The Platform is the Message

For years people have been saying that they will watch things in HD, that they would never ordinarily watch. In the 12 years I have been involved in Internet Video in one form or another, I have yet to have anyone ever tell me they will watch something just because its on the internet.

Thats not to say people wont surf the net and sample something they otherwise would not watch. Thats what the internet video aggregation sites are all about. Sampling things you never would other wise watch.

One thing is becoming increasingly clear, while more people are “snacking on Internet video“, the real “meal” continues to be TV.

It appears like the Olympics are proving this out and presenting an interesting conclusion, people are starting to define the content they want to watch on each platform. The Platform is the Message to content creators.

Without question, people want to watch big events on their big HDTVs. There is a reason why 30pct of homes and quickly growing now have HDTVs…..they like to watch them. With a 73″ HDTV from Mitsubishi down to about $2200 bucks, its easy to see why and the pricing of all HDTVs continuing to fall, its a trend thats not going to end anytime soon. Watching an event like the Olympics, just about any sporting event and even big shows like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars benefit. ESPN has issued research saying their ratings across the board are up 47 to 50pct every month in HDTV households.

I think the real question of the Olympics isnt “whats the impact of the Internet”, its “whats the impact on viewing of HDTV ?”. If and when NBC releases numbers regarding ratings in HDTV households, I wouldnt be shocked if the numbers are 75pct higher. People with big, beautiful TVs that they spent a lot of money on, want a reason to watch them. This could go down as the year the Olympics reinvigorated TV.

if programmers understand that people will watch different programs on different platforms, we can stop playing the game of trying to replace TV.

Programmers will create content differently for every platform, from cellphone, even to movies. In the movie world , its pretty simple to see that big movies, with big special effects look great and sound great in theaters. Same with 3D. Thats an experience even a 73″ HDTV cant recreate fully

Events look great on HDTVs, whether they are sports, shows or movies.

Quick hits and short clips are great for the internet. Sure some people will watch shows that perform better on other platforms on the net. We all use what we have available when its our only choice. Which is why so much video consumption online is in the office. Its our only choice.

replays and breaking news and anything that helps us kill time are what we will use our MIDS, PDAs, and phones for.

The platform is the message from viewers to content providers.

68 thoughts on “The Platform is the Message

  1. I\’ll tell you why 93% of the Olympics was viewed on TV and not… Sure, TV is still the dominant and people snack right now on Internet video, but I had to download and install Microsoft Silverlight just to watch them… a poorly designed site, this fact (despite the technology behind Silverlight), and NBC\’s draconian approach to their video (like taking away the ability to embedd which kills a ton of potential traffic) are the reasons for NBC\’s internet video offering only garnering so many views (72 million I think).

    Give the Olympic Internet video rights over to ESPN or Gootube and you\’ll see a huge boost in Olympic viewing on the \’Net in 2016, or what coulda been a huge boost this year.

    Comment by James Stevens -

  2. great post. any chance of network tv subsidizing sales of hdtv\’s?

    Comment by self esteem king -

  3. I have to say I meet more and more people here in dallas that are abandoning cable and sat. and are opting for just viewing internet – movies, shows etc on their tv directly from the internet. its only a matter of time before this becomes the norm. so dont fight it.. find a way to integrate it and become the next standard.

    Comment by HDguy -

  4. TV is still the entre, but user generated online programming will inevitably put a tremendous amount of pressure on these large networks to produce good content. For example, you could argue NBC really butchered the Olympics, not because of who they had reporting and what they were talking about, but in relation to the logistics of the presentation. They showed some main events and that\’s about it. There\’s so much DICOVERY that could of gone one but we were barred from experiencing this because of NBC. With the integration of internet multimedia and the physical TV, these large networks are in for some competition. Wouldn\’t it be cool to watch curling in the winter olympics as well as read the bios of each of the players on your screen, and also look at the metal count, and also watch other events going on, all while the curling people are right in between their events. Check this out its unbelievable…

    Comment by Ryan Mettee -

  5. I think there will ultimately be one platform for all messages. That\’s the magic of the Internet, and the reason this particular technology will destroy all that has come before it, and inform all that will come after it.

    The miracle invention of the \’Net, which is such an understatement that it\’s cliche to mention at this point, is the key to our new understanding of not just entertainment–but reality, in general, imho. We are only just now at the threshold, as we wait for the technology to grow up, in a sense. But we\’ve definitely been reborn.

