Video and the Web – PBS Speech

Many thanks to Mel Taylor, who posted this on youtube, (and on his own site), and draws my attention to it.

This was the keynote address to the annual Public Broadcasting Conference.

It makes a nice point about how video on line is different from video for broadcasting – as is the entire business model.


13 responses to “Video and the Web – PBS Speech

  1. who exactly is in the b

  2. Stop the presses!

    What business model are you speaking of?

    Is it one where people actually get paid a living wage and the company doing the producing and delivering of the product to the viewers also stay in business with a positive profit line?

    Tell me more!

    Or is it “convergence” where several methods of delivery are used in conjunction with each other in order to have a successful business that survives over the long term.

    Please leave jobs as teachers out of the business model answer if possible.

  3. It is a free market in which many ‘barriers to entry’ (such as FCC licenses on em spectrum) are done away with. The technology is going to bring the about and the sooner those who would publish and distribute content reinvent themselves to deal with this, the likelier their success.

  4. Yes, I understand and agree with your above thoughts but what is this business model you speak of?

    Is there one yet?

    Last I heard from you there wasn’t one that worked yet.

    Has that changed or is video on the Internet for a pay check still something that only happens when the Internet is a part of a larger working business model.

    What stand alone on the Internet business model is there at present?

    Is it CTV? Is that it? Is it a working model that is going to survive or still an experiment at present?

    Please point me to a working business model so I can understand the direction in this free market where Internet only video, besides porn, is making a successful business happen.

    I understand all the changes in “barriers to entry” yet, as is so painful to some, even without those barriers there don’t seem to be customers willing to part with money to watch or promote a business. Unless it’s a school to teach others how to make video for the Internet and then host their work on Youtube.

    Is Youtube paying people now to produce videos for their web site?

    That would be news!

  5. The model for video does not exist successfully yet. This does not mean it is not going to happen. The model for books, singles dates and leftover junk from the attic works pretty well. I can only assume that the model for news and information is going to be cast in the same mold.

    Let’s remember that it took almost 30 years from the invention of radio to a successful commercial model. Just because a new technology arrives, it does not mean the old models collapse immediately. It generally takes about a generation for old habits to die out.

  6. Ramble on. My thoughts in no particular direction.

    There are many sites which use citizen produced video. YouTube is a success. Right? Many niche content providers – ski resorts for instance – will be hiring folks who shoot small cam, VJ style stuff.

    The “stand alone” model for journalism…. I am not sure is worth a debate….

    Because journalism is not the same as entertainment, or infotainment. Journalism can happen right now, any place. Anyone can shoot home video of content worthy of social impact. (Journalism.) Anyone, anytime.

    There will be no “model” for journalism content – when it comes to spot news.

    Investigative and in depth documentaries, perhaps. Those stories that take longer than one day to shoot…will need to come from people committed to that story. That will require money. This model might be a freelance model. Again, those who want to do journalism …can. There are no barriers to journalism. Per se.

    There will be and should be barriers to established news outlets to pay for content…based on the truthfulness, validity of the content provided. That is certainly a barrier. There will be many “one sided” or “un verified” video stories produced. But they will not make a lot of money, unless they are truthful. (Not to mention the libel and slander laws that still will apply.)

    Economic models for web video? Right now it is pennies. Fractionalized. YouTube is certainly one model that has worked. For all we know, they could start their own news channel. Certainly there are enough people trafficking that site to probably build a news website based on user videos. Put a few seasoned journalists in charge…to sift the good from bad, and get rid of the weeds. Then let users debate, rebut, and “test” stories for validity.

    Making money…is not what journalism…true journalism… is about.

    Sure, in the past, we all became used to the adage…”the news BUSINESS” and it still applies. Many news organizations have sold their souls to make money. Networks…even the best – 60 Minutes – consistantly do interviews with people SELLING THEIR NEW BOOK.

    Definately, these book sellers are newsworthy. But don’t be fooled. This type of programming is based on making money. Every one involved is making money.

    At its purest form.

    Journalism is not about making money.

    That is why any future “model” of video journalism will have to deal with. True citizen journalism needs to separate the business goal…from the altruistic goal. Will that ever happen.


