Where Do We Go From Here?

Let’s take inventory of where we’re at so far:

It’s ugly and messy out there. And it’s only going to get worse.

Time to face some facts:

  • The players in this game are all in it to protect themselves and their interests. If you help their interests, you get their support. If you get in the way, you get “removed.” This isn’t a judgement call – it’s just a reality check. No “big” player embraces competition at this point.
  • As much as I abhor the streaming model, it seems to be winning. As seen in the recent Amazon debacle and the death of DRM over the last year, companies remain scared about what happens if you get control of the media. They’re not going to give it to you unless it is the only possible option. You’re going to need a streaming element to your media distribution strategy.
  • No “big name” is going to make it easy. Had a major player call us with “good news” that they’re gonna “support” Premium Podcasting. Bad news was it wasn’t the way we offer Premium Podcasting and, more importantly, wasn’t the model that our 6-figure Premium Podcasters are working under. We’re paying the money to bridge these two systems – but it ain’t going to be easy – and we’ll see what that “support” materializes to really be.
  • It’s still too hard. I know I’m going to get a lot of flack on this but, plain and simple, until my parents can watch new media on their television or play new media on their stereo without me first setting it up, we’re not there yet.

So, what do we do / how do we respond?

  • The delivery device in “everybody’s home” won’t be any of the products we know right now (at least the way we know them). This comes largely from the fact that the makers of these devices are more interested in selling the device and getting their content on the devices than anything else. This conflict of interest produces the same nonsense that we continue to see from Microsoft (and are now starting to see from Apple).
  • The device in “everybody’s” home will be made by someone who doesn’t also own the media. It also will be painstakingly easy to use and retail for under $100. Obviously, integrated into media devices even makes more sense.
  • New media types need to start looking to these boxes and pondering their streaming strategy. It is where are future is, not the Apple Tablet.

In full disclosure (and painfully obvious if you’ve read any of my blog), I’ve spent a lot of time in the “little black box” world and am currently entering into a relationship with the guys from MediaFly. Yes, they fit oh so nicely into my rant above but trust you me this, the rant came first.

Is there any new media type out there who really thinks that Apple, Microsoft or Google are going to “get us there?”

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://www.masonworld.com Mark Mason

    Paul — this all comes down to market force. We live in a world where we had a really hard time getting people switched over from analog broadcast TV to digital TV. So there is no massive market demand for a convergence set-top device. It's just you and me and about 30 other people that care.

    Once the world cares — the market forces will fix all of this. Until then, it will be a total mess.

    Examples include: VHS/Beta, RealAudio vs, Flash, bluetooth, etc. Once something is mainstream, it “just works”.

    Patience, grasshopper. We are not normal.

    Regards,
    Mark

  • http://www.douglassandquist.com doug S

    I think the big guys realize it's not about the device, it's about the content and only the content, I really don't think the big content producers are happy about the number of channels available.. In fact, I've heard that the broadcaster's, never really planned on ever delivering 1080 HD, they just bid on the bandwidth to save it for themselves when the govt. sold it off. They probably planned on using the bandwidth for shopping or internet or something, there is no more revenue to the broadcasters whether it's analog or HD.. I think the broadcaster's are quite happy with us being hamstrung to a TV or DVD player…I'm thrilled that I can get my kids tv shows through iTunes, so he can watch in AppleTV or my iPhone, that's progress, but why can't I sync my iPhone wirelessly to my mac? Why can't I sync my Apple TV to the 3 different iTunes libraries around the house? Sure I can share a library, but that's a pain… Obviously, there's a reason that the content providers don't allow Apple to open this up. Sadly, to speak to Mark's point, the market forces really don't care today, their happy with OnDemand from Cable or satellite, many are happy playing a DVD on a plain tv. Why is Circuit City out of business? and a 52″ LCD 1080p tv going for $1500? because people really don't care about the technology, they just want simple, and sadly, the iPhone/iPod-itunes is the easiest out there, but 5 years later, I still have to head over to mom's house to sync her phone, I don't think I'm alone….

    I agree with you that streaming is something that is here to stay, it's something my mom can do, send her a youtube link via email and she can watch it…

    Sadly, I really think it comes down to content again, the big broadcasters don't want their content watered down by everyone else producing content…. I think who ever figures this out will have to start from the ground up, the free content producers that create a network so big the big guys will have to jump on board or they'll miss the boat… I don't know what that is, they better have deep pockets, but I think the message of Podcast Secrets and YouTube is that we won't be able to hold the creative people down… A small business like mine is now able to create content for my audience, the audience I've built over the years.. that has way more value than delivery on the big guys networks….

    btw, how does the Podcast patent affect the use of Podcast Secrets?

  • http://www.masonworld.com Mark Mason

    Paul — this all comes down to market force. We live in a world where we had a really hard time getting people switched over from analog broadcast TV to digital TV. So there is no massive market demand for a convergence set-top device. It's just you and me and about 30 other people that care.

    Once the world cares — the market forces will fix all of this. Until then, it will be a total mess.

    Examples include: VHS/Beta, RealAudio vs, Flash, bluetooth, etc. Once something is mainstream, it “just works”.

    Patience, grasshopper. We are not normal.

    Regards,
    Mark

  • http://www.douglassandquist.com Doug S

    I think the big guys realize it's not about the device, it's about the content and only the content, I really don't think the big content producers are happy about the number of channels available.. In fact, I've heard that the broadcaster's, never really planned on ever delivering 1080 HD, they just bid on the bandwidth to save it for themselves when the govt. sold it off. They probably planned on using the bandwidth for shopping or internet or something, there is no more revenue to the broadcasters whether it's analog or HD.. I think the broadcaster's are quite happy with us being hamstrung to a TV or DVD player…I'm thrilled that I can get my kids tv shows through iTunes, so he can watch in AppleTV or my iPhone, that's progress, but why can't I sync my iPhone wirelessly to my mac? Why can't I sync my Apple TV to the 3 different iTunes libraries around the house? Sure I can share a library, but that's a pain… Obviously, there's a reason that the content providers don't allow Apple to open this up. Sadly, to speak to Mark's point, the market forces really don't care today, their happy with OnDemand from Cable or satellite, many are happy playing a DVD on a plain tv. Why is Circuit City out of business? and a 52″ LCD 1080p tv going for $1500? because people really don't care about the technology, they just want simple, and sadly, the iPhone/iPod-itunes is the easiest out there, but 5 years later, I still have to head over to mom's house to sync her phone, I don't think I'm alone….

    I agree with you that streaming is something that is here to stay, it's something my mom can do, send her a youtube link via email and she can watch it…

    Sadly, I really think it comes down to content again, the big broadcasters don't want their content watered down by everyone else producing content…. I think who ever figures this out will have to start from the ground up, the free content producers that create a network so big the big guys will have to jump on board or they'll miss the boat… I don't know what that is, they better have deep pockets, but I think the message of Podcast Secrets and YouTube is that we won't be able to hold the creative people down… A small business like mine is now able to create content for my audience, the audience I've built over the years.. that has way more value than delivery on the big guys networks….

    btw, how does the Podcast patent affect the use of Podcast Secrets?