The New Battleground



tracks have been downloaded from Apple’s iTunes music store



is the estimated market worth for Video on Demand by 2010



Plays of the controversial “911 Cover Up” Loose Change documentary on Google video


The number of Friends on Lily Allen’s Myspace page


Average age of YouTube user


pence per impression of webTV adverts

The world is changing, the internet is changing, the way we consume information is changing. Broadband is one of the drivers for this - as the barriers come down and the internet speeds up, so more people can do more with the medium.

Web 2.0 is another driver of change. Social networks, video, e-commerce, blogging, podcasting, e-zines are all manifestations of the changing way in which we communicate, publish and consume information. Green issues and social responsibility are creeping up the corporate agenda.

Small to medium businesses are at the vanguard of this “social capitalism” - it’s so much easier for small companies to react to changes in the market that for large corporations - and there’s suspicion when large corporations try. Is it real or is it a carefully orchestrated PR campaign?

Increasing computing power and decreasing technology costs are yet another driver. Our studio packs down into the boot of my car - 3 cameras, tripods, assorted microphones, stands, green screen, audio recording and editing. Amazing. The barriers to entry to traditionally formidable markets to enter tumble. We created a brand new TV company last year and have delivered 15,000 hours of entertainment and over 150,000 adverts. Our quality shows provide a great way to get companies’ marketing messages in between the ears of, and in front of the eyes of, the “download” generation.

But how is this working?

We distribute our shows by way of video podcasts which download directly into iTunes. iTunes is cross platform - Mac or PC. It also is the content management system for Apple’s video iPod, so our shows can be watched on the move - and will also play on Apple’s new iPhone.

New places, new ways of consuming information. Where are your marketing messages, in this place? Banner ads aren’t looked at if eyes are focussed on watching a video. That snappy radio commercial isn’t listened to if people are listening to podcasts on their iPods.

More significantly though, iTunes is also the portal that connects the internet to the TV via Apple’s AppleTV box. The convergence of the internet and the TV is something of a Holy Grail for many, but not all internet content is suitable. Reading a Blog, for example, is a classic “sit forward” PC oriented activity. Watching a video, or listening to a podcast such as Heather Gorringe’s Wiggly Wigglers, is a “sit back and relax” activity.

Internet TV isn’t about YouTube - that’s internet video. Internet TV is the convergence of the internet and TV in the living room. This is the new battleground for computer vendors - forget the office and boardroom, that’s a dead space. IPTV is a very expensive, industry move to get streaming content from the internet onto your TV.

It may or may not work - telecoms may or may not be able to deliver the necessary bandwidth, contention ratios and throughput needed to support this application. We are used to uninterrupted video on the silver screen - we won’t put up with pictures that are disrupted, pixelated, by jitter and delay - two irritating features of the internet.

By downloading onto a local server and streaming to TV locally over a WIFI network, consumers have a neat, elegant and cost effective way of achieving the convergence so many people have been dreaming of for several years.

Either way, this is happening now. Today. It’s for real. The question is, how are you going to get your marketing messages into this new space?