Broadband –> IPTV –> Sharing –> Watching TV 2.0

April 30, 2008

All digital business models are driven by the basis technology: Connection – Broadband.

Wired has a feature right know about “broadband 2.0” – Whatever that means…. it`s faster! And it’s coming soon.
For the TV-industry this fast developement is a crucial thing… We are all talking about IPTV for quite a while… (here I mean the “set top box” IPTV ….) and we compare it with the “old TV” and “web TV” (internet streaming, diverse formats e.g. YouTube, Hulu, Joost …) … we talk about the advantages of IPTV and opportunities and we are wondering why it`s not as fast growing as e.g. in France…

But if we see the developement in the broadband and software area (media player and formats – have a look at the new Adobe Media Player, the quality is amazing) you can ask, if there is any chance for IPTV growth in the longterm future ? Won`t the user switch directly to “Web TV” ?
Why should a user go in the “walled garden” IPTV? Just cause of a convient “hardware tool” that connects my TV Screen with the data highway?
Let`s have a look at the advantages of IPTV so far: There a lot of advantages to the “old tv model” – time sovereignty, interacitvity, content on demand, personification, recommendation systems et cetera…

… but there are just two advantages compared to Web TV: quality of resolution and “100% legal”.
When we see the broadband developement … “HD” soon won’t be a problem for “web TV”…
The legal thing… well maybe it’s no “real” advantage… I fully agree with Gerd Leonhard in his post here: When we talk about sharing today: That is just the tip of the iceberg! Soon we will be able to share video content in HD faster and in more ways than ever before… there always will be this “free” content out there… no matter if it`s legal or not..

So, “Web TV” is much more flexible than IPTV…. the user has the opportunity to choose between different business models… pay per view, subscription, ad supported, illegal free… can switch between content providers…

Of course… there are some months to go …. to see this happen… but the question is if this short amount of time is worth to invest seriously in IPTV? Or is it better to focus on the next level…. invest in building a content provider brand for web tv? Starting a business model in the “grey copyright area” to fix the rights afterwards? A business modell that has it`s strenghts in the service quality, the brand, “the context” … cause the content will come anyway? As always… just a thought.

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