New Media Window Open for Business:
Connect Working, Content Rights Next
By Paul Kagan - 7/21/11
Connected TV—video content delivered by the internet —is the new Holy Grail to programmers and distributors. Unlike most preceding new media, it was jump-started by easy access to computers. (The moment youtube.com was created, millions of user-generated videos were uploaded to the first of many clouds to come.) But finding room—and the proper path—inside a TV or a set-top box, has created a whole new world of gates and locks in the video canal.
As Marc Sokol, VP/Marketing for IPTV distributor NeuLion of Plainview, NY said on a CableFAX webinar July 20: "Consumers are demanding connected TV. As networks build IP into their systems, viewers don't distinguish between devices. They tell us connected TV is so much better than on smaller devices; one way or another, rights issues will be worked out."
The growth of TV sets that can receive video from the internet is expected to soar quickly by Informa media consultant Andrew Ladbrook. He told the webinar listeners that U.S. connected TVs will likely double from 17 mil. this year to 34 mil. in 2013. My own belief is that connected TV will be nearly universal in time, based on the ubiquity of high-speed data connections and the replacement cycle of TV sets.
One of the webinar speakers was Paul Gray, Dir. of Research at DisplaySearch, the global census-taker of video screens. His company said on July 5 that in 2011, more than 25% of all TVs shipped will have some form of web connectivity. And by 2015, the share would be 47%, or 138 mil. units.
A central stimulant to this next media window will be the content behind those "rights issues (to) be worked out." Two particular types of programs were singled out by webinar speakers: Sokol was hip deep in viewer preference for sports. And Bryan Gonzalez--Director of UCLA's Social Entertainment Technology Lab—cited "watching older programs you missed." Immersed in the vocabulary of change, he said "the buzz helps interject a program into your queue."
I'll go further into the analysis of the changing video landscape in my next report. Of all the decades I have analyzed media competition, the current one has spawned more debate, fear, loathing, speculation and opportunity than ever before