TV Is Changing Shape

Dec 2nd, 2007 | By | Category: General

The New York Times has an overview of the state of mainstream Internet video today that asks “What happens to the television industry when the traditional way for content to find its audience becomes obsolete?”:

“There’s a lot of rewriting of the concept of windows in the TV network world today — the timing of when and where shows appear,” said Allen Weiner, the managing vice president for media and consumer technologies for the Gartner Group in Scottsdale, Ariz.

In the old days, after something appeared on TV, its release to other distribution channels was carefully staged — from the timing of reruns to the DVD release to when it would be available on-demand. “We’re seeing all kinds of new windows occurring, and no one knows what the magic formula will be,” he said. “A lot depends on advertiser reaction and on user behavior.”

One closely watched approach is the new online series “Quarterlife,” by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, who produced “My So-Called Life.” Episodes first appear on MySpace TV, then are available the next day on, and a week later on YouTube, Facebook and Imeem. There is talk that they may even appear later on network TV — but as the last window, rather than the first.

‚ÄúYou can‚Äôt expect to control consumers and force them to come to prime time at 7 p.m. on a Monday night,‚Äù said On Network’s Kip McClanahan. ‚ÄúIf the consumer wants it on their phone at 3 p.m. while they‚Äôre on the golf course, then that‚Äôs where we have to deliver it.‚Äù

Unfortunately for viewers, the industry is years away from making this a mainstream reality. Meanwhile, indie video podcasters and vloggers are pioneering the way, making their content freely available on multiple platforms, DRM-free.

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