for the last month or so I’ve been taking a chunk of my time to immerse myself in what’s going with television (video) entertainment on the internet. As I said previously – this is an area where everyone seems to be heading and its going to dramatically change how we get our entertainment.
But before I dive into things let me say I’ve uncovered some very (I think) interesting conclusions right out of the box. First off, its important to distinguish “internet” based entertainment which is delivered via the internet as a mechanism – and “web based” entertainment which is delivered via web browsers on the internet.
Netflix – for example uses an internet connection, and has a web based provider but we really watch it via a television – either through the Xbox or Wii or some device other than a computer. Youtube, however is browser based – yes it’s accessible via a television through a device but Youtube’s never made the jump into our set. Hulu, and others are trying but haven’t gotten there.
Another really surprising thing was for all the hype over watching TV on mobile devices (iPhones and the like), it really isn’t happening. Sure the technology is there, and the cool is there and the infrastructure to do is beginning to happen…. it’s just missing one thing… people who actually want to do it in any scale.
Now all of this may seem obvious to many. Netflix is king. Blockbuster and others were/are late to the club and TV networks are flailing to figure out how to stay relevant in a society which is foregoing the commercials to buy directly from Netflix, Zune, and similar outlets via devices attached to their TVs.
What’s more – the diversity of what can be called “entertainment” is causing a schism in production of content between “Youtube” levels – 10 minute wonders, and “made for little big TV” providers like Netflix, Xbox, and so on. We’re certainly watching more and more content on these devices – and that’s where real “content” if you will is delivered – on the devices, not on web based solutions.
They’re simple interfaces – like video rental stores we can log into, select from defined choices, and watch. Web interfaces however …are far more open, searchable and provide an infinite sea of choices from the good, the bad and the downright horrible. Much like the real internet when you search, your either gonna hit gold – or you’re going to get something else that’s distracting but about as filling as a twinkie when you’re looking for a meal.
It’s a fascinating world we’re entering into and would love to hear everyone elses ideas on this phenomenon.