    Comment by zia -

  6. I\’m guilty of recently purchasing an HD. $2700!

    Comment by Nick -

  7. NBC sucks. The US Men are going for olympic GOLD in volleyball right now but they\’re not showing it on TV live and blacked out the live web video. Blacked out Telemundo. Blacked out foreign web sites showing the match.

    They want us to watch it tomorrow on NBC where they can control the coverage. That\’s the gripe I have with TV networks. They want to paint us into the same old box where we are slave to their programming and schedule, for the sake of their profit. That\’s why I don\’t mind the video pirates that rip it off from NBC. They deserve it for giving us such a crappy product when a much better product could be available. NBC is instead running ping pong. A-holes.

    Comment by Jeff in Dallas -

  8. These days, it does seem to be a game of figuring out what will replace TV. But as you point out here, it\’s more a matter of determining what messages belong on what platforms.

    Comment by Tim Jahn -

  9. @Rick Z
    \”Just give me an appliance that makes the internet as simple and reliable as my cable box today\”

    Are you kidding? I can\’t stand my cable box. The best thing I can say about it is that I like the DVR. The \”guide\” feature is the worst interface ever invented. And the \”search\” feature on my Verizon FiOS Cable box has a text entry box but no keyboard. You are required to use the \”onscreen keyboard\” where you arrow left/right/up/down to select letters on the screen. It takes two minutes to type one word. Ugh. Kill it.

    Comment by Jeff -

  10. I agree with the thoughts Mark. But it seems as though I fell through a time tunnel to 2003 when reading your post. Do you really feel as though you have still have to sell us on the HD vs.internet idea?

    Comment by Bryan Thompson -

  11. I just hope all Mavericks games are HD this year. I only watch a couple of programs in SD, and hopefully both will be HD very soon. The relative scarcity of Mavericks HD games last season was very disappointing.

    Comment by mbuser -

  12. you said:
    \”There is a reason why 30pct of homes and quickly growing now have HDTVs…..they like to watch them.\”

    You neglect that mention that only 3% of that 30% actually sign up for HD service. The study revealed one of the primary reasons consumers are buying HDTVs is not to watch television programming but rather to improve their movie and gaming experience.

    Comment by Dreamerss -

  13. This is all well and good for those who can afford it, but not for those who can\’t. Will this mean taking the videos off of the internet? Not that you don\’t have a good idea, but it seems that people with money never seem to consider people without or with very little.

    I just recently got cable again… it freezes, some channels cut out, and the \”basic\” package only has 3 channels with cartoons (I have a 5 yr old) and those three channels do not show cartoons for her age all the time. After a certain time during the day they show cartoons for older kids and at \”night\” 2 of them show teen comedies and 1 shows ADULT toons (WTF? why would anybody put anything ADULT on a channel that\’s for kids?)

    So I have to pay for the next package \”extended basic\” and I get a few HD channels, including Noggin. I don\’t have an \”HD\”TV so I could care less about the HD part, but I have noticed that the \”glitches\” happen more on those channels. I only got cable for my daughter… even when she\’s not watching she still likes it running in the background. 🙂 yes I watch TV now too, but I wouldn\’t have gotten it just for myself.

    I think it\’s wrong that they are taking away the \”free\” tv (airwaves?), and making everyone use cable. As far as the copyright that was being discussed on C-span. I am a graphics artist and write poetry as a hobby and my joy comes from sharing. I would rather see my art distributed, used, etc. a million times than to get one penny for it… what\’s the point in creating something beautiful if only a few people get to see it? Yes, I understand that most people do not feel like that but I do. Of course I also believe that any news articles dealing with Government and/or politics should be free and readily available too. 🙂

    Comment by dreamerss -

  14. Then it should be relegated to industry trade press and gossip pages.

    Comment by PiriketSeverler -

  15. Then it should be relegated to industry trade press and gossip pages

    Comment by PiriketSeverler -

  16. I agree with you, with some addition. One information media form does not replace the other. I still like to read a book, watch a movie in Cinema and hear FM in my car when I am driving. A new platform is complimentary to already existing media platform formats. Internet will be just a next media platform addition to already existing once.
    Internet is much more than just another entertainment platform, e.g. I don\’t remember when I went last time to my bank. Internet provides much more than just one part of our daily life requirements. It is partial entertainment, bank services, airline check-in counter, research platform, dictionary, encyclopedia; shopping center etc. list is too long to be listed here. I think the most important aspect will be the mesh-up of these services in future. Consumer today need more than just TV show, they want to buy the shirt girl is wearing in GossipGirl.

