What will TVIP mean?
Maybe my vision of TVIP is a bit different than what the telcos are talking about now, but I also think my vision is inevitable. Once you have a settop box that is fully IP-enabled, everything you can do on the Web, you will be able to do on your TV. The only potential glitch is if the broadband providers restrict this functionality. But I just can’t see that happening.
Here are some thoughts.
- It’s an on-demand world. Forget channels. Forget networks. Programming will be what matters. New programming will become popular that no existing media company will touch. Some independent producer will create a show that will do for TVIP what The Simpsons did for Fox.
- It’s a personalized world. The days of 70 percent of Americans tuning into Ed Sullivan at the same time have been gone for decades. Within five years, you won’t even have .7 percent of Americans watching the same show at the same time, and even by the end of the week, it will be a rare show that even seven percent of the television audience will have seen the show. There will be more choices, and every conceivable interest and taste will be served.
- There will be new stars, but they won’t be as big. People that in today’s media world haven’t a chance of getting even 15 minutes, will find audiences in the hundreds of thousands.
- Blogs will survive, but videopunditry will be just as big, or bigger. And in the same way the blogs serve both hyperlocal news needs, and niche interests and hobbies, so will homemade video on demand. The Web has been a great tool for the democracy of news and information. TVIP will take such egalitarian impulses to a whole new level.
- TV will become as interactive as the Web. You will leave video comments on your favorite video blogs. You’ll bid on Survivor gear during the final episode. You will be able to talk back to Dr. Phil in real time. If Tucker Carlson irritates you: Tell him. Now. Or at least everybody who is watching him while you are.
- All kinds of media companies that currently don’t do broadcast will start doing video and doing it well. It’s do it and survive, or not, and die. Multimedia will have to be part of the mix. Audiences/readers/users will demand it and expect it, and so will advertisers.
- Content will be evenly divided between pay-per-view/download and advertising-supported, but the advertising will be accepted and expected because it fits the programming and audience interests/needs.
- Advertising will often be interactive.
- All kinds of small businesses will produce video advertising and infommercials.
- TVIP will be the most profound change to the Internet since the launch of Mosaic.
- TVIP devices will be as easy to use as TiVo.
At least, that’s what I think.