The blogs are abuzz this morning with a new prediction from Screen Digest analyst Arash Amel, who says that Hulu will generate as much revenue as YouTube next year. What’s surprising about this statement is that it isn’t surprising at all.
There is a simple reason for this, as I explained in an earlier post. But of course I had to say a bit more in my comment on the NewTeeVee article:
Hulu is just a gateway to get the same networks and producers of oldteevee on to the internet. The biggest problem for truly new media is just to get noticed, because they dont have all the advantages that come with network or cable or satellite tv. So its not the least bit impressive that the big media companies have found a way to leverage their dominance of television to dominate video on the net as well. Big media is learning that even if they make less money when folks watch their content online, at least they aren’t developing a taste for independent content and helping to grow a new competitor.
The promise of newteevee (net video) is a completely open space for culture, at least that huge part of it which comes to us in video format. Anybody can make a video, a “tv show” via podcast, or stream live. This is an opportunity for independent media with unlimited distribution and no network rules to adhere to or corporate masters to keep happy. You no longer have to get on TV or get a movie deal, but you also shouldn’t have to go through iTunes or YouTube either. Its really as easy as registering a domain, installing WordPress, and uploading your video. Yes, the need for advertisers still sucks, but there are some alternative business models being developed to work around this level of outside control as well.
Who is out there interested in building an open ecosystem for independent video? The folks working on Miro at the PCF are the best example, but who will build the settop boxes? Who will organize this community of independent creators to get all the pieces necessary working together?