Video Marketplace

While visiting a friend last night, I watched the documentary “Control Room” on a cable video-on-demand channel, The 85-minute show depicted the Iraq war as seen and reported by the Arab-language news channel Al-Jazeera. Watching it on demand gave me a sense of the opportunities in video publishing in the post-network era.

(Note: If you follow this blog, you know that I have been unable to paste links into my copy for several days. That problem has followed me to Sacramento, where I’m using my buddy’s Mac — suggesting that my difficulties are not caused by my Toshiba laptop. Blogger Support, if one can even use such a term, has yet to reply to my plea for help. So please forgive my inability to provide the extensibility that I would like to offer through the selective use of embedded links,)

The video itself was gripping — very spare in its production details, using titles over images to introduce the piece, and allowing the imagery itself to provide the “shock and awe” value. (A search for “Control Room Al-Jazeera” will take you to the official movie site, and a place for a free download.)

But I don’t want to dwell on the content. I see a business opportunity — video on demand is going to make cable providers hungry for content. That was one of the themes that came through in a recent presentation by Advertising Age editor-at-large Joe Garfield. It was entitled: “The Chaos Scenario: What happens if the old media/marketing model collapses before the new model is built?”

In a June 7 article referencing that presentation, MediaNews reporter Wendy Davis writes that Garfield “predicted that the challenges (of this emeging media landscape) will include a dearth of inventory, with publishers unable to create content fast enough.”

Later, Davis writes: “Garfield also stressed that online content still needs to be created, and that it’s not yet clear where the money for this endeavor will come from–especially because there’s no Web equivalent to television’s “upfront market” that can finance programs before they’re available to consumers.”

Dearth of content. Lack of mechanism to finance works for hire, Sounds like a market opportunity for someone.

Tom Abate
Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini