Thursday, December 20, 2007

Building A Successful Internet TV Business

I've spent the best part of the past decade getting TV to work over the internet, first with Web Channels and then with Narrowstep.

Now, I'm flying solo with my new consultancy, TV Everywhere.

My aim is simple - to help people build profitable, sustainable businesses in the TV over internet market.

At first sight it seems a no brainer - after all, all those existing TV stations make a mint, don't they ?

But as anyone involved in the sharp end can tell you, it's much, much tougher than that.

Here are my top tips in how to succeed.

1) Ambition - start small and build, unless your're NewsCorp or Google; over-ambition and over-investment will get you in the end otherwise

2) Content - you have to have a route to good, regular, cheap content. Whether this is through user generated content, archives, or revenue share deals, this is the greatest cost facing a startup

3) Technology - don't invent your own, it will always end up costing more; TV companies don't produce cameras and transmitters; there are a wide range of options available on the market from free basic services such as YouTube, to Rolls Royce solutions such as Narrowstep and theplatform.

4) Audience building - this will be your oxygen; no matter what your business model, without an audience your business will not succeed; the value of the market isn't always related to its size - closely targeted audiences can be easier to monetize.

5) Distribution - don't get hung up on a single form of distribution; you will need to build a service that is accessible across platforms and devices; Joost, iTunes, Media Centre, PSP are all potential distribution media.

6) Ad Sales - most channels will be ad driven and the ability to effectively sell advertising will be a key to the channel's success.

Well, that's web TV 101. If you need help, I hope that you now know where to find it.

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