Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new entrant into the online television race. Coming in with $12.5 million in venture capital and the backing of Michael Eisner and Time Warner (in a manner of speaking), Veoh Networks Inc. is planning to allow users to program their own “channels” for television programming.
Was it just two weeks ago that Rox was asking, not totally rhetorically, why we needed networks at all? We’ve all been turning that question over in our minds, trying to grasp what “network” means to us. It remains an open question, though I’m increasingly moving toward the network is the channel is the network. theory. So I find the following rather interesting:
Veoh is in talks with TV networks about distributing their content online, said Dmitry Shapiro, the company’s founder and CEO. For now, the site offers public domain shows and movies and content contributed by users.
Interesting because in the New York Times interview, Michael Eisner discusses mulling the idea of approaching CNBC, which carries his talk show, about providing content. CNBC isn’t really a network. And networks aren’t necessarily content creators — while they certainly dabble in the art, they license product from third parties, too.
A quibble, but I’m the quibbling sort. Veoh’s goal is to use peer-to-peer technology (thank goodness that wasn’t outlawed, huh?) to bring high-definition quality programming of any length to consumers. From our perspective (and, yes, I am speaking for the whol ‘loper team), the success or lack thereof of this venture will depend upon quality of programming, reliability of service, and, of course, digital rights management.
In short, it all comes down to usability. Otherwise, this comment from Eisner might prove to be prophetic, but not in the way he expects (cue: dark, scary music).
“Anybody, now, can have their own network,” Mr. Eisner said. “There are no borders. No gatekeepers. No restrictions on creativity of any kind.”