Video on the Net

I am at Jeff Pulver’s Video on the Net, an add-on to his Voice on the Net conference. He sees the two coming together — as voice was an application now video is an application and the internet is ready for it. And he’s right, just as he was about VOIP. He shows a trailer for Sony Pictures’ Ghost Rider live, over the internet, that is incredible — better than what my stinky cable company. The time is right.

Jeff shows his presentation on Second Life with the Pulverians and there they are, sitting and watching. Says somebody there: “This is getting very meta.”

But Jeff also warns of the dark cloud possibly on the horizon: regulation. He says that the disrupted companies fighting us won’t be phone companies but Hollywood.

: Next up: Ted Leonsis of AOL. Tidbit: He says that marketing to algorithms is the future. His car’s computer told him to get new tires; no commercial did.

On video business, he says that streams have doubled in the last two years and ad revenues will rise sixfold by 2009 at cable-like ad rates. AOL is sold out of video inventory. And that is why they are putting up old Warner shows for free with ads.

He shows AOL’s video portal but, sadly, it’s a portal to AOL. The wise move would be to create the means to find the good stuff anywhere, remembering that we all have different definitions of good.

: Now Jeremy Allaire, founder of Bright Cove (where I’m on the board of advisors) says that the online video biz represents .01 percent of the $350 billion global video industry. He says half of the $350b comes from the audience.

: Caroline Little, business head of, one of the most visionary newspaper sites around, presents a very impressive video showing video reports are used in many ways across the Post’s products: video reports; multimedia and interactive reports; podcasts; and video stills in the paper. (I got a copy of the video for my classes at CUNY; it’s a great illustration of why omnimedia matters for journalists.)

She says that some print journalists consider video a conflict of interest (or at least a distraction, I’d guess), but she says there are as many who are excited. They’ve provided 50 tiny video cameras to foreign correspondents. She says they’re not trying to turn them into TV reporters but to capture more of what they see. “The essence of multiplatform video is that we show rather than tell,” she says, “allowing the audience to draw their own conclusions about the value of the story to their lives.”

: Dmitry Shaprio of Veoh — an impressive guy — is on now, saying that most of the attention has been going to video web sharing when video tv is growing. He says that internet TV provides “dramatically better economics than cable/satellite for broadcasters and consumers.” He also says this is the first killer ap for the media center.

He argues that just as is the case with web sites, you won’t be able to tell the difference between many made by amateurs or pros and that starting in 2006 independent tv producers will make significant money. He also predicts that traditional broadcasters will embrace internet TV as an alternative to cable and satellite. Oh, I’d say that’s well underway.

He calls broadcast TV lowest-common-denominator TV and says, “They tell me that everybody loves Raymond but clearly that’s not the case because I don’t.”

He says that indexed search is not the way we will find video; we want to lean back and watch. He says the need is to give you what you want before you want it. This echoes what I’ll be saying later.

He calls Veoh a virtual broadcasting system with free spectrum that allows broadcasting of high quality video with ways to make money.

: Here, again are my notes for my spiel at VON. As a former TV critic and a prof — who has nothing to sell! — I try to bring a bit of cultural context to the conversation.

: Now Bram Cohen, creator of BitTorrent, the great disrupter himself. I’ve been eager to see this guy in action. He says that BitTorrent will soon put out a tool to make publishing easier.

  • I looked at the schedule and was surprised not to find people there who are already doing a lot to change our culture dramatically – I’m thinking of Gary Murray’s Mixcast and some of the documentaries going on there that are like a rapster Orwell talking. Surprise also to see no reference to near term uer-generated applications rather than just user generated content. The TV set will become a focal point for transforming how things are done as much as for what we will see. Right now though a peek into the thick wedge of the long tail shows a lot of talent rising up.

  • Eric Heffner

    I’ve heard Dmitry speak before, too. He is impressive. The distinction of Veoh Networks from video sharing sites is clear. Veoh is a television play. The idea that I could produce my own show that could be broadcast onto TV sets around the world in quality better than traditional broadcasters is amazing.

  • Erm, all the above wonderful and so forth but somewhat marred by the fact that a visit to the Ghost Rider publicity site is a very dispiriting experience for those of us for whom the video doesn’t appear to work. TV: you turn it on and there it is. The net: you never know how things will fare from one site to the next. Maybe next time….

  • ….maybe next time I will allow plugins. Apologies.

  • Brian O’Connell

    I don’t trust Sony plug-ins. No trailer for me!

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  • Pardon the double comment/pingback post here please, but allow me to let BuzzMachine readers know that I commented on print-reporters-as-TV-reporters and what Caroline Little had to say about that. (I didn’t just quote Jeff’s summary of her words.) Anyone who wants to read my post can click on the trackback link above (“Did You See…”). Thanks.

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  • It was great meeting you at Video on the Net, and your presentation was a winner for a million reasons, including passion, directness, and because it included a full on call for action.

    I hope you’ll jump on board PodCamp New York, once we announce the date.

    –Chris Brogan…

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  • At the VON conference, Jeff’s manifesto was stunning. The abrasion and illumination should be recast somewhere. If I don’t see it soon, I’ll publish my reporter notebook of the day. Any good media reporter should relay the message in all media forms possible anyway.
    I come from the wireless industry where the move to pure IP has even more fuel to the broadcast disruption. It can be summed up as “broadcast towers speak; cellular towers listen” – mrb