SxSW: Interactive TV

by Luke Wroblewski March 9, 2007

The Interactive TV: The Next Generation panel at South by Southwest 2007 talked about the current state of television and where it is going next. In particular, they addressed what happens when Web video and Hollywood intersect.

  • Hollywood will be a partner online but they will not go away from large scale movies.
  • AOL needs a creative cohesive vision of how to deliver video to niche markets. Their audience will devour video online if it is appropriate for their viewers. Looking to partner with niche audiences for the right content.
  • A lot of Web video producers are low cost so companies like AOL and HBO are interested in working with them.
  • HBO hired BC boys (college student program) to start an online video content effort for the channel.
  • Big brands care about ownership of exclusive content.
  • Large companies can’t respond fast to what audience is saying. Small producers have to get better with each bit of feedback. TV can’t do that.
  • Television is predominately a passive medium. Video games are the primal interactive medium.
  • TV companies are likely to acquire companies that know how to interact with audience in new medium. Need to be more cognizant about what screens you are filming for.
  • As an independent producer, you have to learn about codecs, bandwidth, formats, traffic logs, and more.
  • What differentiates Web is the sense of community, participation, interaction. In this environment, your content cannot be controlled. Should relax death grip on Web sites and traffic and trust in the quality of their content.
  • How people find what to watch is a huge issue on line: poor content discovery.
  • We used to have proven type of content that advertisers wanted. Now popularity of content draws advertisers. They follow what’s popular.
  • YouTube is great if nobody knows who you are but Viacom is already famous.
  • Now that advertisers have started talking abut online video in a serious way, growth will come quickly.
  • With new audience there is an expectation of honesty. The best advertising is honest commentary.
  • Volume of content required to serve niche audiences is beyond the capacity of current media production systems.
  • What will drive more networks into online video? Revenue.