AOL Confused Over The Difference Between Internet And TV
from the if-anyone-should-get-it... dept
Over the past few years, AOL seems to have made an art out of “not getting it.” Whether it was their decision to lock up content behind a pay-wall just as the internet advertising market was ready to be worth billions to their inexplicable and inexcusable failure to figure out how to play in a broadband world — the company has shown a real knack for missing the real value online. As the internet video space heats up, it looks like they may be doing it again. Just look at some of the comments from AOL head Jonathan Miller’s recent speech on the company’s online video efforts. He focuses on how the internet is a challenger to TV, but for all the wrong reasons. To him, it’s about choice: “the Internet is a mass entertainment medium, very different from TV, because people could watch any of the concerts going on around the world.” That sounds nice, but it’s missing the point. It wasn’t about the massive amount of content. If that were the case, then the various TV providers would just keep adding channels when most have realized that they’ve reached a pretty useful limit. No, the real difference is in recognizing that the internet is not a broadcast medium where users sit back and watch, but an interactive medium. That doesn’t mean broadcast style content isn’t important — it is — but the user experience is quite different. People go looking for content online. They comment on it and they share it with others. They don’t do that on the TV. With TV, people sit back and watch. The content comes to them, which is quite different than how most people view the internet. It’s also why broadband, by itself, won’t kill TV. They may compete for a person’s time, but they serve different needs. If anyone should get that, it should be AOL. Instead, we’re told that the internet will simply replace TV by offering more broadcast style content… just on demand. The power of video content online isn’t just in having more broadcast content, but in mixing it with any kind of video content and letting users do what they will with it. That’s where all the attention is these days — but, once again, AOL is somewhere else.