NTV Live Panel: New Media Platforms

What’s the future of media consumption?

Moderator:Dana Settle, Greycroft Partners

Speakers:Gina Bianchini, Ning; Jim Guerard, Adobe; Fred McIntre, AOL; Paul Scanlon, MobiTV; Henrik Werderlin, Joost

SETTLE: What is *your* vision of the future?

MOBITV: our vision for the future is really creating a seamless experince from home to PC to mobile phone. The mobile phone and PC are very complimentary to what you do at home. We believe that in the future, subscribers will have access to the content piped into their home onto their mobile handset. People create their own filters. Who you invite in, who you kick out.

ADOBE: Not so soon before set-top boxes give you PC interactivity.

JOOST: A lot of (something) comes from the communication around the activity. I think its marvelous that everyone can create content, but there is so much content that you have to increase the emotional connection. If 850 of my buddies on Ning were recommending something, I’d probably watch it.

NTV Live: New Media Platforms

AOL: Not debate editorial vs. social. Value is created by giving people the ability to create relevance. More value there than doing editorial programming. We do ed. programming, we also do video search. And we believe that that is where the greatest value creation will come from. We’ve made relationship with Hulu and CBS and more. But we don’t filter or define the experience for them. Our thesis is you create the most value.

JOOST: A lot of us talk about the near-term. A lot of time the future is flying cars. What’s more relevant is the near-term. Everyone’s heard the same thing over and over. joost is trying to deliver on that promise. The activation of the audience. For us what’s important are what are the main drivers of consumption? For us there are four: Micro-boredom, emotional triggers — create something that drives people to do things, collective consumption — tapping into a collective, pre-selection — finding something that you would otherwise watch but it wasn’t available. Started with TV because it’s broader than 24 frames per second. A couple years ago people pitching mobile TV was just recycling bad ideas. How do you make TV more social. It’s so much more than video.

MOBI: TV is still more popular than its ever been. It’s easily the world’s most popular application. Everyone watches TV.

NING: Is that true? From a broadcast perspective, ratings still go down year after year. The Internet isn’t making up for that.

MOBI: Backing away, say it’s *one* of the most.

NING: Neilsen numbers are unscientific.

AOL: Hasn’t been any mention of time or control. How important are those elements? People trying to get time back in their life, how do you express that and control? How do those things fit together? How does that ladder up to TV viewing go up, but what about engagement? Are they engaged or is their attention diluted?

MOBITV: People are not exchanging time and control for TV viewing. The reality is that it doesn’t include what the new definition of mobile is. Watching video on phones.

JOOST: People want control. They want control, but not 8,000 things to choose from. Freedom from choice. Social reference where you put the viewing into a social context.

ADOBE: If people just recreate a TV experience online.

NING: We keep talking about TV.

ADOBE: We provide tools, to provide interactivity and build a different type of experience. The other thing that will be increasingly important is user behavior will be important. Combine user behavior and meta data, and intelligence around your content, then you can create ads people are interested in consuming.

JOOST: People still watching a lot of TV today. Britney may only have 8 minutes on stage, but hundreds of hours of content created from that. Facebook allows me to become a storyteller without doing a lot of work.

NING: Proliferation of 1.3 billion people online. People aren’t just watching but they’re also producing.

SETTLE: The notion of community. Can’t ignore it. It’s the network of the future. What the community wants.

NING: We give people freedom to create. 122,000 social networks on Ning, most created in the past few months. I really think that there is still editorial content that needs to be put out there. People are self-organizing. Nobody providing editorial content on eBay. When you give people the freedom to create, they have their own fan bases. I don’t think that there has to be some editorial bottleneck.

MOBITV: Social networking and UGC will add value, but it won’t take over. I believe that its emblematic. It’s not an all or nothing. TV in your living room vs. tv on your PC will all kind of blend together, that’s why we’re looking at the whole space instead of silos.

SETTLE: Community will drive consumption.

JOOST: We have partnership with TV channels, it’s very much their brand, you won’t see Joost logos. Same way when you create a user channel. in many ways, we see ourselves as Ning. Creating a platform, where editors are users. We like pro creators because people who take time and energy to create a story. We don’t care if its someone in a basement somewhere. The long tail has to be so incredibly long to be worth it.

SETTLE: Long tail?

NING: We didn’t focus on the really really long tail. Some things that people create are big. Some things are small. Some things are abandoned. We envision a million social networks where every need or niche is met.

JOOST: We want to work with people creating very high quality content. The people that we work with have obligations

NING: Nothing on Ning that says we only want crappy content. From our perspective, if people want to share videos (crap or not), great. Will there be an audience? We think so.

AOL: This is why search is so important. You can create a crochet social network, you still need to find the content that makes sense there.

SETTLE: We’re in such early days. You sort of look at that, they want immediacy. How many people really do watch content on their phones? We’re stating what the consumer wants. But we don’t have a lot of proof points. Everyone’s talking the same thing. What does the consumer do?

ADOBE: comes down to the intelligence of the media. Search is only good as the information around the video. one of the things we spent a lot of time working on, is making it easy and seamless to capture information around that video or audio so that then you can make it more searchable.

SETTLE: What else needs to happen to create a seamless experience.

NING: So much content, is like saying “oh there are so many web sites.” Search is a lot better than it was. It’s going to get better. I think that this sense of overwhleming content — it’s not how people are living their lives. They decide they want to learn about X topic, so they go to google. Or a friend sends them a video. What is going to be the thing that’s talked about 12 months from now. What’s exciting is that the promise of the internet, as it matures, people are going to keep doing cool stuff.

MOBITV: There’s a lot of value out there. For me, until just recently, there isn’t a lot of media content hasn’t made its way to the Internet. A lot of things holding it back. Can’t watch live sports as much as I’d like to. i think there’s a dearth of content.

SETTLE: Where am i going to consume 24? On ComCast or Joost?

MOBITV: That’s what we’re all about. Once you tell the system that you’re interested in content it finds it.

JOOST: People still watching 4 – 6 hours of TV a day.

NING: 46 hours a day?

EVERYONE: 4 – 6.

JOOST: It’s naive to disregard this.

AOL: It’s 4 – 6 per hosehold. But it’s more about engagement. This will have a profound impact on what advertisers want. The number of videos are growing at an incredibly rapid rate. the pace at which things are happening is faster than music. And globally, 80% of people on YouTube are outside the US. If you’re trying to put yourself into the position of packaging that for people, you’re swimming against the tide.

SETTLE: Time out.