TV Ecosystem Will End Web 2.0

In 2004 O'Reilly Media hosted the first Web 2.0 conference. Tim O'Reilly observed that Web 2.0 was defined as software applications that could be built upon the Web rather than the desktop. This period in the evolution of the Web, O'Reilly stated, would allow consumers to self-syndicate data (RSS) across Internet properties. I believe as the TV ecosystem rolls out three-screen technologies we might find ourselves approaching the end of the Web 2.0 Era.

The Internet is an ever-expanding cloud of content and clutter. Web properties (like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn, etc.) collect users with similar interests and provide them with tools to participate. However, as a side effect, caused by an overuse of data syndication, we are seeing consumer-generated messages duplicated across many Internet sites. Clearly Web 2.0 clutter is on the rise.

Recently we have seen aspects of Web 2.0 functionality enter the mobile space. Android has announced that in the future consumers will have the ability to push Web pages from their desktops into their mobile phones. If left unchecked, and if Web 2.0 were to overtake television, I suspect increases in unregulated video clutter would follow.

Over the past decade, a lot of new technology has been installed in the TV ecosystem. We have seen the emergence of large integration projects like cable interconnects, broadcast television hubs, and increases in DBS satellite launches. Additional innovation cycles are deploying (or planning to deploy) TV Everywhere, mobile DTV, and EBIF. All will tap into the strengths of the integration work that has already been completed. These technologies could, theoretically, be used to facilitate content sharing between devices.

From outside the ecosystem we find Web-centric technologists lobbing stones saying TV is an integral framework system, meaning that each multichannel operator controls the total delivery of the service. Many outsiders believe integral framework barriers exist in television and that they slow down competition and innovation. But it's clear to me that we are cut from the same modular cloth as the Internet. Many technologies, and content companies, cooperate -- and each are dependent on the other in order to deliver a seamless television experience. A perfect example of this modular cooperation is the conversion from analog to digital.



At the center of TV's modular framework is content. Two weeks ago at the All Things D8 conference, Steve Burke from Comcast expressed his passion for the superior design of the TV ecosystem. Burke shared that he believes consumers will continue to access content from the navigational tools (DVR, VOD, linear, etc.) that are presently supplied by the incumbent players. The TV ecosystem's true potential, in my opinion, could be to allow consumers to self-yndicate data (including some video) to other devices directly from the licensed and regulated content stack of television.

I think what the success of the iPhone and Android has taught us is that consumers want access to Wb applications (apps) that can be launched on any device. TV's future could be driven by hundreds of thousands of Wb apps (many built for TV advertisers) that could be activated at the click of the remote control. In other words, I should be able to watch television content from the ecosystem and click and move Wb apps to my account in TV Everywhere, or mobile DTV, or perhaps any other Wb-based service that is part of the framework.

Advertisers may look to partner with those multichannel video providers, and broadcasters, that do implement the three-creen advantage. Like a string pulled tight between two soup cans, cross-platform measurement will be about calculating the value of a consumer's interactions (with a specific advertisement) among any combination of the three screens.

Revenue in the TV industry could increase quite dramatically due to this three-screen juggernaut. It will become cost-effective to embed clickable pointers inside content via the production credits, on screen graphics, and audio elements. Consumers will need no training. Web 2.0 seems somewhat dated, and maybe even obsolete, when compared to our three-screen future.

2 comments about "TV Ecosystem Will End Web 2.0".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Brian Hayashi from ConnectMe 360, June 14, 2010 at 4:17 p.m.

    The three-screen experience has been enabled, in large part, by a little innovation called the cue tone. This inaudible signal first enabled national networks to sell local advertising without interrupting the experience. Later, it enabled increasingly sophisticated delivery and syndication models where programmers could establish windows of availability.

    This ability to offer windows of availability to different audiences has been the key to profitability for TV networks, just as yield management has delivered results for airlines and hotels. The so-called three-screen model, and the associated TV Everywhere concept, is based on the ability to provide rights management across multiple user occasions and modalities.

    Such thinking is relatively uncommon among Web 2.0 organizations. Many VCs are openly dismissive of the TV industry model, focusing instead on "free" and "free-er" - freemium models that rely on increasingly sophisticated ways of giving away content in an attempt to get increasing levels of involvement.

    Going forward, I believe organizations will need to embrace both freemium AND yield management disciplines: the former to establish new modes of behavior; but the latter to innovate new forms of attribution and pay models.

  2. Clinton Gallagher, June 14, 2010 at 8:56 p.m.

    Within two perhaps as long as three years from now HDTVs as a digital electronics device customers will have a choice to purchase HDTV built to spec by integrators and software service developers such as myself; "white box TV" will be everywhere.

    At the moment the TV manufacturers (many of them who have eventually also become PC manufacturers) are behind --the same-- big rock and stuck in the same hard place the PC manufacturers were in the late 1980s when the microcomputer really started to matter to so many vertical markets.

    And we all know what that rock and that hard place did to manufacturers who controlled a seemingly permanent hegemony then.

    Those that refuse to acknowledge these facts of history, what is occurring in the rapdily changing present and the inevitable future of convergence and open system are IMO either disengenuous as they are compelled to avoid discussing such facts for some reason --or-- they are simply plain dumb and have no understanding of the digital electronics industry.

    I am so grateful to the FCC for the July 12th digital broadcasting mandate. I have stated the mandate will in due time become understood as a historical turning point which pragmatically speaking deregulated the market which attracts that ~$70 billion annual advertising market everybody likes to refer to, a part of which a little peanut like myself has already successfully earned a part of.

    So remember something, there is no TV Ecosystem without the TV receiver as the end-point and that end-point is no longer exclusively controlled by the manufacturers who are rapidly losing out to the same rock and hard place that did in the proprietary over-priced microcomputer hegemony in the 1980s.

Next story loading loading..