    Comment by Najam -

  17. Hey Mark, No doubt HD is the way to go and always will be but when you said 30% and then rolled into 73 inches and at 2200 hundred bucks, Im just curious what percentage of the real world working stiffs has the 73 incher or the 2200 hundred to drop on that sort of toy? Its nice to be rich, no doubt but not everybody is. Thanks for the thoughts.

    Comment by Frankie from Lawnside -

  18. Have to disagree with you to a point. I am very cost sensitive. I balk in paying more than 300 for my TV and only have basic cable, I also detest commercials on TV and prefer to watch owns on my time rather stop what I was doing in order to watch broadcast TV. I prefer a selection of different platforms such as the internet, on demand and shows on DVD.

    Comment by Richard Brown -

  19. I totally agree. That is why we are currently creating the first Adventures of the Elements movie in high-end 3-D animation. Even though technology has improved significantly and we are located in Dallas rather than LA, it is still extremely expensive to render in HD. However, the quality is captivating and worth the expense.

    The other point, which refers to the previous blog of changing worlds is that the Adventures of the Elements is educational and to effectively teach kids today especially in science, we must enter their world, which is that of high-end 3-D animation and gaming that is targeted for the HD platform.

    More emphasis by the movie/ television industry needs to be put on promoting HD quality material to attract viewers much as color televisions accomplished when they first appeared on the market.

    Comment by Richard -

    In todays WSJ Chief Exec of Saatchi & Saatchi X made the following statement, \”I\’m a skeptic on technology in the shopping environment\”. Beyond this beyond absolutely absurd coming from a person of such caliber there is relevance to my reference here when correlating the power of the long tail and what you are saying about people just wanting customizable & targeted choices regardless of the content (ie. Amazon, Rhapsody, Netflix, Overstock). There are always going to be a few great and a lot of bad content but the more choices people have in filtering the massive amounts of content the more engaged the niche communities will be. Not sure if you\’ll agree, but I find it ridiculous when people with golden parachutes speak so ignorantly about their supposed expertise and would love for someone that could actually call them out on it to blow the whistle on what i deem absurd as I bust tail from a small cafe in Santa Monica. Specifically this Saatchi exec is questioning the value of recommendation technology being integrated into retail point of purchase – to me this makes absolute sense and don\’t see why it isn\’t already everywhere. (ie. I\’ll have a Big Mac.. \’bam\’ the screen in front of me promotes the big mac combo or a new shake to go with it – so simple and brilliant service for the customer… as I call it \”Advertising as a Service\”) Keep blogging, CS

    Comment by chris -

  21. Great Point Mark. I agree that at some point the computer will be come the next blockbuster video, and If I we\’re a company like Blockbuster who\’s in trouble for the future.. That\’s where I\’d be looking.

    Comment by HP Tuners -

  22. Sorry, i meant i couldnt agree with you MORE! =)

    Comment by mark -

  23. I couldnt agree with you. The internet is good for short clips and hits HOWEVER….

    As technology grows and capacity gets cheaper, the internet and computers will become the BRIDGE between the media we love to watch and the big HDTV\’s that we watch the media on. Letting your computer become the \”home-blockbuster-video\” or the \”remote control\” could be in our very near future.

    Mark @

    Comment by mark -

  24. With Hulu reaching 3.2 million viewers in July, bumping them to No. 8 of the Top 10 video sites, I would say that the platform isn\’t necessarily the message. To consumers it\’s about getting the content when you want it, where you want it. According to AlleyInsider, Hulu is averaging 33 hours per user, which definitely eats away at traditional television consumption; and, since Hulu has HD content (their library continue to grows) this means that consumers don\’t really care about where they watch content. Sure, some things are more enjoyable to sit on the couch and watch than others, but if this trend continues, either couch time will decrease or more internet-delivered content will be brought to the couch.

    Comment by Joel Korpi -

  25. I don\’t think that the Cable companies allow Cable TV to be phased out, Only if they are on the same bandwagon. I still think Cable TV will stick around.

