Does Art Imitate Life or Life Imitate Art?

Content Insider #90 – Internet TV

THE Insider

Content Insider #90 - Internet TV
Does Art Imitate Life
or Life Imitate Art?

"There have always been ghosts in the machine. Random segments of code, that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated, these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul." -- Dr. Alfred Lanning, I, Robot (2004) - 20th Century Fox 

It's called the multi-play space and everyone wants his or her chunk.

It's not just the plain old Internet anymore.

It's not what Vint Cerf, Push Mohta and others struggled with as they attempted to connect educational and research institutions together to speed communications, speed development.

Yeah we know 14Kb sounds slow but then.

It's gone way beyond the elite putting communications, information and entertainment into the hands of everyman, everywoman, everykid!

It has also kicked the entertainment industry in the groin opening the door for the very broad category of indies.

Some are already good.

Some are getting good.

Some suck!

But on the Internet they're all getting their chance.

We thought it was heracy when our kid put a bumper sticker on his car "Kill Your TV."

Couldn't happenwouldn't happenindividuals and families were glued to, mesmerized by their sets.

Increasingly ubiquitous bandwidth - and fertile, creative minds - is changing all of that!

Broadband connectivity - wired and wireless - in almost every corner of the globe is shifting the power to the consumer and yes to every creative, fire-in-the-gut enthusiastic and whacko on the planet.

We've got bandwidth into the home and video has quickly followed.

Figure 1 - Great Combination - With the growth of broadband inside the home - rather than curbside - consumers have increasingly been adding internet based video to their viewing habits. Source -- Synovate

According to Pew Internet & American Life studies:

  • 57% of online adults have watched/downloaded video
  • 19% do it daily - Half of the viewers share video links
  • 15% of those 18-29 have contributed videos

Tellywood sees what is going on and the first thing they do is repeat Lt. Bergin's observation "Well, then I guess we're gonna miss the good old days."

They look at the numbers and say simplistically people are switching one screen for the other. They rush to sell their stuff in the cloud. After all, "everyone" is going to be there.

Figure 2 - New Markets - As far as marketing and ad people are concerned ITV looks like a new way of reaching the buying public. In a way it is true and far more selectively than has been possible in the past. Difference is? Recycled ads won't work. Source - Synergy Analytics

What the "industry" is struggling to come to grips with is how to make a buck here because the Internet was designed to be free.

If the BlackHats and Doom9ers have their way it will remain freeor they'll bring it down.

Ordinary folks - the majority of sane people -- aren't that reactionary. They simply aren't that big on paying for it.

Figure 3 - Better Price - While the hackers and malware people are huge on grabbing content any way they can, honest consumers aren't big on stealing Tellywood's stuff. On the other hand they're not real keen on paying for it either. So? They are attracted to the free and ad supported content. Source - Parks Associates

The issue is it isn't simply the same fare on a different tube folks.

It certainly isn't the dumb and dumber stuff people are thirsting for on YouTube. Lonelygirl on MySpace certainly isn't educationalor entertaining!

According to Pewit's everything:

  • 37 % watch/download news
  • 31% enjoy comedy, humorous videos
  • 225 watch music videos
  • 22% are involved in educational material
  • 19% enjoy animation/cartoons
  • 16% movies/TV
  • 15% political content
  • 14% sports
  • 13% commercials/ads (hey if they're interesting people watch)
  • 6% go for adult video (30% probably lie)

It's a huge, virtual space that everyone wants to fill with really good stuff.

Figure 4 - Fresh To Your Screen - Everyone - you name it - has an ITV plan and strategy to grab your eyeballs. Biggest problem is they're a little fuzzy on how to monetize their content. Source -- NYTimes

Tellywood production tools are now easily accessible and useable by people with the fire-in-the-gut to express themselves.

People know quality. They'll watch 1-2 minutes of garbage but after that...naw!

Sure there will be one or two "instant" stars. And as Lt. Bergin (Chi McBride) said, "You're living proof that it is better to be lucky than smart."

