Turn on TV 2.0: Calling an End to our Familiar Viewing Habits

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In yet another example of a major marketer bypassing established media outlets and utilizing broadband Internet as a means of distributing a channel direct-to-consumers, auto marketer Land Rover has launched a new broadband channel featuring original programming on sports, lifestyles and popular culture aimed at the kind of adventurous consumers that are targets for its brand.

This week, I’ll discuss what I cautiously predict could be a new Internet Protocol Television (iPTV) bubble lurking just around the corner.

Time and time again I have stepped on my soapbox banging on about how brands will soon no longer need the established networks to deliver their advertising — instead they will utilise a disparate range of digital channels, to reach out directly to consumers cutting out the middle men. In this case, the middlemen are the media networks that have held the key to reaching consumers for so long.

But not for much longer…

What does this mean for the broadcast networks? In Seth Godin’s little book “The Purple Cow”, he writes very tightly about the TV Industrial Cycle — the process of make a product — advertise it — make a profit — make more of the product — spend more on advertising — make more profits and so on and so on.

And as he points out in this little book, (that’s just about thick enough for a plane trip so buy it) the TV Industrial Cycle is dead.

We’ll I’m throwing it one step further — to me as a young man in this, TV is dead full stop. Ok, for the next few years, you’re still going to get a billion eyeballs spread out over the 200 channels of garbage that is currently being spewed out. But the gates have opened, now anyone can make content, host it and promote it — a brand, a person, your granny, anyone.

Broadband is a cancer in the lung of the TV Industrial Cycle, and however much the networks repurpose content to online channels it wont matter, as any one with a bit of luck and skill with a mini DV cam can now get just as much viewing time – though youtube.com, Google video and the other 2000 video sites out there.

So the TV and its associated networks start to push content online, in an attempt to stem the flow of eyeballs as they drift away to more, shall we say fresh, inspired content coming in from these new consumer sources.

But what about the brands — what about when they start to make professional grade content that they can deliver direct to consumers? Well it’s happening again and again and this is the real nail in the TV Industrial Cycles coffin.

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