VON Round-up: Predictions & Suggestions For Growth, Impending Regulation

Some of the buzz from the 10th annual Video on the Net conference in Boston:
2006: the year of web TV: Veoh CEO Dmitry Shapiro said much more is to come. Web video will eventually deliver longer pieces in high quality, more like conventional TV programming, and the lower cost of delivering this will help form new business models for “hundreds” of new companies. Independent producers are already embracing the new medium but traditional broadcasters need to digitise, clear rights and rethink release windows. Video search is just getting started: “I don’t think indexed search is the end-all. The real killer application is to be able to deliver content you want before you know you want it.”
Hollywood will fight back: VoN founder Jeff Pulver said in the keynote that web video is booming so fast it is likely to come across the same problems as VOIP services. “If you are about to disrupt a sector, be prepared for that sector to fight back. To the extent are able to gain market share, they have no idea what is about to hit them. And this isn’t the phone companies – it’s Hollywood.”
Growth will attract regulation: Pulver said proposed FCC regulations on banning child porn online are a warning shot for the industry and insisted that there would be repercussions for legitimate content. He also said that as video becomes more like TV networks, it could attract the same taxes and network franchise regulations.
Video will be central to the web experience: People are motivated to create content because they want to feel needed and loved in their online experience, said AOL VC Ted Leonsis. He predicted that video will become a prominent part of an improved online experience (rather a no-brainer). Video also will be part of next-generation media sites, and here he got to cite the way AOL’s TMZ.com broke the Mel Gibson DUI story. Leonsis also said AOL is in talks with Intel to put AOL Video on televisions.
Jarvis on empowering web TV: The omnipresent Jeff Jarvis gave six recommendations on web video: Advertising has to be sorted out in an open and appropriate way; ‘network’ is now defined by the user, rather than describing just distribution; user content should be on TV and TV should be on user content sites; the industry can’t just be a bubble; foster the very best work; and think “live” for TV and mobile content.
World’s first web TV with a budget: Film producer Adam Shapiro told the conference that his “theatrically budgeted” horror movie Incubus will be the world’s first made-for-web film and will debut on AOL on 31 October. It does not include snakes.

This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.