    Comment by Children\'s Surgery -

  26. I agree with your perspective completely. I have been debating this with some of my \”Internet Only\” friends, some of whom don\’t even have cable TV because of their desire to prove that TV is on the way out. (Well, a bit of it in Canada also has to do with the ridiculous cost) I told them that Internet TV will grow, but it won\’t replace regular TV. It is the same as Internet shopping. It will grow and become more and more attractive, but it won\’t replace going out and shopping. People still enjoy the social nature of shopping, watching TV with some good popcorn and a few buddies, or even going to movies. And besides, the technology just isn\’t really there yet to sit down, on a whim, turn on your computer and watch an hour long show unless you have spent time downloading it first.

    Comment by Ryan -

  27. The bandwidth isn\’t there to offer HD quality video quickly over the Internet right now, but it will be one day. And at that point, you can use a media center device to play it on your big TV and it will be a better alternative than classic cable/satalite. Even if you could watch Internet video on your tv (I can, and often do thru my Xbox), the quality of the most readily available stuff (YouTube for instance) makes it almost unwatchable at any large scale.

    Comment by Kris -

  28. I\’d certainly watch more YouTube and things on the net if it could be viewed on a Bigger screen, But I get bored watching a small box for a long period of time.

    Comment by Dyno Tuning -

  29. i have a basketball creation for sale.motion offense.if interested email me at


  30. Yeah but as speeds increase and more content moves to the web the distinction between TV and web will disappear and they will become the same thing.

    Comment by cold call facts -

  31. Mark, I love your analogy that the internet is better for snacking, and TV is better for a full meal. Some content tastes downright nasty on the net. My wife won\’t watch an episode of Lost that we missed, because the only place we can see it is on the computer. And I believe that I\’d watch more YouTube if I could see it on a bigger screen while sitting on the couch. I have never understood how people can watch a full length feature film on an iPod. It can\’t possibly taste as good.

    Comment by Jeffrey Simons -

  32. Thank you Marshall McCluhan 🙂

    HD has almost become universal. I spent last weekend touring the new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis where they have 1140 flat screen HDTVs. They are everywhere in this public arena which means a further exposure to the public and subsequently more acceptance by the public.

    Comment by Greg -

  33. I fear too many of your readers may not know the original phrase, which i hope is where you got your version:

    Comment by ChrisO -

  34. Chris, I just saw a fascinating statistic that roughly half of all people who own HDTVs DON\’T GET ANY HD CHANNELS!

    Yet I believe many of these people believe they are watching HD just because their screen dimensions are different. They literally don\’t know what they\’re missing!

    Comment by Mikey -

  35. I always wonder when people cite the \”30% of homes have an HD-capable TV\”, if they know why the TVs are there.

    It\’s hilarious – the question I get now is \”how do i get rid of the bars on the right and left while watching TV\”, instead of the old \”how do I get rid of the bars on the top and bottom while watching movies\”!

    Many people, more than most realize, bought their nice shiny LCD/plasma because:

    a) it\’s pretty
    b) their friends will be impressed
    c) women will get more space in the living room
    d) etc

    As a side note, here in Canada, the options for HD are brutal. Rogers Digital is not only poor quality (static), but the plans are obsessed with screwing their customers. The simple reason why people want to watch TV on the internet instead? Because they don\’t have to scan through 700 channels (agonizingly slow) of which they only actually have 200 to find something to watch.

    Comment by Chris Hamoen -

  36. There is no doubt that the platform is the message from viewers to content providers.

    Comment by Mary Fioratti -

  37. Great points Mark, but just because the Olympics are proving to be another ingredient in the coming out party for HD, it doesn\’t mean that its doing so in spite of the internet. With an audience of billions and hundreds of events, the Summer Games are providing enough content that fans can\’t get by on just HD alone:

    Comment by Andrew -

  38. Mark,

    Olympic ratings have in fact been 25% higher in HDTV homes than in all homes. These numbers are available via Nielsen.

    That\’s actually somewhat on the low side for a big sports event. For the Super Bowl the rating was 40% higher in HDTV homes.

    I wholeheartedly agree that internet video is a snack and TV is the meal. TV viewing of the Olympics has outnumbered online viewing by a ratio of 300-1, as referenced at and

    Mark, you can e-mail me if you are ever curious about sports ratings in HDTV homes. I think HD growth is where a lot of the upside lies for the sports television business and you would probably agree.

