Thursday, July 17, 2014

Taking On Big TV - The Only Option Is Small TV

The many efforts to disrupt television have had minor effects. There certainly hasn't been a start up that has shaken up the space. Perhaps Netflix is the closest to this - the only other contenders, now Aereo has been taken out of the equation, are industry owned Vevo and Hulu and Google owned YouTube.

There is no Skype or Uber or AirBnB for TV. 

The reason is very simple - rights and regulations.

Ironically, Uber is now having to deal with rights: that is the right to operate as a minicar service. Equally AirBnB have similar issues with regulators. Far from it for me to comment that vested interests like London's cabbies or New York's hoteliers have any sway (any more than the likes of Disney have over US copyright law) in these challenges.

However, the companies mentioned above have already reached critical mass, so have the wherewithal, resources and moral high ground to fight back. No TV or video industry usurper has managed anything near critical mass.

I will stick to the belief that I first espoused some thirty years ago that the real changes will come from narrowcasting and localcasting. Anything big is noticed and stamped upon by those with a vested interest: the ever ballooning likes of Comcast, Liberty Media and Fox. The only changes can come from very small players finding a model that takes on Google's model, which devalues specific audiences for content owners, and which can build small, valuable and dedicated audiences.

Anyone for Stealth TV ?