Some interesting posts
recently on the Internet TV trend, which is really ramping up this year. Mark Cuban, who
co-founded in 1995 and sold it to Yahoo! in 1999, has a great post on his blog
outlining some of the pros and cons of rich media on the Net. He notes:

“The reality of TV viewing is that people watch the same 15 to 20 channels over and
over. They arent going to sit in front of their computers and look for video to replicate
the experience of sitting on the couch or laying in bed. What we did learn at, is that people will search, even if it takes some work, to find
things they are passionate about
that aren’t on TV. […] We also learned that people
will go to portals to explore.”

(emphasis mine)

He goes on to explain how user-generated content from the likes of has
taken off recently. He also talks about how Internet TV is a new medium, so just
re-purposing TV shows for the Web won’t work. For one there are no hit tv shows on the
Web, at least not on the scale of TV shows like Lost and Desparate Housewives. Cuban sums
it up:

“On the net, the value is in the network aggregator. On tv the value is in the

It’s well worth your time reading the whole post from Mark Cuban – and don’t miss the
comments for extra key data.

On this topic, has been covering industry moves in Internet TV. They
report on BBC’s
trial of its Integrated Media
, noting that:

“…most viewing took place between 10pm and 11pm [UK time], whereas the traditional
peak time for viewing of linear TV channels is between 7pm and 10pm.”

Interestingly the list of top tv programs downloaded on BBC’s iMP are all traditional
tv programs: Eastenders, Little Britain, etc. I wonder how the viewer numbers would stack
up if the BBC had a breakthrough tv show that was made exclusively for the Web? Perhaps
that is a year or two down the track…

Finally, check out
Tom Coates’ observations
on TV distribution. He says that iTunes-like distribution of
tv content on the Web is the best strategy. His prediction for the future:

“I think we’re approaching a world in which a near-live media distribution
will be a major partner to broadcast TV within five-ten years. This
environment will be focused on show-by-show subscriptions and ultimate
to get stuff down to viewers over normal broadband and mediated by
the bog-standard boring old internet – probably even through the web.”

(emphasis mine)

As you can see from the above 3 posts, Internet TV is a fast-growing world and a lot
of media companies like BBC and Yahoo! are jostling for position. Not to mention the
upstarts like youtube, the more established ‘new tv’ plays like Tivo, plus whatever Mark
Cuban will invest in next in this field!

Photo: JumpTV