Cinemanow and Movielink made the first huge strides in Internet-delivery of movies with their offerings several years ago, albeit not to much success. In the past 2 years we’ve seen things move in leaps and bounds.
Here is my list of some of the most prevalent/important things going on right now:
- Multi-tuner high definition DVRs are commonly available. DVRs (HD and SD) are in about 15-20 million homes in the US today. Timeshifting is no fad.
- Sling Media sold over 100K Slingboxes in the first year, and now have 3 different models on the market and are in 9 countries. Placeshifting is the new black.
- Over 40 million HDTV sets are expected to be sold in the US by the end of the year (cumulative). HDTV is important.
- IPTV set-top boxes (like a cable box, but hooked up to your DSL) are in millions of homes worldwide. It might not be a slam-dunk in the US, but many people are watching TV streaming over the Internet.
- YouTube. 100 million videos a day. I don’t care if it’s long-tail or short-tail or rat-tail. I don’t care if it’s user-generated content or all clips from SNL and the Daily Show. People are comfortable watching video on Web sites, regardless of quality.
- Moviebeam (love the concept, but the movie selection is so lackluster these days – I’ll post more soon), Applie’s iTV, Akimbo, SAT+GO, ITVN, Xbox Movie Downloads, and a slew of other companies have boxes, products, or services that are all providing alternatives to the traditional cable/satellite TV offerings. I don’t know how any of these options will fare, but they all seem to either be very niche-y or not compelling. But there’s a lot more to come. I have seen the future, and I can’t name the company, but it’s coming next year, and it’s going to rock.
- Wal-mart’s online DVD offering (details here) sounds completely off the mark. Jonas wrote a good piece about it, and I think it’s simply an offering with no market appeal. If I buy the DVD, why do I need a download? If I download it, why do I need a DVD? Greed begetting greed.
- Regal Entertainment is giving moviegoers a “panic button” in case they see someone on a cell phone and are unable to confront them directly. That’s just weird.
- Saturday Night Live is debating allowing live viewing of rehearsals online. There’s a near little coincidence, as I personally attribute ALL the success of YouTube as originating with the spread of the “Lazy Sunday” clip from SNL last season (which they, at the time, vehemently protested).
- The NFL is looking into streaming live games online, and the NHL has some archives online (which is about as much as we’re gonna get, since Bettman doesn’t really care about the fans anyway).
- Mobile mobile mobile.
Phew, I’m exhausted. Did I miss anything?