The Changing Face of Video

April 18, 2007 1:04 pm Tags: No Comments 0

Change triggers more change when trends never imagined by the architect of a single innovation begin to appear—and change paralyzes companies that remain rooted in the past. While some companies adapt successfully to new technologies, others falter.

Such is the nature of business whenever the paradigm shifts. Recognizing a shifting paradigm is critical to dealing with it. Maintaining success requires changing the way things are done. Over the past 18 months, a new paradigm swing in video-based entertainment—also known as the Video 2.0 experience—has made old business models obsolete and created entirely new ways to view content. The video experience will never be the same again, and new capabilities in the IP next-generation network (IP NGN) will be required to deliver on the promise of this new technology swing.

Following the Money

Today’s video subscribers want choices, personalization, community-based content sharing, and often instant gratification. No longer complacent to be viewers, they are
now producers or distributors in their own right, empowered by the worldwide IP network. People no longer buy CDs to get a single song or remain glued to television to catch the 8pm broadcast.

Apple’s iTunes service—with over a billion downloads a year—demonstrated, unequivocally, that digital distribution not only works but can reach new customers. Download-to-own television and podcasts followed with time-shifted programming to a device other than the television, while Comcast’s own on-demand digital TV service has reached more than 3 billion cumulative video-on-demand (VoD) streams in just 2 years. Time-shifted viewing—what you want when you want it—is changing the way people watch video. Even the major broadcasters are posting their most popular TV shows to Websites moments after they are seen on network television.

Then there was a phenomenon from nowhere which, mere months after going live, culminated in a $1.65 billion acquisition by Google. YouTube with an estimated 120 million video streams downloaded daily by an estimated 6.2 million daily Internet visitors, has changed video distribution and viewing forever.

Video 2.0 Is Multidimensional

The Video 2.0 experience is multifaceted, offering an endless array of IP-enabled entertainment. Content that is just a click away using Internet TV through Slingbox or community sites such as YouTube and MySpace, interactive gaming sites, managed services such as iTunes, and broadcast networks from ABC to BBC or the cable networks of Comcast, Time Warner, or Cox—all this is part of the expanded Video 2.0 pool of entertainment. Network television becomes just one more interactive, personalized experience when it is IP-enabled through cable, IPTV, and mobile networks.

But Video 2.0 encompasses so much more by including business users too. Much of this video content is for consumers. Yet business video is equally as important to the “anything-to-anywhere” Video 2.0 experience and offers business subscribers ways to connect, communicate, and collaborate through telepresence, video-enabled chat, video conferencing, unified communications, or vertical applications such as distance learning and remote medical diagnosis.