    Comment by Mikey -

  39. Mark:

    I don\’t want to log on, I don\’t want to see an OS, and I refuse to deal with debug statements. Just give me an appliance that makes the internet as simple and reliable as my cable box today, and I\’ll watch EVERY show you produce.

    Have a great day

    Comment by Rick Z -

  40. I can truly say I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs. I think your spot on about HDTV, the amount of HDTV owners is increasing tremendously especially seeing the price is going down. More and more people I see are using them as computer monitors and since a majority of video cards are HDCP compliant, Things are coming in place for the internet takeover. To me it\’s just a matter of who, and when.

    Comment by Dyno -

  41. Agree with #27 Mike on NBC site design. My 13 year old sat for 15 minutes complaining at first on how stupid the site was to get anything. After he got where he wanted he continued to watch men\’s basketball for 3 straight days. 30 minutes to 1 hour each time a couple times a day.

    Point is that the internet is the future of TV. There is no way that existing networks are going to capture the internet movie/TV age with stupid website design and a managed approach that keeps traditional broadcast alive.

    Noted by others here, other companies and people are coming to this game. A couple with the best solutions will dominate in the future. NBC blew a chance to dominate the world in internet TV this year. My company thanks you.


    Comment by Chris Caffee -

  42. While I agree with your basic point, part of the problem is the poor design of NBC\’s site. It is confusing to navigate and previous comments regarding resolution, full screen and dropped frames are all true. It is ridicously difficult to look up schedules.

    BTW, I hope Dirk remembers how to handle double teaming before the season starts.

    Comment by mike -

  43. Mark, what you dont seem to acknowledge are the advantages like choice that video over the internet gives to fans and creators. I have a mac mini hooked up to my HDTV, and I use Front Row to watch a lot of podcasts, some in HD. I also use Miro, which allows me to watch other MRSS content distributed over bittorrent. While you are correct that the bandwidth is not yet here to watch live HD streams, for episodic content, podcasting or MRSS w/ bittorrent makes more sense than appointment viewing or Tivo. New shows are always there waiting for me, and the creators dont have any network overhead, schedule or time constraints to deal with. Overall, this method of distribution offers much greater independence to creators and \’what we want, when we want, where we want, how we want\’ options to viewers unlike weve ever known.

    This is the future. We are simply waiting for some advances in usability of the technology, and a larger audience of folks who discover this type of programming (and an increase in advertising money that will follow the eyeballs, and will allow more expensive shows to be made). Then the networks will have nothing left but live tv, till the bandwidth is good enough to do live streaming over the net in most homes as well.

    YouTube gets all the headlines, but it is the independent producers of episodic content distributed over the net to HD sets in the living room who are really leading the charge.

    Comment by William Maggos -

  44. Cosmic Ray, I agree. If Google or Verizon win the bidding then I won\’t have to watch what NBC thinks I should watch. I\’ll be able to watch whatever sport I choose, live or later, in a good enough quality to choose it over Women\’s Rowing in HD.

    Comment by Jeff in Dallas -

  45. I\’ve been disappointed with NBC\’s (and UHD and CNBC HD) coverage of the olympics. The video quality hasn\’t been very good, the gymnastics, basketball and swimming video has been pixelated. And I\’m watching on FiOS TV from Verizon which is supposed to be the best. Occasionally I see a big NBA game that has great video. But most of the time we get this \”half-ass\” HD signal that looks like crap.

    The other alternative is web coverage. The really great thing about the web coverage is that I can watch what sports I want instead of what NBC programmed for me. I was able to watch Germany vs Spain BBall a couple days ago online (it wasn\’t shown on TV, and Dirk didn\’t play well) Online its just the sound of the game with no narration which is good for some sports but notsogood for others.

    In summary, they are giving us a crappy HD signal. With that quality of signal I\’d just as soon watch online were I have more choices. Right now I\’m watching men\’s gymnastics in a small PIP window on my HD TV while I type in the big window.

    Comment by Jeff in Dallas -

  46. \”People with big, beautiful TVs that they spent a lot of money on, want a reason to watch them.\” seems a lot less likely than \”People who watch a lot of TV went out and bought a bigger, better TV.\” If you take a lot of photos, you buy a bigger, better camera. If you do a lot of woodworking, you buy a bigger, better table saw.

