Friday, October 24, 2008

Broadcast news: a million monkeys

One of the struggles of being a TV broadcaster these days is how to make money. You have expensive content...expensive infrastructure...and lots of people. 

Well, here comes the technology-enabled, always-on, hyper networked world to the rescue in the form of Syndicaster. Syndicaster does what good technology always drives out the inefficiencies of some task. In this case, the inefficiencies of TV stations being able to post their news clips online.

Syndicaster removes the need for:
  • TV stations to have separate, expensive video conversion equipment (it handles it online)
  • Separate video editors at each station to run the expensive conversion equipment
  • Keyword indexing and posting to online video networks such as YouTube or AOL videos
...among others.

Most intriguing is the impending release of a consumer version. And in this case, Syndicaster may be the tough love broadcast news needs to survive: if blogs turned everyone into a potential editorialist, Syndicaster could conceivably turn everyone into a syndicated a smartphone video camera and Syndicaster? On the scene of the story? Your news footage (with commentary) could get worldwide distribution across all the (online) networks of importance in a matter of minutes.  Think of it as RSS feeds for video news.

In that world, broadcast news may have to focus on being broadcast or news. Aggregating the best locally produced, amateur-shot news and sending it out over the airwaves is one possible role reversal of fortune. The other might be enlisting an army of amateur videographers and aggregating the content under a branded news organization (can you say AP?)...sort of like America's Funniest Videos...only timelier and more newsworthy than videos of people being hit in the crotch with baseballs.

With a million monkeys typing at keyboards and shooting video for syndication with their point of view, sooner or later you'll get a few thousand Walter Conkrites in their own virtual news rooms...the dumb networks (e.g., YouTube, AOL) will be there to distribute whatever it is they create...which will be one more step in the democratization of news.

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