Go ahead, click. Hmm... I don't think that gag works as a hyperlink. But when Berle did it, that was funny.
But I wanna tell ya... Speaking of timing, my timing is uncanny in posting the Longtail video to YouTube this weekend. Couldn't have been better. Or worse. Who can tell these days? Open my newsreader today and look who's jumping into the online video game: CNN and Time Warner and a new player Lulu.TV. (Is that an homage to Ed Norton?)
Covered by Marshall Kirkpatrick on TechCrunch, and Om Malik (who figures Apple for the big winner), and Mark Evans.
There are two vectors at play here. The first is that the studios and networks are routing around the choke points of multi-channel providers such as cable and satellite. If you've ever spoken to anyone who has negotiated anything with Comcast, you'll understand why they might want to do this. With online distribution, they can take advantage of all the long tail dynamics that Chris Anderson describes in his book. More titles online. New business models. This vector is about finding new outlets for traditional brands and long-form programming.
The second is the new breed of producers and online aggregators that are creating new niche video content that can find its natural audience through the linking, ranking, recommendation and community mechanisms that are the current flavor of the web. This vector is about creating new brands and favors short clips and snippets.
Best and most comprehensive discussion of these trends--and how they impact traditional TV--is in Shelly Palmer's book, Television Disrupted: the Transition from Network to Networked TV. (with current updates on his blog.)