Joost A Moment

Last week peer-to-peer backboned video destination site Joost received a lot of press, thanks in part to its content deal -- clips and classics for now -- with Viacom. In the articles that I've read, the service was either referred to as a YouTube killer and/or a cable company or cable systems killer. Got the YouTube killer reference. All user-generated content broadbanded sites are going after the eyeballs aggregation leader, and thusly, will be dynamically positioned by the trade community as such. Got it. But the latter reference -- cable company or cable systems killer -- is the appellation that is confusing and too restrictive for me in the Big Mac view of the world. Isn't it the mission of any and all of these new video destination sites -- YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, Brightcove, Revver, Veoh, to name a few -- to become the ultimate destination for all televisual viewing experiences?

And therefore, in the simplest of terms, aren't the lofty goals of these endeavors to replace all traditional and neo-traditional television distribution systems, whether broadcast, cable, satellite and teleco, as the video repository for all that is worth accessing (amateur, quasi-professional, professional) and multitasking (chat, sharing, emailing, modifying) -- you know, the "TV on Steroids" referencing.



If that is in fact the case, shouldn't we, the media community (traditional, new media, old-new and newest media) wipe the words "systems and networks," lower 20th Century references, from our media lexicon, and replace them with the traditional, old-new media term "portal," an upper 20th Century associative. Shouldn't we begin to refer to the access point of all things televisual by the entry point and not the distribution methodology? The major cable operators (Comcast, Time Warner, Charter and Cox) are all access points to entering the world of televisual properties. EchoStar and DirecTV do the same. When the TV stations convert their transmissions from analog to digital post-February 2009, they will claim a similar boast. And of course, one might argue that the telecos' IPTV delivery is meaningfully different and an exception, given that it doesn't fall within the lower and upper 20th Century media classifications. However, one could posit that the difference is really to be debated by technologically centric theologians, since IPTV in its present FiOS and U-verse offering is yet another competitor in the realm of delivering video content to the population and vying for subscriptions.

The media pundits all seem to agree that the consumer doesn't really care what pipe delivers video, audio and data to their abode as long as they have the option of receiving, at a minimum, "fair value" -- and possibly one bill, the plethora of program choices and services that their relatives in other cities cherish.

So given that Joost says potato and traditional media distributors say potahto and Yahoo says tomato and the telecos say tomahto, let's decide on what we call it before the advertiser and its advertising agencies call the whole thing off by making engagement even more difficult than it already is.

We, the media community, can keep debating how many terminologies, classifications, and definitions fit on the head of a media silo -- or we could spend more time concentrating on the consumer experience, and how advertising is an integral part of that connection.

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