization with services like BitTorrent and a flood of new independent and user-created content via the web. Learning from the music industry’s late 90′s struggles with Napster and its brethren, broadcasters and studios are offering their content before consumers get too far ahead of them.

From a TV ad and affiliate sales point of view, these developments are like reversing the rotation of the Earth, flipping the script in terms of traditional appointment viewing assumptions. What that means for the next several years is a continued shift toward far more targeted marketing campaigns and a dependence on consumers to invite ads rather than merely accept the ones pushed to them. To get those invitations, advocacy, trust, and customization are the price of entry.

My emphasis.

: Frank Barnako writes about this today and is nice enough to link to my exploding-tv posts. The newer ones are here; the older ones (from the old blog platform), starting in June last year, are here.

: Now Viacom is in talks with Google about video search and VOD. [via Thomas Hawk]

  • Paul

    The technology might be there for downloading movies, watching tv on the computer and what-have-you, but until it can compete with the SIMPLICITY of an iPod or opening a Netflix envelope, it will remain in the realm of guys with white shirts and pencil protectors with way too much geektime on their hands. I have a job and a life and have not one moment to spare logging on, downloading drivers, getting disconnected, or waiting 30 minutes for a download to drop off. Without simplicity, life isn’t worth living…you can quote me.

  • Frank

    Sony’s PSP might just be the product that propels this convergence much further and yesterday’s deal with TiVo and iPod goes to the point.

    Only recently did I realize that the PSP is a hell of a lot more than the video game player my 9-year-old wants for Christmas to replace his GameBoy. Like the video iPod, the PSP also plays the downloaded video and music, but on a larger screen. PSP then, via Wi-Fi, incorporates the Internet, which brought us to where we are. With the added bonus of some great video games, it seems to me to be a hell of a product for the price.

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    DRM will never work which is why people are looking into streaming content. It’s probably going to be cheaper to send someone a temporary MP3 or video every time they want to hear or view it than to give them an actual copy of the intellectual property.

    Google Video does it, the subscription music services are doing it, all we need is cheap wireless broadband and we can pull the hard drives out of our I-Pods.

  • http://www.facebridge.com Lance Walley

    We’ve developed a system that allows regular users to sell their live audio/video content over standard IM and VoIP networks, using completely standard client software by both the producer/seller and the consumer/buyer.

    The key is keeping it simple, as “Paul” said above. No weird software on either end, no weird AV formats, etc. Standard, standard, standard! Little or no thinking required! In fact, no browser is required once a user is registered once on our server.

    We started in 2003 and launched our first, Mac-focused demo site in Sept ’05. It’s Mac-only because Apple was very early with high-quality AV over AIM. Support for other networks and for Windows are on the way.

    If you’re interested, read more at http://www.facebridge.com.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.ashleybowers.com Ashley Bowers

    Google and Viacom would be a unstoppable powerhouse. The talks alone should send both companies stocks up a few points.

  • http://www.katalog.na-wsi.pl katalog

    The technology might be there for downloading movies, watching tv on the computer and what-have-you, but until it can compete with the SIMPLICITY of an iPod or opening a Netflix envelope, it will remain in the realm of guys with white shirts and pencil protectors with way too much geektime on their hands. I have a job and a life and have not one moment to spare logging on, downloading drivers, getting disconnected, or waiting 30 minutes for a download to drop off. Without simplicity, life isn’t worth living…you can quote me.