    Why? Because the past models were based on large budgets for equipment, transmission towers, talent, promotion, travel, etc..

    The future model doesnt have a large budget.

    So the money will, and should, go directly to the producer of the content.

    Those website that provide the average video journalist a place to upload and get paid for their content…directly…. (like Ebay, publishing, etc..) will get a slice of the pie.

    The only way to get into the mind of the public…is to advertise. Networks currently have the capability of advertising to the masses. If they were smart, they would create a citizen journalism website…just for this purpose. If anyone can create a website before they do…and advertise on Superbowl Sunday…they might have a chance.

    Then again, is there enough compelling content, daily, to justify viewers and traffic?

    Or will the network model prevail.

    Ramble on.

  7. I think the thing here is although there is a lot of talk about cost of making the news product there is very little talk about return. I’ve just been listening to a network board chairman on radio and he was saying that for every dollar they spend on news they get ten dollars from advertising revenue back. That’s not a bad rate of return and I have to wonder what kind of idiot would start nickel and dimeing their product to compete with an internet model that has yet to show any return?

  8. In my experience to date, those ‘idiots’ would include News Corp, The Independent Group, The Guardian, The Times, The FT, NBCUniversal, a bunch of station groups in the US, …but those are just the ones I know of personally.

    When television was first invented it was not profitable at all – and very expensive to get into. Radio was king – and very profitable indeed. Many in the radio business thought the move to television was nuts, and a complete waste of time, effort and money. Many radio personalities were dragged kicking and screaming to tv against their will.

  9. “When television was first invented it was not profitable at all – and very expensive to get into. ”

    Sometimes the correlations you attempt just don’t seem logical.

    I agree the business model, make that successful business model, for Internet video has yet to be developed.

    Your addition of “expense” to produce as an element to explain a lack of progress towards that yet undeveloped business model has nothing to do with anything.

    In fact it shows that you can do anything cheap but as long as the quality isn’t there, neither is the money to make that pie in the sky future business model.

    The narrow thinking by many that it
    s just one or the other, Internet or broadcast, lacks a base in reality.

    Convergence. The two working hand in hand to promote one another. Re-purposing product for both is the future.

    Those who think it’s just the Internet and that broadcast is soon to be dead show they lack real business sense. Both for now and in the future.

  10. whoops

    great talk – but how easy is it really for a company (let alone industry) to reinvent itself? Could the railways really have morphed into FEDEX? At a minimum it would have meant sacking all their staff and selling all their assets.

  11. Thanks
    There are those that do make the transformation – painful though it may be – and it may indeed sacking or reinventing a large part of the staff. Microsoft, with its late entry into the web world is a classic example of reinvention. Watch Verizon move into cable. Phone companies, despite their size, are pretty adept at reinvention. Wires in the house, wireless, cable – they understand their primary job is to enable and carry communications – and they didn’t even get hung up over the ‘voice’ issue… or the Bell Telephone leases you a plastic phone in your house that plugs into our wires. Very nimble.

  12. RIGHT ON!!! Wish it didnt cut off at the end but I understand…

    The reason why Apple called the iPod the iPod is because they didnt want to limit themselves to it just being an mp3 player. Their vision was that one day people would just carry their “Pod” around and it would do everything… The iPod is in the business of delivering WHATEVER YOU WANT to you… something the other companies JUST realized

  13. I was interested in Michael’s comment that the business model for internet video does not exist successfully yet. I think the model is rapidly coming into place. And it is not being done by YouTube, but rather by outfits like Brightcove.

    Their model centers on placing advertising on videos and sharing the revenues with the video producers. Brightcove lets video producers upload their content for free in return for the ad sharing. They are not trying to compete with YouTube, which does no revenue sharing.

    The recent announcement that Google’s AdSense is going to expand to video ads I think may be a turning point in the effort the come up with a successful VJ business model. See their announcement at:

    The drawback to the model is that advertisers want to see a lot of viewers before placing their ads on the videos.

    But I think the economics of this will eventually work in such a way that any VJ with decent content can start up their own Internet Video Channel and attract enough viewers to start to generate income.

    BTW, I’m a Rosenblum alum from VOA and I love the new emphasis on internet news video being different than just putting TV news on internet. Keep up the good work.

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