Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Internet Television Is An Open Platform: Jeremy Allaire

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Former Chief Technology Officer and company's primary technology evangelist at Macromedia, Jeremy Allaire is the man most can connect back to one technology product: ColdFusion.

Brightcove logo
Jeremy Allaire - Chairman, Founder and President, Brightcove

At Macromedia Jeremy helped shape the Macromedia MX platform development and significantly contributed in making Flash a central staple in Macromedia ongoing business and development strategy.

Before that, Jeremy was the original founder and former CTO of Allaire, a software development company known to many a webmaster for its very popular site-building software called HomeSite, which later merged with Macromedia in 2001.

Before then, Jeremy Allaire had been a uniquely active contributor in many online communities as well as a careful analyst and writer of Internet technologies and their evolution.

According to many Jeremy Allaire Jeremy is an insightful technology futurist and a very talented Internet entrepreneur. With his new baby, Brightcove, he wants to become one of the early, leading players in this emerging online video distribution industry enabling effective and sustainable distribution of commercial (and non-commercial) video content on the Web.

I interviewed Jeremy on a number of issues relating to both the future of online content distribution as well as about his plans and ideas at Brightcove.

Here's what he had to say:

MP3 File

But there is also some more...

On February 27th of this year, Jeremy was writing on his (now defunct) blog:

"...we're launching Brightcove, a company I started last summer and have been stealth until now.

While we're not getting into too much detail about what we're actually doing, we are starting to talk about the themes and ideas behind the company, which one can clearly use to deduce what we might be up to.

The theme of the "democratization of media" is one that goes all the way back to my origin interests in the Internet, and to some of the important ideas that framed and drove ColdFusion, and Allaire's other software franchises.

We're onto the next phase of experiences on the Internet, and the much richer and expressive medium of video.

We hope to help producers and publishers of video take us into the emerging era of Internet Television."

Jeremy founded Brightcove in 2004 with the idea of leveraging the major transformations that would await television and its final convergence with the Internet.

To best appreciate the disruptive potential that Jeremy Allaire may bring to the market with his yet indefinable new company, I strongly suggest you view, listen or read carefully at a recent presentation he has made available.

In it, Jeremy Allaire explains key differences between the Telco-driven IPTV world and what Brightcove calls the up-and-coming "Internet of Video" (which Brightcove clearly hopes to leverage economically), including the background dynamics and the issues emerging when looking more closely at what alternatives may emerge in the future of Internet television.

IP-TV vs. Internet Video

Here is also my personal transcript of Jeremy's presentation:

IP-TV vs. Internet Video

"IP-TV is generally funded and supported by large telecom providers who have undertaken the mission of creating a competitive replacement produuct for digital cable and satellite services.

Key characteristics:
IP-TV operator or carrier-led and controlled platform. There is a physical carrier that has physical pipes and infrastructure that it operates and controls. The consumer interacts directly with that operator/carrier.

As such this is an end-to-end system on semi-closed network (infrastructure is all within the carrier environment, and cannot be normally accessed to the Internet as a whole. Further to this, the deployment infrastructure and devices to access it are all managed and operated by the IP-TV carrier).

IP-TV is definitely a massive connectivity infrastructure upgrade to be deployed over a number of years, and which underlines major changes and upgrades to connectivity, transport and delivery devices both on the operator environment as well as on the consumer side.

IP-TV approach is a fundamentally geographically-bound approach. This is mainly due to the fact that the deployment infrastructure is based in regions and in neighborhoods connected to consumer premises (users homes). User experience is also bound to their living rooms and set-top boxes. Local regulations and policies further influence and limit IP-TV to be a strongly geographically-bound model.

IP-TV will offer essentially the same product and programming offered by digital cable and satellite providers. Similar on-demand and pay per view products probably with some extra integration with voice, and different pricing.

The Internet of Video, is quite different in terms of the model for the consumer, the publisher and for the infrastructure used itself.

In the Internet of Video, or Internet Television approach, the model is open to any rights holder, as it is based on the same publishing model that exists on the Web: anyone can create an endpoint and publish that on a global basis.

The Internet of Video is open to ay rights holder no matter whether this is an individual creating a video for a very small audience or a traditional publisher that offers linear cable channels.

In the Internet of Video approach the publisher has a direct communication channel to the consumer. The content publisher is able to directly reach the consumers on the multiple devices independent of any specific carrier or operator. The Internet of Video is in fact an approach that also attempts to be as device independent as possible. Thanks to open standards and formats which have helped create this opportunity, Internet Television wants to be just as the web is today. Accessible from any type of computer and connection around the world..... and not physically tied to the user living room or set-top box.

The Internet of Video will be deeply integrated into the existing Internet user experience and into the mechanisms that users use to access services, discover resources and share experiences in the Internet world, in the near future will merge with the world of video and television services seamlessly.

The Internet of Video is an outgrowth, not an overhaul. Internet Television is able to ride on existing lowest common denominator infrastructure including broadband, ADSL, wi-fi, cable, satellite doesn't require new infrastructure to work or provide value to users.

Internet Television uses a global reach business model, where video and television services that are offered in one geography can be accessed from any other global geography (as long as content distribution rights are in place).

Internet of Video promises access to many new products and much broader range of programming that we have been accustomed to retail video world and dramatically more control, as to when and where and how users can access that video/tv programming.

Finally, the challenges to be met are:

1) Enormous leverage that cable industry has over the distribution of video products.

2) Leverage (and control) in the physical infrastructure operated by large telecom providers.

3) Content holders issues. Intellectual property rights and clearance issues. Channel conflict issues for existing operators. Security concerns, piracy issues, DRM.

4) Technology barriers. evolution of technologies getting video content into living rooms and elsewhere.

In summary:
There is a massive transformation of an existing industry that is at play here. These are changes that will take five to ten years to play themselves out.

Throughout this process and in the coming years consumers can expect to see enormously greater choice and control over their video media and dramatically richer experiences with that media than they can have through the traditional broadcast cable and satellite models of video distribution.

On a whole the video industry will see a number of things happening:

a) There will be a dislocation of retail dollars (150 billion) that comes from consumers and advertisers that will go into Internet-based new video distribution services.

b) There will be dramatically richer opportunities for content holders and especially for those that create valued and interesting video products will have enormous new opportunities that they don't have today.

c) Likewise there will be thousands of new programmers and videomakers. The production costs on video continue to plummet, the ability to achieve good production value, thanks to low-cost video production software and hardware, is becoming easier and easier and the economic support for smaller publishers will emerge and it is likely that thousands of new video publishers will emerge from that.

d) But the greatest, most important and core theme that underlies all of these changes, this model of Internet Television will see a shift from a model of closed software, closed hardware, closed network to a model of open platforms, that anyone can access, use and build for. This is the most fundamental shift that underlies all of this."

Listen directly to Jeremy Allaire, saying the above in this audiovisual presentation:

and listen him in a good conversation with me this past weekend:

MP3 File

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posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, May 17 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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