Monday, September 24, 2007

Voyage Of Discovery

More and more emphasis is set to be placed on 'discovery' - i.e. how viewers find content.

There are some obvious models, such as search and listings, but I'm intrigued by the difference in approach between companies that regard Internet TV as, well..., TV, and those who treat it like an extension to their website.

Nothing illustrates this better than the two different approaches being taken by the UK's main commercial broadcaster, ITV. ITV.com included a flier in the weekend newspapers implying that all content is available on their website. They do have live streams of all of their channels, which is great, albeit at a very poor quality, but finding any other long form content is difficult. And when you do find content, every single clip is preceded by the same ad for Land Rover's Freelander, which comes annoying after the while.

Now, full disclosure, Narrowstep is responsible for the technology behind the sister ITV Local service, and the differences are extensive. But the major feature of ITV Local is that it is built around the TV content, not around the web content.

I believe that this, and many, many other similar instances of both service approaches on the web is due to the 'point-and-click' mentality that helped commercialise web pages in the first instance (the more clicks, the more pages, the more ads are shown, the more revenue generated...). TV is the opposite to this - viewing time is the imperative.

The obsession with short form shows how it is taking time for true Internet TV to manifest itself.

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