The Age of Participation: Online Video MicroChannels
This Economist article captures the spirit of what it calls "The Age of Participation." If you don't have time to ingest the whole thing, here's a nice excerpt:
"This has profound implications for traditional business models in the media industry, which are based on aggregating large passive audiences and holding them captive during advertising interruptions. In the new-media era, audiences will occasionally be large, but often small, and usually tiny. Instead of a few large capital-rich media giants competing with one another for these audiences, it will be small firms and individuals competing or, more often, collaborating. Some will be making money from the content they create; others will not and will not mind, because they have other motives. “People creating stuff to build their own reputations” are at one end of this spectrum, says Philip Evans at Boston Consulting Group, and one-man superbrands such as Steven Spielberg at the other."
So what does this mean for online video?
As I said yesterday, there will be a few Visa-like enablers of online videos, but thousands of channels. For every special interest area, there will be a video site... CubeBreak for bored office workers, a channel for voyeurs, a channel for every special interest -- from knitting to car repair. None of these "micro channels" will be able to afford the infrastructure of programming, hosting, ad sales, etc. So they'll depend on the Revver's to satisfy their audiences. Viewers will benefit from custom channels that are accessible on demand. Advertisers will soak in the trend because they can reach tiny niches that were cost prohibitive otherwise. And these little stations will make a decent living selecting and creating the content.
Someone will have to help us find these videos, of course. Collect call to Google Video. Will you accept the charge?