Posts Tagged 'Broadcast Television'

Buzz – A major blogTV announcement ahead?

I wasn’t sure if to post it or not, but here it is – there is a major buzz among my circle of contacts about an announcement today regrading BlogTV. I wonder if it is a new episode in the feature war in this segment, and I hope some of the key features I’ve covered in this blog will be included.

Stay tuned for more information.

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BlogTV vs Ustream.tv – it is not technology, it is strategy

My friend Jeff wrote about one of the most interesting products in Israel – BlogTV. BlogTV enables users to stream live shows from their webcam to the internet, and 3G phones. It has advanced features such as multicam support. Does it ring a bell? Did anybody say Ustream? Yes, both companies have similar products technically, though Ustream is a bit behind from feature perspective (see my previous post detailing missing features in Ustream). Ustream is the new kid on the block – while BlogTV exists for years. As Ustream features covering all basic functionality of its predecessor, we see another example of technology being a sidekick to the main show – marketing and strategy.

There is a major difference between the companies – while Ustream enables users to embed their player in their own website, BlogTV requires viewers to login and watch the content in their portal. It is not a technical barrier – embedded players are yesterday’s news. So, again, it is only a business question.

I am not sure that this is the right approach to this segment. For years BlogTV was a place where adults showed their days (and nights) to the public, kids showed their face with music in the background and that’s it. The reason is lack of context.

Ustream enables me as a blogger to add another dimension to my work, and serve as another item in my multimedia toolbox. I am not sure that this is the case for BlogTV. The simplest proof to that is that I know BlogTV for ages, but only when I played with Ustream a bit, I fully understood the potential of Personal Broadband Broadcasting. It was great to see Jeff’s stream from his lecture in Stockholm as part of his post describing the event itself. It is true that I still go to both Ustream and BlogTV sites to watch interesting shows, but it is less compelling for me as a potential broadcaster who is interested to enrich his offering with new content types.

So, my personal conclusion is – if you love your stream, set it free!

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He also believed in setting things free…

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Cable Companies Beware!

Jeff Pulver posted his views on the future of Cable companies:

“…In the near future, I expect cable companies may start to suffer a similar parallel fate as the wireline phone companies. This eventually will mean billions of dollars of revenue loss without any notion of being able to replace the lost revenue. And I expect we will start to see this trend happen first in the 16-24 year old demographic.

How does this happen? It happens because there is a portion of the existing 16-24 generation which does not watch traditional broadcast TV and they are not watching Cable TV. What they are watching is TV content on the internet. And when these kids leave home and go off to college, they are not signing up for cable TV service in their dorm rooms. Instead they are continuing to watch their favorite TV shows thanks to BitTorrent or are going online to the network websites to catch up with a missed show or in some cases they are also going to iTunes and purchasing the shows to watch on their video iPods and computers…”

I agree, though believe that there are also the 25-35 age group who are willing to consume media in non-traditional ways, as long as it is good.

It seems to me that these industries are kind of dinosaurs, looking at the meteor coming and thinking that everything will be ok. Just like some of the big production companies, missing the fact that people create good content for fraction of the money they are spending.

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Is Ustream for Boradcast Television = WordPress for Journalism?

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Yesterday I played with Ustream a little. After Jeff and Chris live show I’ve decided to give it a try, and when Michael twitted me about his feed, I’ve joined the wagon.

After opening an account, I broadcasted myself within minutes.

Isn’t it just like starting a blog?

Users can connect high end cameras to Ustream, as the Pulver gang did. So, they just need a room with proper lighting and audio, and they have a live show. Simple. Ah, of course, they need to do an interesting show, cause there are so many out there. But this is not different from any other media product, that has to grab the attention of its audience.

So, after blogging platforms democratized written Journalism, YouTube and Bittorrent democratized pre-recorded video distribution, Ustream (and probably the 1000 competitors gearing up as I write this post) democratized live broadcast TV.

BlogTV is an Israeli site owned by Tapuz, one of the biggest Israeli communities portal. It provides similar features and used to broadcast live videos from northern Israel in last summer conflict. In the past, I’ve played with it a bit, but didn’t stay for long. The main reasons were:

1. Poor video and audio quality

2. Nothing interesting to see (for me)

3. Lack of context – as I saw shows in their site only, it was not connected to other types of media by the same creator (such as blogs, websites etc).

It seems that Ustream has better video quality, and allow users to add context to their show by embedding it in other sites. But just like in every other media platform, interesting stories are a must.


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