Well, Sorta, Bob…

Speaking at a business school, former AOL honcho Bob Pittman said: "Television is still America's hobby. … I don't think there's a chance that the Internet is going to replace television," he said. "It's not going away, it's still the most persuasive of all media. "Internet video is usually…

Speaking at a business school, former AOL honcho Bob Pittman said:

“Television is still America’s hobby. … I don’t think there’s a chance that the Internet is going to replace television,” he said. “It’s not going away, it’s still the most persuasive of all media.

“Internet video is usually about three minutes long and is either wildly entertaining or wildly informative, but it’s not doing the same thing as television.”



Well, no. The Internet won’t kill video. It’ll just eat it entirely, assimilate it, and turn it into a function of the web. Once television becomes an application of the web, it’ll be much, much better. I for one can’t wait.

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

15 thoughts on “Well, Sorta, Bob…”

  1. Hey Bob Pittman, your statement about 3 minute long videos is as outdated as AOL. Try Googling “Hulu” & “bittorrents” and then see if you’d like to revise your statement.

  2. I don’t understand where this whole “TV will go away” thing is coming from?

    Did books go away when radio came? No.
    Did radio go away when TV came? No.
    Will TV go away now when we have the internet? No.

    Each technology just adds on another. Sure, TV as we know it will change, but will it go away? No, not any time soon… Get over it already!

  3. Hope this quote wasn’t taken out of text. Things get so messy when that happens. In all fairness I’m not up on Bob’s AOL departure from leading the Internet Giant. But, to compare TV with Internet video to usually being about three minutes long is scare fully novice in depth. Just take a look at how CNN creatively partnered with face book to make history on inaugural day. Don’t sleep on Current TV and it’s schedule of real television networks. And once online TV companies master interaction with the viewer for tailored made entertainment, marketing, and education as Permission TV’s Smart Player is proposing, leveraging traditional TV will tilt. John, I’m digging assimilate. | @laroncarter

  4. I was at AOL when Pittman briefly ran the show. I remember him standing on the stage in the Seriff Auditorium proclaiming that broadband usage wasn’t going to gobble up our dial up business “any time soon.” Within two years BB usage eclipsed dial up usage and by then he was long gone and AOL was well on its way to irrelevance. So, he may know some things, but he doesn’t seem to have a good grasp on how people consume media.

  5. TV’s going to be delivered via the Internet. “TV” vs. Internet video is only going to differ in the format length, and interactive options. This guy doesn’t see the potential the Internet has for “television”as he’s defining it.

  6. Why is it that when a new technology evolves we are so quick to proclaim that the old way doing things is over?
    Yes, the internet is quickly changing the media landscape, but as far as I can tell the near future is not a world without TV but rather an integrated hybrid of many different media.

    I.e television may evolve (much as the movie business has) to be the medium of choice for people to share in a live, communal viewing experience. The web, in turn, has the ability to add depth and texture to content in a way a passive TV experience does not.

  7. Hulu and Boxee and NetFlix are just the beginning. Soon, TV and the Internet will be one and the same, and a whole new world of entertainment possibilities will open up. (We’re already starting to see it with Twitter on CNN and interactive New Years Eve celebrations, but again, it’s only the beginning.)

Leave a Reply