Discovery Channel

A rather pompous term that has emerged from the internet TV industry is 'discovery' - it's nothing to do with the eponymous channel, but rather is the term used for 'finding' content online.

Whereas most internet TV operators emphasise content production, the reality is that building an audience is the key function of any television channel.

More and more internet TV channels are taking a 'pod broadcast' or 'microchannel' approach using services such as Information TV. Their channels may be way down the EPG on Sky, but they do provide a 'traditional' route to market. A pod is an hour long slot hired from an existing TV channel - premium phones lines and TV sales channels have long used this approach and now it is becoming more mainstream.

The reality is that this is a useful marketing tool in the struggle to build an audience. An hour long pod can be used to draw viewers into the online TV experience and is a tool that is likely to be used more and more. In reverse it is an effective way to extend out existing programme brands into the online TV medium by creative a programme branded channel.