The good content. The lasting content. The sought after content will come from people who know how to leverage our increasingly powerful, easy-to-use, economic technology.

It doesn't cost a fortune anymore to make and deliver that content - audio and/or video - onto the Internet.

The new HD camcorders are within the reach of budding videographers. Powerful PCs and Macs with plenty of RAM, good graphics cards and large hard drives are standard fare.

Macs come with the production software Steve likes besthis.

PC folks get a choice of software from Corel, Pinnacle and others that can do 90% of what you see in the theater or on the Tube.

But do you think that just because of the new wave the entertainment industry is packing it in?

Fat chance!

Their answer is simple.

They will tie you up with a double, triple, quad, whatever play.

Figure 5 - The cable, dish and telco folks all have the answer for you. They simply throw on more services, more offerings, more cost. Want TV? Done! Want phone? Done! Want cellphone? Done! Want Internet? Done! Want a huge bill? Done! -- Source -- Microsoft

If that isn't enough the content aggregators will offer you an even better deal with moremore choices, more flexibility, moreads.

Problem they are both finding is that people with more choices, more options, more freedom also become more selective.

Problem is, there is chaos in the cloud.

Figure 6 - New Frontier - The Internet and more specifically ITV is still in its infancy. It is still a wide open space where anyone with a little technical expertise, a lot of money and a whale of a lot of chutzpah can stake their claim to fame. Problem is it is confusing and chaotic to the consumer. Source -- Synovate

Everyone is thereeverywhere.

Everyone has the right answer!

Everyone is jockeying to be the winner regardless of the consumer.

Microsoft, Apple, TiVo, Comcast, ABC, Disney, HP and well, everyone, are determined they will grab their unfair share. No matter how much it costs them!

They are all bringing pipes to the house because providing the delivery mechanism is where the money is.

Trouble is the home entertainment solution remains a house divided.

After all, putting that stuff together is tough!

It's time-consuming.

It's expensive.

Despite the home entertainment mashup, the kids still pick and choose internet content on their notebooks.

Wife has HGTV on the huge screen.

We surf the Internet in the office to see what the sites have to offer.

Fortunately there is some excellent indie content that people post - once you find it.

Some will become huge.

Most won't give up their day jobs but they will make a difference and enrich the web!

So we got our family connectedsort of.

Throughout the process we thought Will Smith (Detective Spooner) was talking directly at us, "You are the "dumbest" smart person, I have ever met in my life!"

There is nothing seamless about the communication and entertainment process today and it will take years before reality matches the dream.

Hardware, software, cable, aggregation, creative development/distribution and all of the packaged solutions are being advanced to help one - and only one - of the firms gain the upper hand.

If individuals happen to get some benefit from it well boy that was dumb luck!

Content providers - aggregators, pipelines, Tellywood - wring their hands trying to keep our eyeballs glued to their stuff.

Except for the few and far between flashes of genius it's boring!

So what do we do?

We do what most people do. We make our selections carefully.

Figure 7 - Same Old Space - ITV may be getting all the noise, all the excitement but people aren't leaving their huge plasma/LCD HD sets for the computer-driven screen. It's simple a new video viewing option among many. Source -- iSuppli

Big pipesnetworksdisc warscute kid trickslonely chicksvirtual worlds

We're not certain if art mirrors life or life mirrors art. We are certain that you have to search pretty hard on both tubes to find interesting content.

Which One - Trying to find just the ITV show, news, event, whatever you want among the horde is still difficult. It used to be said that on the Internet no one knows you're a dog. Now you're not even certain where the dog is acting in the cloud. Source - 20th Century Fox

Fortunately, the Internet finally opens the door for indies to show their talent. They might be the people who save the entertainment industry.

Trouble is they'll have a hard time getting us to pay for stuff that is normally free (ok ad supported).

If it happens, maybe we'll agree with Will Smith (Detective Spooner) "You know, somehow, 'I told you so' just doesn't quite cut it."

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