Archive for August, 2008

Closed Viewing

Friday, 1 August 2008

Here’s the basic problem.  On the Internet exist Video Platforms.  Each one is primarily and end to end system, and there are many; provided by every studio of every size, every broadcaster, most social networks and a good measure of aggregators (acting like traditional pay tv operators without owning the distribution pipes).

Each Video Platform has a connection with each Viewer.  The Viewers experience video, and in doing so signal their desires and preferences (favourites, bookmarks, viewing behaviour), the intentions and needs (search and browsing), their feedback and opinion (comments, chat, reviews, ratings, blogs, interactivity), their desire to contribute to the original video (sharing, remixing, editing, adding subtitles); all of these things forming a profile of their viewing and thinking.

Viewer experiences are tied together in the end to end systems.  The video player that provides the viewing experience is tied to the video content that is made available.  On the surface this forms an ‘experience silo’, but it is much worse.

Each entire Video Platform is a silo.  Each one sits in isolation of one another.  They hoard and keep secret the data and information..  the data on the content, the profiles of the viewers, the interaction with the community.  Traditional TV platforms are exactly the same, and what you see on the Internet is no different.  This is Closed Viewing.

So what does this mean?

For the Viewer, this limits the value of the interaction and experience with each individual Video Platform to that platform only.  Watching ABC brings no value to my experience on Joost.  Watching BBC iPlayer brings zero value to my experience on YouTube.  Aggregators such as Joost go some way to ensuring choice by adding content all the time and not being a silo to a single source of [studio] content, but as the amount of video available on the internet increases (it costs next to $0 to add another video), the aggregator can’t possibly keep up, i.e., they can’t do enough content deals.

For Content Producers, the value of distributing through a single platform is limited.  The complexity of distributing to many platforms is high.  Understanding who is watching what, when, where and how is costly to achieve.  Working with a multitude of business models, with each platform being different is time consuming.

For Advertisers, the cost of managing multiple campaigns across many VIdeo Platforms grows with each new platform that is delivered to.  Each Video Platform has it’s own requirements and capabilities.  It’s own templates.  It’s own specifications.  It’s own measurements tools.

For all involved, these problems scale as the amount of content increases.

There must be solutions.

Solutions like Miro, are a good start, but really solutions to close viewing need to be more comprehensive, bringing more value for everyone, not just the Viewer…

Solutions that are open across the ecosystem.  That have the potential for becoming standards.  That help create a bigger pie for everyone involved.

(originally posted at openviewing)

Device-led programme formats

Friday, 1 August 2008

For a long time many have said Mobile==short form video and TV==long form.

Gerd picks up on the concept of how people viewing modes is bifurcating with the Internet clearly supporting both short and long form.
I’m inclined to agree on the concept that it is driven by the viewer’s situation.  Do different devices (based on screen size?) lend themselves to different length of programs?  Of course not.  It’s about;

a) location – where am I when I want to watch something – what devices are available to me?
b) display – what device suits my current desire for experience?

Looking beyond the last 50 years

Friday, 1 August 2008

Some thoughts on improving the online ad experience for Video.

It’s actually pretty simple.

Don’t copy TV, a 50 year old technology and medium.

The web is different.

Why is everyone trying to make the web feel like TV?