An interesting round up by Mark Glaser at OJR. I just finished an interview with Mike Homer for my B 2.0 column, and I have to say, this whole space very much reminds me of the early days of search – a new frontier, many new players, lots of enthusiasm, not much understanding (yet) of how this might all play out.
I spoke to the author about all of this and he quotes me as the kicker to the piece:
CBS and other media companies are caught in a tough spot, wanting to exploit the technology and bring in ancillary income from “The Long Tail” — but are also worried that without DRM their content’s value will vaporize in a haze of file-swapping. John Battelle, author of the forthcoming book, “The Search,” and the Searchblog, says that at least now the entertainment industry sees the opportunity.
“They didn’t see it with Napster, but they see it now,” Battelle said. “They know that there are copies of ‘I Love Lucy’ in the content archives somewhere. Each one of those could become annuities that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, because of the power of ‘The Long Tail.’ But they’re afraid that [we’d] be swapping our copies of ‘I Love Lucy’ on the Web. Most of these solutions claim to do that with some flavor of DRM. But if they cut off the forces of participation and the forces of many, it ain’t gonna take.”
What I mean is this: video search – and its attendant economies (think paid search but with the upfront) will only work if we have millions of people informing our collective knowledge of what is worth our individual attention, and that can only happen if we can annotate, share, and remix video. I very much hope we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot on this one – it could be the start of a massive new industry and cultural shift, or we could be stuck with Web 1.0 approaches. I hope it’s the former.