Blog Post

VoN: Mobile TV; Video Models; Time Shifting; TV Vs. Web People

The name may have changed from Voice to Video on the Net, but much of the talk was still focused on voice including VoIP peering, wireless VoIP and IMS. On the content side:
What do consumers want from mobile TV?: Operators aren’t sure, said Verizon’s director of telephony Bill Goodman. ComVentures partner Michael Rolnick said that content is key to help consumers overcome the confusion caused by so many devices and the disintermediation of core technology. Carriers will have to make themselves stand out: “it will all be on content. It’s really about the bundle consumers are going to get.”
Video content models: Much discussion about building business around models like YouTube. Video start-ups are particularly dependent on venture funding because of bandwidth costs, but there’s some doubt about whether a lot of current start-ups are really viable. David Weiden, partner at Khosla Ventures, said there is a definite bubble with many web video businesses: “There are some businesses being built that I’m not sure could be stand alone businesses.” He also said he wouldn’t be surprised if a citizen journalism site with a good business plan also attracted some venture capital.
Time and place shifting: Thom Kozik, director of business development for Yahoo! Media Group, said consumers are king but we don’t know how they will rule: “The way video on the net is exploding you would be foolish to predict how this is going to be used by consumers.” Some ABC news clips had recorded more views than any other video on Yahoo, he said, so short-form clips can’t just be used to try and drive traffic back to TV. ClipSyndicate VP Nancy Dunn said short-form had an “incremental value to reach audiences via syndication or other models.”
TV people vs web people: The BBC’s Nico Flores said the telcos just don’t get the web. On the On Demand blog, he said they don’t see that much of the appeal of low-budget content comes from the way it connects people: “the complex interlinked whole, and the discursive flow that this enables”. But he also said web people don’t understand TV, with no distinction between “video” and “TV” as recorded and live content. “The common source of both blindnesses is the prevalence of the notion that media consumption is all about content, and not about engaging in practices (“watching TV”, “surfing the web”) for which content is only an important prop.”

This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.