Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Internet TV Wars -- Intel "In"? Either Way, Content Owners Win

How fitting -- as I wrote yesterday in my 1000th post, my 1st post over 5 years ago was about Google's acquisition of YouTube -- and the revolution of Internet-driven personal "broadcast yourself" video content. So, how do I start my second 1000 posts? With breaking news about Intel possibly joining the online premium video content TV wars.

The biggest names in tech -- Google, Apple, Amazon to name a few -- are said to be chasing the holy grail of Internet TV; that is, over-the-top delivery of premium motion picture and television programming that bypasses cable and satellite operators and uses them only as their "dumb pipes." And now, the grandaddy of them all -- Intel -- is reported to be entering the fray in a big way. The Wall Street Journal reports -- and TechCrunch adds its "two cents" -- that Intel is in talks right now with all major media companies to deliver its own OTT "virtual cable operator/MSO" service that offers live linear TV programming (such as ESPN), in addition to video on demand. Think cable programming packages, but without the cable -- instead, with "Intel Inside."

Wow -- I didn't see this one coming! And, if this is true, Intel definitely has some explaining to do with a lot of behemoths who have a lot of skin in the game. And a lot at stake.

Whether Intel is "in" or "out" of the virtual cable operator game, however, this latest report underscores the critical "content is king" role that is played by the media companies (and creators who work for them). The biggest players in the world are lining up right now to buy rights to deliver the broadest and most compelling pool of video programming to me and you.

Lots of players ... with lots of money ... with lots at stake ... all chasing the same scarce and unique thing -- i.e., video content.

It's good to be king ....

(for more perspective on this subject, check out my earlier guest post in TechCrunch "Apple Schooled Music Execs Then, Here Are the Lessons Online Video Should Learn Now" -- in my view, it is one of the most important posts I have written ....)