As the year winds down, we are succumbing to the temptation of trying to put the previous year in perspective as well as try and focus on the year to come. No "best of" lists here, but I did want to pick up on a theme from a recent post, that being the future of internet TV.
There has been some buzz about VC money entering the game as writers and independent content producers try and figure out a way to take their product directly to the people. VC money may follow the potential for new revenue, but there is an interesting wrinkle in the internet distribution model, one that might be easily mitigated.
Success with any entertainment format is all about distribution. You don’t need to reach hundreds of millions of people to be considered "successful," just those who are truly interested and passionate about your offering. Any new distribution model will need execution to be successful. It is clear that the hunger for new content and new methods of finding that content exists. But successful entertainment requires people to respond to it. With the new low cost distribution model, production companies would do well to produce several different formats in order to mitigate their risk. Instead of needing to convince a couple of suits to distribute your show to millions, you now need several thousand people to distribute your show to several more thousand. Since it is difficult to predict what will stick (some things never change), it will become necessary to have several entertainment strands working at the same time.
The good news is, distribution costs allow producers to recoup their costs of a pilot much faster. Social media will play an ever increasing and critical role in the distribution of quality content on the internet.
So, our prediction for 2008 is this: web video content will play a larger and larger role in consumers’ lives and become as much a part of the entertainment mix as TV, DVD rentals or going to the movies. (Here is a nice summary of 2007 in internet TV from Read/Write/Web.)
All the best for 2008, and we’ll be back in touch after the first of the Year.