Don’t point that cell phone at me!
The New York Times is carrying a story today that Nokia and filmmaker Spike Lee have signed a deal to create content out of ‘User Generated Content” made on Nokia phones.
Nokia reports that by 2012, one out of four people will CREATE and share video content.
Let’s say that one again: By 2012 (which is only 4 years away), one out of four people will CREATE video content and share it.
That’s a staggering number.
Phone manufacturers such as Nokia are now positioning themselves to leverage off this considerable revolution in usage. Once phones were used for talking. In the very near future, they’ll be used for content creation. Smart phone companies want to be there.
Smart TV and cable companies might also want to be there.
They are already in the business of creating content, but on a very tiny scale (at least compared with 90 million Americans making videos and sharing them). They deal with a handful of production companies. But there are literally millions of creators who are poised and ready to go. What they need is a leader – someone to create the model for them to follow.
Nokia is taking a stab at it.
Others, surely will follow.
But this is going to require a radical rethinking of just what business cable companies are in. They are used to commissioning shows, running ads and taking the difference as profit. Passive watching. But we are leaving the passive world for the world of online networks and communities. Cable companies can position themselves to be the focal point of online video contact and sharing.
They can start, as The Travel Channel has started, with the Travel Channel Academy, by priming the pump, training people who want to do this, and binding young creators (and there are millions of them) to the Channel before anyone else gets to them. But this is just a start. Next comes a platform where their material is shared and exchanged easily.
Will cable channels be able to adapt?
One never knows. American industrial history is littered with the corpses of those industries that failed to adapt to new technologies.
One can only hope that existing networks will Do The Right Thing.