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Video as an Application: Internet TV

Posted on September 14, 2006

Old TVThe next media mogul will not be someone like Rupert Mudoch but will instead be someone that creates a TV station online. Advertisers will be able to target you as an individual making ads more relevant to your life. You will be able to find information about products you see on TV shows and buy them just by clicking on them. Sound crazy? To Jeff Pulver, it sounds like the future of television.

Jeff Pulver of Pulver Media and Vonage gave a great talk at PodCamp regarding the future of video. In specific, he spoke about video as an application and the power of that concept. While the things he said initially sounded a little out there I immediately began to realize that not only could they happen they could be made and released in the relatively near future. As someone who recently stopped their cable TV service and is looking to the internet to move to TV this is very exciting for all of the reasons I discussed in my post about leaving cable (buy only the channels/shows I want, etc.). However, I think internet based TV is potentially even more interesting to the advertising community.

The holy grail of advertising is engaging a customer that you know is looking to buy your product or service. Broadcasting provides a way to send a shotgun blast into the mix meaning that you hit a few key people but your message is wasted on the vast majority of folks. Then came the internet where things could be tracked and targeted so advertisers could get to a more concrete ROI on their advertising spends. The logical next step from there is to be able to target individual people when they are looking to buy. This can be done through TV on the internet.

This idea also plays into the idea of the database of intentions and John Battelle’s idea of the internet connecting with TV so advertisers can use your search data, TV watching habits and internet attention data to serve you a highly relevant ad. I’ll admit it sounds a bit creepy off the bat but this will allow advertisers to send you ads that are actually useful to you. No longer will you have to view random ads that are a waste of your time. You will get ads for things that you are actually looking for and the ads can actually help you with your purchasing research. There is also another kind of advertising that can happen within internet based TV that is particularly interesting - product placement.

Now, I know what you are thinking - product placement, that’s lame and has been done. Sure, we’ve all seen the Pepsi can that magically has its label facing the camera in the middle of a TV show or movie and some of us will even remember the Wayne’s World spoof where they have a barrage of shamelessly plugged products for a solid minute or two. This time, however, things will be different. The products in the show may not be showcased per see. They will just be in the show and you can click on, say, a character’s shirt and get info on it as well as buy it on the spot. Pretty cool, eh? I think so.

With all that said I still think that there is more to this idea than a simple internet TV station. I feel things could be more community oriented and personalized although I don’t know what that means yet. Anyhow, I know I am going to continue to think about this concept along with my new friends from PodCamp (including Justin Kownacki who already produces a great show called Something to be Desired - he’s already in the revolution). Some interesting things are coming so stay tuned to this space.

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2 Comments so far
  1. Justin Kownacki September 14, 2006 11:41 pm

    You’re right, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The challenge now is to alert the world — and the people who think they run it — that this iceberg is on the horizon. Otherwise, they may just paddle in circles…

  2. schreinervideo September 17, 2006 7:23 pm

    The other major challenge for bloggers and webcasters will be maintaining their independence and “edge” and not selling out to their advertisers. We’re already seeing the medium becoming the message again just like television. The key to the Internet and blogging is to prevent them from becoming like TV. This is about substance, not hype. Mostly, I agree with you though.
    Schreiner Productions
    Salt Lake City, Utah