    Comment by Don Marti -

  47. As several folks have pointed out, the media is not \”TV\”, but \”NBC.\” NBC paid nearly a billion dollars for the rights to monopolize the viewing of the Olympics in the US and undoubtedly several million in tracking down and removing videos that kept appearing on YouTube and it\’s competitors. The big winner this season was not NBC, which is fighting a losing battle, but bitorrent. Big screens are nice, but are incidental, not fundamental to the \”viewing\” experience. Imagine the olympic experience when Verizon or Google wins the next monopoly bid.

    Comment by Cosmic Ray -

  48. I know 2 people that only stream what they want to watch – they don\’t have cable. That said, they have different lifestyles than myself (different than I would ever want). Having just come back from Dark Knight in IMAX last night, this is a very timely post from Mark. There is just no way to replicate in my home/condo, what IMAX does. This works the other way too. Cable can\’t reproduce the instant upload and user content that YouTube provides.
    Even movies now are being segregated (IMAX, 3D, regular screen) and with all due respect to the YouTube\’s of the world, I\’ll take my 55inch HDTV any day of the week and twice on Saturday.
    The other \”event\” that falls into this category – and I see DirectTV is trying to tackle this – is NFL Football. With my Fantasy teams and with my other pools and maybe some other action somewhere – it\’s become a requirement for me to watch TV with my laptop handy. I don\’t feel the need to watch live streams on the internet of the games, but having the stats and my up-to-date standings in the other things I\’m interested in IS now part of the viewing experience.

    Mark, perhaps if the NBA did something more akin to the NFL and quit screwing over their fans (haven\’t watched a game since the Grizzlies left Vancouver) there would be more of an interest in that league again.


    Comment by bromo98 -

  49. So, Mark – so how do you think these things are working together? I love watching the sports on my HD (and hopefully soon, 3D) TV, but I — and my kid — often have our laptops going at the same time. Particularly for something like the Olympics, where not all sports are televised, and some big events are time-delayed here on the West Coast. Using both devices at once seems to have become de rigeur. Thoughts?

    Comment by Angela Wilson Gyetvan -

  50. Dear friend,

    Accept my sincere thanks and appreciation



    Jobs , companies , real estate , engineers , petroleum company

    Comment by John -

  51. I don\’t watch any network television any more. I get all my video entertainment on the Internet except for movies which I buy on DVD. Cable TV has become too expensive and I\’m outraged over the propaganda and disinformation it disseminates. When the medium starts advocating and making excuses for torture it is time to cut off the message.

    Comment by Robert S. Robbins -

  52. any chance of network tv subsidizing sales of hdtv\’s?

    Comment by Avin Kline -

  53. Once that big (HD) screen is designed to be seemlessly linked to the net, the pipe/bandwidth can cope with picture perfect delivery and aggregation is an enticing pleasurable user experience (3D visualisation-like RSS reader) content\’s domination will be over. Why? Because all forms of content will sit on the same screens. A survey recently said that 76% children prefer playing games to watching content. Younger generations prefer interaction, what with blogs, social networks, VOD, gaming, shall I go on? All these new platforms and forms of entertainment are all competing for our attention now. You just have to google for the mean age for viewing traditional TV channels. In UK it\’s between 40 and 50 for the four main TV channels! I will one day purchase a big HD flat screen so I am able to interact everything on it, not just watch traditional content, until then I use which streams all traditional UK TV channels for free through the net (within UK or German channels within Germany) in the corner of my laptop.

    The big question is how we are going to pay for the production of all our traditional lean back viewing content because most of it will be VOD distributed rippling gradually out through reputable blogs and social nets. Its justifying and measuring viewing figures to brands which is still to be resolved and even more importantly how we going to mesh those brands into the content because interruptive ads are only work for live content now. Why pay sometimes a million dollars an hour to produce drama TV content unless you can justify the audience? That audience is the targeted likeminded, wherever worldwide, meaning there will soon be a world mass media, just look at Olympics or royal weddings, world cup finals for live experiences, we are going to have to cope with instant delivery of pre-recorded content too. Also dont underestimate the intelligence of the young for embracing all new forms of tech and networks and finding compelling content for free. Once one does, he impresses his friends by passing it on, that is going to be downloads but also and mainly streaming full screen embeds in blogs or maybe through Googles new Adsense model. Meaning we have to find a revenue model thats non-interruptive in brand engagement but entertains and free to distribute! Cant be that difficult.

