Panel on Internet Video, in Boston
In the audience was a big contingent of video folks from the Globe, at least one exec from Visible Measures, video analyst Will Richmond, blogger and consultant Cesar Brea, and lots of folks from PermissionTV, one of the event's sponsors.
I won't try for a comprehensive re-cap here, but we talked about three areas: how is viewing behavior changing on the Web; how are videos made and distributed, and how are they monetized and measured.
No one has yet solved the problem for the mainstream consumer of getting Internet video onto a TV. Mike Hirshland of Polaris Venture Partners said that it could wind up being the player who can most successfully do deals with cable companies -- a risky prospect for venture capitalists to bet on. He said he'd earlier invested in a company, Ucentric Systems, that tried to built a next-gen set-top box, but was about eight years too early.
The panel seemed to agree that story and content trump production values. Denise DiIanni of WGBH recalled that several years back, filmmakers working with 'Nova' resisted shooting on video and tried to stick with 16 millimeter film. But the audience didn't see the difference, and didn't care.
Hirshland said that pre-roll advertising is already dead, and that the ad formats that will win will be highly targeted, and allow the viewer to choose to engage with them, rather than forcing a viewer to sit through them.
Someone from the audience asked a great question about how Internet video will evolve. Right now, he said, we're treating it like TV -- but it'll likely turn into something different. Denise DiIanni of WGBH had a great reply, which is that Internet video allows for conversations between the creator of media and the consumer -- putting both on a level playing field.
Videoblogger Steve Garfield, sitting in the audience, showed us how he does liveblogging with his Nokia N95 cell phone. Using QIK, he streamed video while he was talking.
After the panel, I had an interesting chat with Cesar Brea, who said that an impending recession will likely force advertisers to get serious about Internet video, emphasizing solid measurement and accountability. IE, it may shift things more to a pay-per-click model, as opposed to pay-per-impression.
Finally, here are some of the clips that we showed and talked about at the start of the panel....
- Boston.com 'Office Invasion': Harmonix Music Systems
- WGBH: War Games
- Mike Hirshland's interview with Scott Kurnit
- TMZ video of Tara Reid, hosted by Brightcove
- Boston Celtics VOD, from Boston.tv
- Dean Whitney from Digitas showed these videos, one in HD and hosted by BitGravity