The sudden success of the video blogg confirms our prediction that customers are ready to become more involved in video-based communication the minute true broadband becomes available at affordable prices. This will automatically lead to a range of providers offering more choices in video-based services. This will stimulate innovation and new services, and this upward spiral will continue for several years to come.
As we have been predicting for several years, at least 75% of all broadband used will be based on individually generated services. The enormous growth in video and photo content sites is a good example here. This trend is driven by the Internet media companies who are freely making software and services available for customers to participate in these sites. Millions of people are independently setting up their own personal video services on their own web sites and web pages with their own video bloggs.
This latest trend in new media is also known as ‘vlogging’. Via video diaries and homemade reality shows, vloggers are using the power of cheap online technology to invite strangers into their lives. Topics range from in-depth discussions on the meaning of the universe to crude and jerky snapshots of everyday life.
Recently uploaded vloggs allow you to take a spin through Mumbai in an auto-rickshaw, drop in on the life of a young Filipina vlogger, or to watch a woman simply tending a kettle in her New York apartment.
Vlogging’s time has come thanks to a new generation of cheap cameras, editing programs and simple software, plus the fast broadband connections needed to download content.
The new trend (currently a craze) hints at the impending convergence of the Internet and television and the day when programs will be offered a la carte as web downloads, rather than having to be viewed when a media firm chooses to broadcast them.
It will also include people sharing their activities with each other. Again, this can be done on personal sites, but these moments can also be shared on a larger public scale.
There will be many flavours to such services. Teenagers are already using web cameras to stay in touch with each other. Families share their holidays, family events, children’s progress and school activities with the extended family. Club members and business groups, company employees, etc, will no doubt soon all have similar services in place.
While commercial content will be a relatively small part of the overall broadband scene (20%-25%) based on the very large user numbers involved these commercial activities will still be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
Nevertheless, most of ‘commercial’ information will also be free of charge through government information, infotainment from companies, and plain information and advertising as well – obviously in totally different formats to those currently in use.
Because of corporate and political pressures, most TV channels rarely take a chance on innovative and original programming. The video blogg, which is personal by definition, taps into the growing interest in independent programming.
Now that broadband-enabled TVs and set-tops such as new DVRs with broadband TV are available, a viewer can choose from thousands of programs – video bloggs, old TV shows and new movies. With Internet TV, television will go from being a convenience store to a giant supermarket.
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