I'm at the MIT Enterprise Forum's Brave New Web conference in Boston where the keynote speaker was Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Brightcove. While he had a series of interesting observations on start ups and entrepreneurship, they were familiar topics. For example, "pursue thought leadership, not marketing" matches my long held view that PR is vastly more valuable than advertising. His observations on video were what resonated with me. Among other things...
The total video industry including film, TV, production, etc. is about $350B globally, but Internet video represents less than 0.1% of that today. To that I would add, mobile video (my interest) is a small fraction of Internet video — tiny, but that's an enormous opportunity!
The technology isn't quite here yet, but it's coming rapidly. There is a massive proliferation of cameras getting into the hands of consumers — unstated, but obviously mobile phone cameras will dominate very shortly.
Today, YouTube provides marginal resolution and quality, but it's ubiquitous. That's about to change. TV quality video is becoming feasible and due to break out on the web in the very near future. From my mobile-centric perspective, our camera phones will be able to capture TV quality video, but playback on the tiny screen will still require special content — tighter views on people's faces, shorter clips to match brief viewing moments.
Creating good video is still hard and expensive, but it's becoming cheap and easy. The transition will not be abrupt, but that merely means there is a decade or more of opportunity ahead.
Advertising supported video content is in very early days, but this is the high growth opportunity. Pay for media, subscription or otherwise, has had very limited success.
All and all a very interesting talk. Then in a subsequent discussion, I heard reference to Hamlet on the Holodeck by Janet Murray which I haven't read. The observation was that in every media transition the first wave duplicates what went before, only later do people figure out what can be done with the new media — example: early TV duplicated vaudeville. Looks like a book I'll have to check out.