    Finally, when you control the content, as in being able to stop and start it when you like, this means its power for your complete attention is over. Like music being distributed and downloaded for free and with our itune libraries of thousands of songs we never listen to, its now devalued, it means, like us at and all traditional content creators, we all have to up the ante and as well as continuing to produce compelling, thrilling stories, whether theyre traditional interruptive ads, TV drama or the big budget feature films, we have to work with these exciting new platforms meshing brands, new tech and creativity to design new forms of engaging content that contextually fit. Some would say its going to get much much harder but I\’d say it\’s just going to get much more creative!

    Comment by Damiano -

  54. The last times I put on the TV was during world and euro soccership – on my laptop because the quality was better than the one online. And the last time I really had my TV on? the last olympics. This olympics I am cursing all the German channel (which are live in many cases and do not have that advertising you dread) because they make it so hard to find.

    If I had the choice between already in my household HDTV on demand with a Tivo having all the decisions recorded versus hunting them down on youtube & co and only seeing people having them recorded in front of their TV, would i choose the HDTV? Of course I would.

    That is like asking somebody if he would prefer a home cooked meal with his favourites vs. a plastic sandwhich out of a vending machine.

    Besides of course pushing your agenda you are right – people want different experiences. Just like going to the movie is not preferable over being in a great home theater, it is build for people who have the home theater.

    Is there a market? Of course. Is there a market for HDTV sport? Even more so.

    But is everybody alike and will fall just for that? No.

    Comment by Nicole Simon -

  55. The game of trying to replace TV with online viewing is a lose-lose situation. Every medium has its own unique purpose, and has its own brand of message that it can efficiently carry. It\’s true that the Internet cannot replace everything, yet.

    Very nice post, Mark =)

    Comment by ozbazaar -

  56. Absolutely. I actually watched a 1.5 hour Olympic event online last night, and while it was great getting it on demand, it was rather painful. I would much prefer kicking back on my couch and enjoying my HD TV. No doubt.

    Comment by Todd Kitta -

  57. I agree that the Olympics look great on HD, but NBC\’s botching things by showing seemingly everything on tape delay. When I know the event\’s outcome, I am much less likely to watch, even if the picture looks great. The only reason why I can think of for NBC not showing events live is to avoid us TIVOing the events (in HD, no less) and watching them commercial-free. I would have paid to watch events live on HD, but there\’s no such service. Instead, I\’m left watching CBC here in Seattle via cable not on HD, but showing events live. Sad…

    Comment by Bruce -

  58. Content is really king whether you\’re watching on your HDTV in your living room, your computer monitor or your cell phone. There is content that is geared for every platform, some will cross over and some won\’t.

    I watch mainly sports and movies on my 65\” HDTV, I watch short videos on my PC and I\’ll occassionaly watch music videos or short news clips on my Windows Mobile Phone. Internet video will not kill TV. TV will always be TV. What really matters is the content available on the device you\’re using.

    Comment by David Ward -

  59. HD is great. I don\’t even watch regular channels anymore. At some point, TV and the internet will only be in HD.

    Comment by NYC -

  60. Mark – great post.
    What are your thoughts about the following:
    1. Your examples are referring to live events. It is clear that live events in HD are much better on a TV set than on a small laptop screen. But what about drama, comedy, and such?
    2 Internet is becoming a hybrid – part platform and part pipe. When I watch a YouTube clip in YouTube site, it is a platform – but what happen when I hook my laptop to my TV set and watch a HD show from Am I watching TV or watching \”internet video\”?

    Comment by Kfir Pravda -

  61. If content providers make content available on the Internet, worthy of my living room HDTV then the Internet, as far as I\’m concerned, is equivalent to the TV. I already have several network shows that are available in HD that I watch exclusively from the Internet streamed to my PC or laptop hooked up to my HDTV. The resolution and quality of the stream is excellent. Thanks ABC !

    Comment by Alan Kleymeyer -

  62. While i agree your comments apply to the majority of 20 to 30 y.o.\’s, i think the issue her is content. I no longer watch the Olympics because it\’s old results AND it\’s hyped up to be a jingoistic extravagance. Plus a plethora of commercials that internet TV doesn\’t shove down your pie hole.

