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IPTV: Next-Gen Television?

Posted on Monday, Sep 24th 2007

By Mitch Berman, Guest Author

To TV or not to TV? That is the question. William Shakespeare would ask, if he were on the Internet today. According to eMarketer’s March 2007 report, 143 million Americans are using their PCs to go online and watch TV shows or other forms of video on-demand. The Internet continues to blur the picture between PC and TV. The new online darling, Joost, recently boasted that People are moving online to watch television, and they’re moving away from the TV for entertainment.

A new media revolution is clearly underway. Some call it IPTV. Some call it Internet TV. Whichever name one chooses to use, the Internet is having a profound effect on television and studio executive suites in Los Angeles and New York. The Internet is also having a profound effect on how people consume video. Whether it is content licensing, consumer experience or decades-old business models, television as we’ve known it will never be the same again.

The Next Generation of Television is upon us. From Black and White to Color to the Remote Control to Cable to Satellite to Digital Video Recorders, television continues to evolve. But, what exactly does next generation television mean and how will we know when we get there? What will it be like? Is it about the PC or the TV? Are the parts in place yet? How long will it take to get there? Is anyone close? Moreover, what do consumers want? Do they even know?

We will explore the next generation of television in a series of three blogs during October on IPTV and Internet TV. We will focus on three, critical legs of the chair: (1) Content, (2) Consumer experience and (3) Business Model. We will use these three important criteria to explore which video-based companies today have the best chance of securing the next-generation television kingdom tomorrow.

To be continued…

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It is interesting how the concept of Online TV and the various names by which it is being touted is written up about.
Up until now the various offerings that are available to the consumer are lacking quality.
Content maybe available and easily accessible online. Yet data that is available shows that none of these avenues have been able to monetize the services being offered.
Every one who has any service offering comes to this distribution channel having a large enough purse to put a place holder.
The marginal cost to Amazon (Unbox), Joost, Moviebeam, CinemaNow, Movielink (defunct), Veoh and all the Cable Companies that have some small offering available today is very minuscule.
Yet the hype cycle continues with regards to the streaming of video content as the new distribution model.
The things that don’t seem to add-up are the :-
1. Bandwidth necessary (3-5Mbps sustained) to deliver Hi-def content is currently unavailable to most people who currently subscribe to High Speed Internet Access. Cost of bandwidth has not really dropped to make it a viable model. I am not sure the large majority of people will want to pay beyond $20-30 for broadband connections.
2. Majority of the content that is of value ( Movies, TV Series) are controlled by the major studios and TV Broadcast companies. They have a vested interest in having multiple distribution channels with a staggered time table for release to maximize their returns. Having content flying on the Internet is something these companies can’t seem to accept easily being paranoid about Piracy.

Until bandwidth costs come down significantly and content owners find a viable business model that allows to maximize revenues the ability of IPTV or Internet TV is likely to remain a niche market.
It would be interesting if a report that looked at the numbers in terms of revenues generated through this niche sector in comparison to say the revenue numbers for say Satellite Operators at the same time in their life-cycle. when they were considered niche.
I would be surprised to see if Satellite Service providers like DISH and DirectTV are in positive territory or are still in the red.
The HYPE CYCLE continues about the promise of IPTV/Online TV

whoindatgarden Monday, September 24, 2007 at 1:20 PM PT

I am just getting the results in from our Lab Members (teens and young adults) about their ideas around television and IPTV. Most interesting is their desire for true convergence and seamless integration across all their devices and services. I am very interested to see what you have to say about the user experience. These kids seem to have very clear ideas about what makes sense – and frankly, most of the ideas are intuitive and straight forward!

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