Traditional broadcast is pretty simple. Media companies try to reach as many people as possible through terrestial, satellite and cable. They want to reach people in their own home. All the way into their television of choice. Sony or Samsung. Tube or flat screen. Stereo or mono. Broadcasters try to reach them all.
And, you are free to invite friends over to your home and share the experience. Come over to my place and watch the game on friday!
On the internet the model is slightly different. Broadcasters make their own homes. They call their homes mtv.com, cnn.com and so on. They choose their own players and choose what technology you should use. You don’t have windows media player and internet explorer? Sorry, in our home that’s the key to get in.
So, they try to drive people into their home. Come to us. We rule. We have full control. Don’t you dare choosing your own television. We control the experience. You want to share an experience? Take your friends over to our place.
During the last couple of years people have started making their own homes on the internet. Through their own blog, their page on MySpace, their personalized home page. Their RSS reader. Their own house in Second Life.
Now people want to watch, keep, organize and share media in their own home on the net. They want to share music, video and interesting stories through their page on MySpace or on their blog.
Yes, these people with an advanced home on the net are still a minority. But it’s a very important minority. And people are building. Blogger, WordPress.com, MySpace, Netvibes, Google/ig and all their competitors are growing. Steve Rubel has a very interesting thought about how peoples blogs are becoming start pages.
So, are there any broadcasters out there that understand the power of this shift? Not really. Unless you understand that YouTube has become one of the most important broadcasters out there.
YouTube let people watch, share and organize content in their own home on the net. We suddenly have something that looks like the illustration I used to start this aricle. YouTube as the broadcaster. Blogs and start pages as all the homes.
Of course we’ll see combinations of these models. But it’s important to understand this shift. Because it has serious consequences for the way we measure success.
You can’t measure the success of lonelygirl15 through the traffic on one specific web site. She’s on YouTube. She’s on Revver. And on several web sites. The stuff gets even more difficult when you add Democracy Player, iTunes and BitTorrent to the important places to be.
Pageviews are sooo last century. Unique visitors are slightly better. But for the people that start using all the available distribution methods we’re back to the old model here as well. We have to measure the way we’ve done with radio and television for years. Ask people. Make surveys. Install special measure devices in peoples homes. Make advertising that is easy to judge the effect of. It’s about reach. Not clicks.
The problem is that the advertisers don’t understand this.