The Future of Broadcast is Social.

I’m in Brussels to speak at the FIBEP Future of Broadcast Monitoring and Measurement conference tomorrow. Among the key points I am making is the social nature of video and how consumers are already sharing millions of videos online each day – but it is hard for them to capture and share broadcast television content. And this trend is passing broadcasters and content owners by – at least for now.

Copyright and monetization for content owners are the top two hurdles to overcome. Newly launched and very popular iPhone and iPad apps, SocialCam and Viddy top the list. With SocialCam, users are sharing videos they record on their phones. Some of that content also is videos they record from broadcast. To give you an idea of how hot this is, and the opportunity being missed by content owners, TechCrunch recently stated that the user count of SocialCam alone exceeds 20 million, though that number is inflated by the fact that in order to watch a shared video on Facebook one must register with the app – you needn’t download the iphone app to watch. An impressive element of that TechCrunch post is the investors who are already funding these young companies.

If there was a broadcast capture and sharing app that incorporated a monetization platform for the copyright owners, the possibilities are enormous. I can imagine my wife posting a video like this: “did you see what just happened on Dancing with the Stars?” and the video gets posted on Facebook and goes viral. I can imagine one of my sons, “check out this amazing video of Mariano Rivera hurting his knee.” News and entertainment content would become integrated with the social web immediately and with powerful results. Popular segments would have tens of millions of views and would carry advertising and links to content owners’ sites embedded within. This would dramatically increase the audience and revenue possibilities for content owners.

All we need to do is agree on the revenue model. The technology is for the most part built. TVEyes already has every major broadcast and cable station in the US monitored for its business-to-business users. We also built a speech-to-text engine to generate relevant advertising based on spoken words within clips. Advertising placement without context is a no-brainer. Creating an app that allows consumers to search and share their favorite broadcast clips also a small technological step. The big hurdle is an industry-wide agreement on how to share the pie.

Maybe the way to get started is with one large content owner that demonstrates to the industry what is possible. Who’s in?

One comment on “The Future of Broadcast is Social.

  1. Hi David,

    I was so glad when I found your article as it means that we are not alone trying to solve the rights/revenue model for grabbing and sharing TV moments.

    We actually created a service, Tellyo that allows users to instantly grab video clips from TV program they are watching and share them on social media.

    At the moment we started a closed beta (in Finland) but we would like to make the service open. However, as we are not sure about the copyrights issues we prefer to start with caution. We actually took the approach you mentioned, we started talking to big TV stations that produce their own programs. And they love the idea, why wouldn’t they.

    After talking to those TV broadcasters we figured out that main problems with TV moments (assuming that TV owns all rights) are: attribution to content owners/channel, ad revenues and video quality.

    However we didn’t have a chance yet to talk to production studios or copyright owners that are not TV broadcaster. I would appreciate any hints about what are they views/issues on grabbing and sharing TV moments.

    Also I believe that service like Netflix or VOD pay to content owners per viewed/rented movies so having more people redirected to those service would benefit content owners as well, wouldn’t it.

    I found your article very interesting and it would be great to learn more about your opinions and share the observations.

    -Jakub

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