What Will Make Online Video More Than Just TV Online?
from the making-it-work dept
For many years people have tried to create internet-only TV shows, and about the only notable feature of most has been how quickly they failed. For a while, it seemed like the internet just wasn’t right for “sit back” content that involved just watching video — but perhaps it had more to do with the lack of enabling technology. In the last few years, of course, we’ve seen the rise of much faster connections combined with the rise of online video sites in just the last year. The combination means that online TV shows are hot again — helping to prove that the value of things like YouTube goes well beyond copyright infringement. Many are embracing this trend, such as Jeff Pulver, who has been building a directory of online only TV shows among other video projects. Of course, the real question is where will this all lead. Simply replicating TV isn’t all that interesting by itself. It certainly does open up opportunities for those who could never get on TV, which is a great starting point, but the real power isn’t just in “broadcasting” TV content to the internet (and then getting a TV or DVD deal, as some seem to aspire to), but in adding in the real interactivity — and there are many different ways that can play out. It can be as simple as encouraging others to make “response” videos, as are popular on YouTube, or playing up to the community of watchers as folks like Ze Frank have embraced. While it’s great to see more and more people experimenting with moving video online, it seems like we’re still in the stage where people are looking at internet video the same way they viewed early cars as “horseless carriages” and non-silent movies were “talkies.”