October 8, 2006

Internet's true potential as an entertainment distribution platform

While I welcome the emergence of social media, I believe in the long run it'll co-exist with traditional media, as opposed to sidelining/obliterating it. The challenge of monetizing today's user-generated content, the essence of this new breed, would not be the only reason for the survival of traditional media.

Traditional media firms were slow in adopting Internet as a distribution platform, but they're catching up and increasing their share of the online ad market.

To reach Internet's true potential as a mass distribution platform for entertainment, we'll need to make the process of watching Internet-delivered long-form content in user's living room at least as easy as it is for them to consume this content today thru satellite/terrestrial platforms.

While big hitters like Microsoft and HP have had limited success in removing pain points for an average consumer to download long-form content on their PC and seamlessly watch it on their big screen TV, Apple's recent public announcement of their living room strategy should be a big boost. We hope Apple can do an "iPOD" with its iTV set top box scheduled for early 2007.

More new entrants like WYPLAY to fulfill this promise of a simple-form, all-in-one device that can replace today's living room stack of cable/satellite box, DVD player and music system, the better. I can't wait to come home in the evening to dozens of automatically downloaded "24" style dramas (predicted based on my past downloads) that I can choose from to enjoy on my 50 inch plasma.

Google to buy YouTube?

We've heard this story before. Almost every possible acquisition candidate, from tradional media firms to large online media players, has been rumored to acquire YouTube. Though there are strong arguments behind such stories, execution challenges, most importantly the copyright issues with YouTube's content, are real challenges that remain to be resolved. Mark Cuban has a good argument on why Google should not buy YouTube.