    HDTV, like audiophile music, ain\’t worth the price IF you\’re eyes and ears are tainted to the point you can\’t see or hear the difference? I sold high-end electronics and unless you\’re dedicated to spending your hard earned cash to impress your friends, BFD. When you hit 60, who can honestly say their eyes and ears hasn\’t deteriorated? And there\’s a LOT of us out here who would and could plop down the moolah IF they felt it worthy. Otherwise, i\’ll watch it on Hulu.

    Comment by Colt Maverick -

  63. Mark:

    I think you are comparing apples and oranges here. What you are really comparing is people watching content on an HDTV versus a computer monitor. Bandwidth issues aside, I don\’t think people care whether it is delivered over the internet, via the cable companies coax, or broadcast over the air. They care about how they can view it and to a lesser but growing degree the quality of the content (meaning resolution).

    Add into this, typically your TV, be it HD or not, is going to be in a more comfortable environment. You can sit in your living room with your family/friends and enjoy a program. People are less likely to gather around a 22\” computer screen to watch more than a few minutes of video. Couch & recliners versus office chairs. For 5 minutes of video, it\’s a toss up. Two hour movie, I think it moves to no-brainer pretty quickly.

    Want internet delivery of content to take off? Make it easy to get that content to your living room TV. Then make sure getting that content over the internet is as reliable (not too hard) and less expensive without losing content.

    Comment by Mitch Wright -

  64. I watch something just because it\’s on the internet.

    I\’ve watched Cashback 3 times. My family watches around 10-20 movies a week just because \”it\’s on the internet\”.

    The Olympic INTERNET experience is terrible. It doesn\’t connect to my HDTV via HDMI set up intelligently. I can\’t watch it full screen on my computer. The resolution is crappy and it drops frames all over the place even tough I\’m on a 15Mbit/sec connection. I turn on the regular broadcast coverage as a result. NBC could have EASILY designed the Olympics internet experience this year to completely transform the TV experience and grab tons of internet viewers. They would have captured a giant percent of the future internet markerts with this kind of leadership example. Instead they chose to \”keep it in its place.\” Good for me, gives my network a chance to succeed. I think they lost 5 years with that bonehead approach.

    The internet experience is the message.

    HD and Large Screen HDTVs have been around for a long time.
    Everyone will want everything with respect to movies and \”TV\” via the internet within 5-10 years.


    Comment by Chris Caffee -

  65. Exactly…

    Comment by SatRadKid -

  66. That is all true, but for people that own a desktop (or a docked laptop) with a nice monitor, watching Internet television is a nice convenience. If the roommate/spouse/etc wants to watch something or if NBC is showing gymnastics and I want to watch volleyball (or swimming, etc), jumping to the live coverage on the \’net is very handy. To tell you the truth I\’ve watched badminton just because it\’s available online and I was curious what a game played at the Olympic level looked like. I agree that the content providers need to adjust their presentation of that content with respect to the broadcast medium, but I disagree that Internet delivered content won\’t displace at least some traditionally delivered programming. While it\’s true that I don\’t forsee myself watching an NFL game over the Internet (at least until IPTV comes of age), I wouldn\’t mind catching an episode of the Office I missed or something like that. I even have checked out a few series of Japanese anime because they were online. I guess what I\’m trying to say is like a movie theater is for big action flicks like Transformers or the Dark Knight, the living room HDTV will be the main draw for big live events like the Olympics and football and that the Internet is breaking from drawing just the niche crowd into the mainstream consumer.

    Comment by Dan -

  67. I agree with you. I recently got a 50\” HDTV and I love it. I wish I had more time to watch it, but my pesky internet habit keeps getting in the way. Still, there\’s no way internet or my laptop will replace my TV habit. I am a web professional with an interest in television broadcast, and I definitely think web should stop trying to prove it will replace tv. TV didn\’t make radio obsolete. Why would web do the same? Will the web change tv? Of course, but it won\’t replace it. Web publishers are always looking to increase their traffic, and in my experience I have never seen anything drive traffic clearly and as strong as a mention on television. TV needs web and vice versa.

    Comment by Liz -

  68. Nice analysis, mark. Yes, platform driven contents and that would be for people who have many choices, such as big TV, echelon, computer and hand-held accessories.

    Comment by Allee -

Comments are closed.