There is a reason Hulu is considered a “game changer” in the world  of online video and streaming television. The unique alliance of NBC and News Corp creates a cable operator of sorts – and aggregates content to deliver a unique place for consumers to start watching it. In the US.

There is similar news of some UK broadcasters coming together to create a VOD platform. I am sure other markets are taking similar initiatives.

In a world when every bit of data will be streamed over IP, do we think platforms such as these would have anything unique to offer? Or would such platforms become seemless backend cable operator type operations, delivering to TV sets of the future? In answering this question, one also needs to perhaps see what it is that really makes the video over internet popular? It is its ability to transcend beyond geographies that really delivers a web 2.0 experience that is the “buzz” today.

Now in this world, what really restricts the ability of platforms like Hulu to make a difference is the way TV software rights are managed. The programs are sold territory by territory, or to cable / satellite operators who pick it up for multi-territories. Even then, the prices are aggregated on a market by market basis. Couple that with how such program rights are sold for broadcast over the internet, and you have a matrix that is too complex to even begin to crack.

There is a need to change this model of TV or even Film program rights management. If one is to combat the piracy or onslaught of free digital distribution, the arbitrage in this trade has to end. What it needs to work around is a distributors ability to stream content across the globe, without restrictions and with potential to earn revenues from wherever in the world they come from.

Geo-tagged content

August 12, 2008

The term “collaborative productions” is perhaps en-route to take over the hype of user-generated content. Not to suggest that the pure user generated content would completely lose its appeal, but I think the productions of the modern day TV world are set to take that element of a viewer or user’s ability to generate content to the next level. Reality TV such as Pop Idol and Big Brother are examples of such collaborative content anyway. But here is a completely retro twist to this!

For their upcoming album “Brotherhood”, Chemical Brothers have asked fans to submit short video clips of 2 to 20 seconds, or photographs that celebrate “insanity that goes on at the stoke of midnitght”. They would use this content to create a montage video with footage from around the world, except, this footage would be “geo-tagged”. The footage is to be submitted to Google Earth via the chemical brothers’ website, and all the submitted clips would be shown on Google Earth and Youtube channels on September the 1st. Can you get more collaborative, high-tech, and global than that in production in this day and age?

Not entirely a collaborative production, but here is another piece of content that BBC recently produced called Britain from Above. The producers used all sorts of technology to show a different view to “Britain”. There is perhaps all of us living in the UK in this programme somewhere! Go spot yourself!