Lots of noise in the blogosphere right now about "exploding TV," changes in the way that news and entertainment video content are distributed. I think some people are being too quick to sound the death knell of traditional media and other content gatekeepers. We all know that networks are characterized by hubs, and there will probably always be media participants to serve in the role of media hubs / portals. The question really is over who will win out to become and control those new hubs. Note how some traditional players are attempting to co-opt new media players: for instance, in the way that newspapers like Le Monde are attempting to become the jumping-off point for some of their local bloggers.
Additionally, while the explosion of television and other traditional forms of media means that there will continue to be opportunities for the creation of alternative content, traditional companies will retain a role in the production of more polished content, since it will be difficult to best their ability to attract larger sums of production capital.
Anyway, here are what I found to be some of the more interesting recent comments:
Both the channel-centric reality of TV and its ephemeral nature are
artifacts of the distribution bottleneck of cable broadcast. TV is
still in the era of limited shelf space, while the lesson of the Long
Tail is that more is always better. The growth of cable capacity over
the past decade pales next to the growth in video creation over the
same period and the size of the potential microaudiences for anything
We control trust. And so that is how we operate with news, too: We
can get the source material on the web or via CSpan to judge the facts
for ourselves; we can follow the track record of reporters and news
organizations to see when they mess up and whether we should believe
them; we follow the links of those who have not led us astray; we can
see who is being transparent and who is not and judge accordingly; we
decide what stories are important for us; we get to question those in
power thanks to new media. We are in control.
The idea that we should just sit there and watch as
someone reads the news to us is — now that we see the alternatives —
quaint at best, condescending at worst. Why the hell should we ever
have let Dan Rather decide what’s important to us and how we should
should look at it? How did we ever tolerate listening to the news from
him without taking the opportunity to talk back?
Jeff also does a nice wrapup of some of the more notable comments on the topic. Om Malik goes through how he thinks some of the economics will impact the evolution of exploding TV. Steve Rosenbaum argues that consumers are inundated by too much choice. Also check out Om’s January 4 piece "The Rise of a New News Network" in Business 2.0.