Internet video becomes true new media
We all know that television will migrate to distribution over the Internet. Broadcast and cable will certainly co-exist with the Internet as distribution channels for moving image content for the foreseeable future, however broadband access and the availability of capital for new media ventures mean that the Internet is already becoming a viable alternative for television viewers. Some traditional free-to-air television channels will at some point simultaneously broadcast their programs over the Internet. However what is more interesting is how video programs over the Internet take advantage of the channel and the media consumption patterns of the likely audience. Case in point is Heavy.com, which targets young males with a showcase of funny, sexy, and crude short videos, set in an extremely advertising-intensive frame. It looks different from just about anything else out there, with few words, and plenty of user-driven interaction, movement, sound, and color. The site is openly modelled on video games. An a very interesting recent article in the New York Times that discusses some of the dynamics of advertising to this demographic, says that the site had 5.5 million visitors in February, while the company estimates it will take in $20 million in revenue this year. Advertisers like not just the audience, but the depth of exposure they get from the in-your-face advertisements. Around half of the videos are amateur productions submitted by the audience, though selected by the site editors. Heavy.com is now ramping up its own video production capabilities. Of course, this is just one facet of the Internet video world, with other players like Youtube, Videobomb, OurMedia, and others providing a whole new domain of user generated and filtered content. Heavy.com is showing the way in actually doing something new which has not done before, rather than simply distributing traditional content in new ways or taking text and image models into video. There will be a lot more exciting and new in this space in the very near future.