Disrupted to Death

I was cheered by a piece detailing a new Swedish video service, Voddler, which lets subscribers share movies they download with up to 10 friends. So, as Business Week points out, a movie rented for 48 hours can be shared by the renter with others, and a movie bought through Voddler gives you the same ability to share it with others. A limited number of others, but others.

This sounds so crazy, that you know, it could become popular. In Sweden and the other Nordic countries, and in Spain, Voddler has one million users, Business Week says, and now it’s being launched globally, though when I went online to find it, the site was down today. Bummer.

Every time I hear of a new method of delivery, I’m reminded of a recently unearthed footage of traffic on Market Street in  San Francisco in 1906, when cars and horses and streetcars and pedestrians all just went where ever they wanted. That’s the state of media today. It’s just all over the place.



We live in an age of disruptive media, and people are used to the disruption. I don’t think being used to it is anywhere near the same as buying into it, though. Which is why I am still dubious about OTT boxes and things that seem like OTT, like, I guess Aereo.  Viewers are now being given so many viewing choices—with advertising and expert opinion that says this or that device is the sure path forward—that consumers just may be deciding to do. . .nothing.  

Really, it seems about the smartest thing to do.

Voddler the Sampler can be instructive.  Internet-era consumers have different ideas about buying entertainment. As in, they hate to buy it at all.  But if compelled, as they are with smartphones, consumers are all in.

 I think consumers would welcome a simple way to try all the OTT devices out there before settling on one, or perhaps, none.

Viewers have pretty clear memories of XM and Sirius, and Beta and VHS, and what were those two networks?—oh, yes, The WB and UPN—and how ultimately, some or all of them went away because people didn’t need them or even particularly like them.  (I actually believe for sheer hucksterism, nothing beats the original claims of cable. All those channels! And still, mostly, nothing on.) Consumers might just like to let Apple and Google and TiVo and Boxee and the others just beat the brains out of each other and see who wins.    

 Disruptive media can only disrupt if it’s going in a direction viewers wish to be taken. Netflix’s “House of Cards” might be saying something about the future of content delivery, but really, maybe not. It was one mini-series. That’s it, so far. The YouTube channels, Machinima and Smosh and StyleHaul  have millions of viewers— surprisingly, millions of viewers---and that, to me is a disruption that’s causing real change.

3 comments about "Disrupted to Death".
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  1. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, April 19, 2013 at 3:42 p.m.

    "people are used to the disruption"... Couldn't agree more. Just look at advertising - where so many ads reach for "edginess" that none of them are "edgy". ANY seemingly revolutionary idea dies a death and becomes mundane...including disruption.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, April 19, 2013 at 4:44 p.m.

    There is plenty on TV. Not that I any great favor for Comcast, it does take quite a few clicks to get back to a channel and watch the next in the On Demand service and they take things off before one can get to them, but the programs are findable once you get the click of it. That's one problem of variety. The other is that vanilla is still the best selling ice cream flavor. As in the grocery store, it's all about shelf space and it doesn't matter if most of the flavors sit on those shelves for a very long time. Company competition is stifled. Now what happens when there is unlimited shelf space ?

  3. Anders Sjöman from Voddler, April 20, 2013 at 7:33 a.m.

    Hi - glad to see you reflecting on our launch yesterday of Voddler LiveShelf.

    We're rolling out our LiveShelf country by country now, aiming at having opened LiveShelf fully globally within weeks.

    If you try now, the site is there. The onslaught of testers yesterday was overwhelming(ly fun) and we had to reconfigure servers a bit. Now back in business.

    It could be that your country (you based Stateside?) is not activated yet, in which case you won't be able to create an account just yet.

    Anders Sjöman, Voddler

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