GenuineVC David Beisel's Perspective on Digital Change

January 25, 2006

One of the articles in my VentureWire e-mail newsletter this morning mentioned that the video space is “so hot” right now. Not to be out-done, another quote in a different article in the same newsletter referred to it as “white hot.”

There’s no question that the basic premises – the who, what, where, when, and how – of consumers’ interaction with video content is dramatically changing, and that’s getting people excited.

David Katz, who oversees sports and entertainment for the Yahoo Media Group, at a NATPE 2006 panel said yesterday (via,

“…[W]hat’s the definition of television. … If we’re going to narrowly define television as the content created by broadcast networks and cable networks that comes in on the big screen in your living room, that’s one thing … If television is more broadly defined going forward as that video entertainment experience really consumed in the home or potentially on portable devices or your cell phones… you’re talking about an unlimited universe, you’re talking about a place where content can come from anywhere, everyone’s a distributor if they want to be, user generated content allows the proliferation of content and breaks down barriers that existed before.”

The vision which David lays out is one which I believe is becoming consensus for those in the space (at least those “new” media types). The issue at hand is rather how we get there. While all promising markets have their incumbent players and constituents, this one is especially fertile ground for (often rival sets of) established companies along the value chain – from cable companies, to broadcast networks, to the content producers, to device manufacturers, to mobile carriers, etc., etc.; the list goes on for quite a while. This environment makes it especially perilous, but also ripe, for start-ups as well. This month’s acquisition of Truveo by AOL is just one signal of more to come. A quick search reveals that more than a handful of people have called 2006 the “Year of Video” (see here, here, here, and here to name a few). I don’t disagree. My question is – how will this movie play out?

  • Greg Linden

    The fact that the search giants, Real, Apple, Microsoft, and many others already have products in the space doesn’t put a chill on that enthusiasm?

    I admire your bravery in attacking such a crowded market, but I would think you would be more intimidated by the formidable competition here.

  • David Beisel

    Greg, I appreciate and hear your concern. Indeed, many of the players which you cite do have consumer-facing products in the video space. However, my perspective on the opportunities that digital video enable are much broader than just those going head-to-head with these incumbents. Other participants in the value stream – like video advertising networks, publishing systems, search technologies, and media storage & backup services, just to name a few – are possibly less crowded and present more interesting potential.

  • Russ

    Disrupt the Contextual Ad Market? – looks like maybe one of the GYM might be interested in:


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