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 Network2.net 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.]