Change is in the air

May 19, 2007 · Posted in Uncategorized 

Bill Gates in the Seattle PI:
“On television: “This is a subject I think about a lot, because it was actually about a little over 10 years ago that Microsoft first got involved in this idea of changing TV from being a simply broadcast medium to being a targeted medium (through its IPTV initiative). … In order to have this be targeted, you cannot send it over the airwaves. There’s just not enough capacity to broadcast thousands and thousands of different video feeds. And that’s where the Internet comes in. The Internet is now cheap enough that the idea of having every household in America watching a different video feed has become practical. There’s some infrastructure improvement that that implies. Actually, that’s very much under way. … It’s a dramatic change in TV. … Broadcast infrastructure over these next five years will not be viewed as competitive. The end-user experience and the creativity, the new content that will emerge using the capabilities of this environment will be so much dramatically better that broadcast TV will not be competitive. And in this environment, the ads will be targeted, not just targeted to the neighborhood level, but targeted to the viewer. … We’ll actually not just know the household that that viewing is taking place in, we’ll actually know who the viewers of that show are, and so it’s a very rich environment.”
Seattle PI: Todd Bishop’s Microsoft Blog


I lived through the linotype-to-typesetter revolution in newspapers. I watched the paste-up artists walk out the door the last time. That entire floor of our building, once an incredible beehive of frenzied activity, is still like a tomb, 20 years later — because the computer rooms that replaced hundreds of jobs are sealed off and refrigerated like the morgue.

That kind of paradigm change is happening again with video. As you TV guys argue big camera vs. small, professionalism vs amateur, penny pinching vs. quality, the world is bypassing you. YouTube is feeding 200 million videos a day. That’s 2 with eight zeros after it.

As we speak, probably a thousand photographers and reporters at newspapers across the country are figuring out how to use a video camera. Already newspapers outpace television in online video revenue.

But both newspapers and local tv depend on local advertising — and that revenue model is shifting even faster than camera technology. It ain’t about mass market anymore. It’s about targeted publication. And small targeted advertising to niche audiences won’t support my newsroom nor yours. Everything will change.

The question is, how fast?


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  • Filthy Lucre: I don’t control what ads run here… caveat emptor