I’ve been thinking about what happens after Google loses its $1 billion lawsuit that it’s facing at the hands of Viacom.
It’s going to take until 2008 for this to play out. So, what will late 2008 look like? Well, hundreds of millions of new video cameras will be in people’s hands between now and then. The cost of bandwidth distribution will fall at a quick rate. Amazon S3 charges right now about $.15 per gigabyte of stuff delivered. Watch what happens after Ray Ozzie jumps into the market. I bet that by late 2008 the cost per gigabyte delivered will be about 1/10th that.
Some other assumptions: audience sizes on Internet video sites will continue to grow. Right now Rocketboom is getting about 200,000-350,000 downloads per show. Maybe more (Andrew, sorry if I’m off, please post your latest numbers in my comments). But, what happens if audience sizes continue doubling every six months? That means that 18 months from now Rocketboom will have 1.6 million downloads.
I mean, that’s why we’re working with Jerry Zucker (CBS Marketwatch post), director of funny movies like “Airplane” to build National Banana (a sister company of PodTech’s that’ll focus on entertaining videos).
But, enough of the pitch about PodTech, what does Google paying a billion bucks to Viacom mean to all of us?
It means that a new market for new kinds of content are going to be opened up. Google’s not going away. It’s advertisers aren’t going away. And they’ll want new audiences to put their stuff in front of.
Viacom wants to play “force folks to play on our turf.” Does the Internet reward that kind of behavior?
It hasn’t in the past. PodTech tried that strategy. To watch my videos you used to have to go to PodTech. Then in January we let go a little bit of our controlling attitude and made a player that you can embed on your own site. What happened?
So, if I were a smart content guy (hint, I’m not) I’d be opening my video archives and saying “post them where you want.”
If I were even smarter I’d say “cut them up, edit them, mash them, do what you want with them.” I’m not that smart either.
And, if I really were blessed with a brain like Douglas Engelbart’s I’d make video for where the big audiences are (hint: it’s YouTube, StumbleUpon, Digg, Flickr, Blogs, and search engines like Google/Yahoo/Live).
I’m not that smart, but other people in this industry are.
I predict that Ze Frank will come back with a new show sometime in 2008 (his last week of his current online show is this week — yesterday’s show was really great and tear jerking). Look at his show yesterday. Who was on it? Who was best? His fans.
Yeah, Viacom will end up with a billion bucks. Its stock price will go up temporarily, but will drop the next day as Viacom’s investors realizes that Viacom has just put itself into a box. One from which it will not escape.
The world of media is undergoing radical change.
Not only can I send my boring, long, geeky videos that no one cares about but we can do all sorts of weird stuff and show that off to the world.
Translation: Google won’t be bothered by this lawsuit at all. While Viacom will limit its audience growth, will ruin its ability to participate in this new world.
The world after the lawsuit? It sure looks like YouTube wins. Watch yesterday’s Ze Frank video again and again until YOU get it.
Viacom obviously doesn’t.