[Cross-posted from a piece I wrote for Hukilau.]
While discussing the recent success of indie web video shop, Happy Little Guillotine Films, in securing a million dollar tie-in with 7-Eleven, Marc Huvstedt at TubeFilter notes the relative obscurity still visited upon the web series genre. Even Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog scraped by on a $340,000 budget, he laments. Web TV, it seems, just can’t get enough investors exited about producing content.
But the problem isn’t a lack of compelling content. It’s that web video hasn’t been integrated into the primary consumption channel for serialized video entertainment. Viewership is scatterred, fleeting, and uncertain. IPTV is going to change this. Yesterday’s announcement of the new Google web TV device heralds the onrushing age of internet-enabled television currently being built out by Google, Sony, Samsung, Philips and many others ready to grab video from YouTube, Hulu, Google, (Hukilau!) etc… and bring it right to your living room. Imagine Dr. Horrible in HD on your widescreen LCD with live IM chat, twitter feed overlay, and mobile alerts for new episodes, fan contests, and transmedia spin-offs, back-ended with analytics, sentiment analysis, and ad-profiling, cut up with on-the-fly capture & remixing… You get the idea.
While traditional tv networks struggle to get into the social media persuasion game, internet producers were born & bread in leveraging social networks to grab eyes and build engaged fan bases. They’ll have a natural advantage in the set-top convergence.
Within 5 years many households will have upgraded to IPTV hardware and the browsing workflows will have been integrated. Viewers will more effectively search, filter, & share across the new media landscape, from traditional networks out into the long-tail of the web. Digital convergence in the wired living room will give web TV a huge lift in steady viewership and draw out increased investments in compelling, engaging, and ambitious stories from independent producers. IPTV invites the legions of independent talent to bring their stories & creations to the television audience. This will be incredibly disruptive.
[As an aside, keep an eye on Adobe’s deal-making to get Flash as the standard interface layer for IPTV’s.]
[Mike Elgin has a good post looking at some of the social opportunites with Smart Tv.]
[Engadget notes how the competition has reacted to the Google TV announcement.]
[Also from Engadget, a really good overview – Google TV: Everything you wanted to know…]
[Seriously. Keep an eye on Adobe partnerships with cable co’s…]