In the beginning there was the word. And the word was "e" - the little prefix that changed our lives. Turning our mail to email, our commerce to ecommerce and our bay to ebay ... or something like that. Then Amazon reinvented itself with giant warehouses and click and mortar was the what all the e-fashionistas were touting. So what does web 2.0 and it's sequels hold for us?
Those gentle gusts are still winds of change. Blockbuster has closed 280 stores this year after a similar number last year - which collectively is almost 12% of its total number of stores in the US. Netflix is the disruptor in this case - though Netflix is having to engage in a price was with block buster. Online rentals aren't the only segment of the market that are swaying in the breeze - the mainstream television market is starting to feel the pressure. The Marketing Week magazine says Television advertising is set to dip by 0.2 %. A look at the music and publishing industries will tell you where this is headed.
A word on Google - every other day, I read industry bigwigs touting Google as a model to be emulated or as the evil force to be warded off. The truth is, Google isn't as much a threat to media businesses as it is to media planners. All of Google's search results and marketing ultimately bases itself on finding destination content. Google doesn't create content, it just finds it. And so it will always share revenues with the media producers. On the other hand Google superfluates the media planning function - by creating a marketplace model that is far more effective than any planners model. It's analogous to the comparison between the market vs the investor - and you know who wins there.
I realize I may have sounded too harsh about User Generated Content in my last post. The fact is, I do believe there's a future for User Generated Content - only, not on TV, not beyond some specific niche opportunities. The counter argument may well be that the definition of TV is blurring - is TV a device? A form of transmission? A specific broadcast methodology? A type of content/ programming? A family viewing event? A religion? Once you blur the definition of TV adequately, to include Web-Video in its ambit, then you may as well put UGTV into the mix. Until then, user content is best distributed via the public internet and often on a small footprint.