Ramblings on Streaming Video

Streaming video is hot right now, and it's only getting hotter as broadband becomes more pervasive. I get to sit in many discussions that deal with this topic and in one of those conversations I had an epiphany as to how it gets sold in to clients, and I thought I'd share my epiphany with you.

We all know that TV is the most emotionally impactful media form currently available. TV is unmatched in its ability to convey an emotional message, but TV is also a passive medium. Interactive is the medium that affords the most opportunity for dialogue. It is the "lean-forward" medium, compared to TV which is a "lean-back" medium. Streaming video, and other forms of online video, offer the best of both worlds. It offers the emotion of television, coupled with the interactivity and opportunity for dialogue that comes from the Web.

All of that being said, I still don't think we have seen what will eventually become the norm.

The way video is currently viewed online still seems somewhat clunky. It feels as though we're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. If you see the current executions, we're placing video into existing ad spaces. We're pushing video into banners and buttons rather than coming up with new presentation architecture. We need to re-evaluate how we see the Web and how we place video inside of it.



What about a site that is purely a video interface? What about typing in a URL and coming to a TV station? Does the future hold the possibility of a pure video interface with flash layered on top? Companies like Maven and Desksite offer experiences that are similar to this but are housed on your desktop rather than online. Why can't we foresee this experience online as well?

The promise of video is one that will certainly be fulfilled online, and will likely change dramatically before we see this fulfillment. I am really interested to see how video will be incorporated over the next two years. Once dial-up is a thing of the past, of course. Aren't you?

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