Let’s take inventory of where we’re at so far:
- Patent Office awards Podcasting patent. Whether they deserve it or not – this is gonna get messy. Tin foil hat moments abound here.
- Apple removes apps and programs that interfere with their objectives. Apple’s shine is tarnishing. They just might be like “all the others.”
- Hulu kills attempts to watch television on the television. “Old media’s” “new media” play is more about protecting the “old media” mindset than anything else.
- The Microsoft Zune HD play seems to be more about the cloud than anything else. DRM is easier on the channel level than it is on the media level.
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?”