History of TV relived Online – Jeff Pulver Launching Pulver.TV

Jeff is announcing today in his weekly show, a new project – Pulver.tv. The project is an online TV channel, broadcasting 16 hours a day, with original and syndicated content. The channel is delivered over the Internet, using Tricaster and Blogtv technologies. Total cost of ownership is way below the cost of commercial broadcasting systems.

This is another example to the effect of democratization of content distribution on the media industry. From an industry relaying on monopolistic screen ownership, to fragmented viewership, where everyone can create their own show.

So, how can Jeff and his team get a competitive advantage on all the other video channels?

Here are my thoughts:

1. Content strategy – create great shows, syndicate the best ones, and become a channel of quality content. It doesn’t mean it has to have  BBC like, B&W documentary on the sex life of Japanese monkeys. It means that they need to find what is good content for THEIR audience. Complex? sure, that’s why it is fun.

2. Community – a stream of content have a unique attribute – it is time based. Meaning, I can see a show at a certain time, with all the rest of viewers. I strongly believe that online video lost a key social aspect of TV – the campfire. when everyone see content when they want, they miss the feeling of community that the living room provided in the past. An online TV channel can solve this problem. The Ning group is also a step in the right direction.

3. Marketing– yes, it all adds up to that. Marketing, in a broad sense, is, IMHO, the make or break point of this initiative. Pulver.TV needs a brand that people would relate to – and understand what it represents. Is it a geek channel? An online answer to HBO? A political channel? A general sign of quality? Segmentation, branding, and smart business development strategy are at the core of such a project.

It is a very interesting experiment, and I wish Jeff, and all the team a lot of luck!

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4 Responses to “History of TV relived Online – Jeff Pulver Launching Pulver.TV”

  1. 1 Phil Campbell January 30, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Thanks for the wise words!

  2. 2 Rebecca Rachmany January 30, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Two major issues come up in thinking about Pulver.tv.

    Firstly, well, so far Pulver’s shows, as wonderful as they are, are quite niche in their target audience and in the appeal that they provide, even to that audience. IOW, content is extremely difficult to get right. If you look at the Pulver.tv audience, it is easy enough to imagine all kinds of content that would interest us (Dr. Who reruns, anyone?) However, no offense, but I am slightly underwhelmed with the Pulver.tv content so far.

    Secondly, I have to wonder what the concepts of “channel” and “broadcast” are supposed to mean in the context of streaming internet video. I just finished watching a webinar, and I came to the webinar 5 minutes late, but I still had it streamed to me from start to end, as if I hadn’t been late. Again, what does real time mean in this context. Imagine that there were blogtv-type chat in real time, while I was watching the video in near-real-time. Puts a new spin on “spoiler”, doesn’t it?

    So what does it mean to have a video “channel” in this context?
    Why broadcast when you can unicast?

  3. 3 Moshe Maeir January 30, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Great idea, but I think it will be hard building a brand on blogtv
    too much noise around there.

    You can use their technology, but you need a separate site

  4. 4 Kathryn Jones January 30, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    I think this is a fantastic step in the right direction and who else to take it but Jeff Pulver (with the amazing tri-caster andy at his side). Blip.tv and others have also ventured into the “campfire” community and I am excited to see where it leads. Content will continue to get better and better if people like Jeff continue to establish vibrant communities around it and I think a year down the road the launching of Pulver tv could well be seen as another watershed event…

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