And God said, ‘It’s TV, stupid’

My blogging pal Fred(erator) Seibert, veteran of MTV and Hanna-Barbara, has started a well-funded company to build the networks for the new age along with Herb Scannell of MTV and Nickelodeon, Jed Simmons of the Sundance Group, Emil Rensing of the AOL Greenhouse, and Tim Shey of the new world (including Rocketboom).

I know there’s something here. Frankly, I’m not completely sure I understand what that something is yet. And I suspect they don’t, either. We’ll know it when we watch it. But I, like they, have no doubt that it is time to start building the new television.

It was on my way to meeting Fred’s crew that I snapped a picture of old TV in the making and then wrote this well-linked post about the collapsing infrastructure of the old entertainment business and the emerging structure of the new. Hearing Fred’s plans the same week that I brainstormed with Jeff Pulver’s team and met with some other people doing good things in the new television, I’ve told friends it was as if the heavens opened and God was shouting down at me, “It’s TV, stupid!” Yes, the time has come.

The creation and building is coming on many fronts. Some people are inventing the new creative forms for the medium — that’s the fun part, I say. There are plenty of distribution plays: YouTube, of course, and Bright Cove, Blip, Motionbox, Revver. There are many trying the important work of bringing revenue to this creativity: Google, of course, plus Revver and now, I think, Fred’s venture. There are efforts to guide people to what they want to watch: Network2, Dabble, ViralVideoChart, VidMeter. TV is exploding.

But remember, we are still in the Philo T. Farnsworth era of the new medium. It’s just the beginning. But I have high hopes for all of this, including Fred’s venture. Here’s how they describe themselves:

First came the radio networks, then the television networks… then cable networks changed it up again. We’re called Next New Networks because everything’s up in the air once more.

No longer are networks about half-hour increments of programming served up when the media behemoths decide. Talented people are making their own shows, and sharing them using tools available to everyone. Now, networks can operate on a different scale – with shows as short as three minutes – and the best ones will give you what you want, whenever you want, and on whatever device you want.

In this new world, we think the next networks will be about making connections – between audiences and talent, between advertisers and viewers, between people and the things they love. And they will serve specific communities united by their passion and their interest in a common thing. You contribute your own videos, your comments and ideas, and we pull it together with original content to deliver a regular and dependable experience for you and the people that share your interests.

It’s our TV now and the winners will be those who create and enable it.

[See various disclosures relevant to all this.]

  • echy

    What’s the matter Jeff, you can’t say God?

  • Well, entertainment world is completely different from the reality, yes they manage to merge them both but it is somewhere incomplete anyways.

  • Paw

    So how is this different from Youtube, Current TV, Daily Motion, ad nauseum? Ad supported niche video web sites – SFW

  • echy,
    not a yahweh moment, no. just shifted from lower case to capital — a theological decision in itself — and killed Him in the process. thanks for the fix.

  • grandegress

    Plus ca change.

  • Sounds like the content we’re working on may be just what they’re looking for. Creating content/community around ideas people are passionate about – that’s what we’re working to create in my new media venture.

    Alas, I’m toiling away in my old media job today covering day one of the 110th Congress. There’s a statue of Philo Farnsworth in the Capitol. We TV guys always nod or tip our hats as we pass. Jeff, next time I pass him, I’ll say a special hello for you and everyone else who are helping create the new TV.

  • It’s our TV now and the winners will be those who create and enable it.
    The new TV will come in many flavors, as many as the tastes of the people.
    We will still have the passive audience who will just turn on whatever monitor they have and simply watch.
    Consuming whatever we say” the Convent passes”.
    Then we will have the ones who make the “Best of” and this will be the majority.
    Because it is like a blog where you concentrate the best of other blogs on a certain subject.
    Then we will have the “creative TV” the one made with few means but a lot of imagination, which will be sometimes great and sometimes not so great.
    And of course we will still have the traditional good TV.
    Commercial or educational, it depends.
    One thing will be common to all: the possibility for the audience to say what they think.
    Sometimes it could even be something like a video game, where you have more possibilities.
    It’s like the “comment” in a blog.
    Some love it, some just ignore it.
    Also that comes in many flavors…

  • Hi Jeff–

    Great post! We’re , however (if you feel like an update). And it certainly is a new TV world out here.

    –Chris Brogan…

  • Love the Fransworth reference even if 80-90% of your readership won’t get the reference.

  • Not just TV alone, but the whole entertainment business. When music business executives find themselves digging through garbage bins for a bite to eat is when you’ll know that the revolution has truly done good.

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  • It’s a good stable of old tv hands. They seem genuinely excited and baffled by this Wild New West of web videos. I like it.

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