Thinking about digital distribution this and wanted to brain dump and hopefully get feedback from you all. I am trying to compartmentalize digital distribution so that I can explain my understanding of it to others in an easy way. Any help would be appreciated.
I see the strategy being simultaneously very different and very similar for independents and corporate company endeavors online.
If you are an independent person, with something to say you have a variety of options available to you. Focusing online, you can post your thoughts on someone else’s site or blog, join a forum or community and voice your opinion or many other outlets for you express yourself.
If you want a bit more involvement, you can decide to manage it yourself in a variety of ways and formats. You can start a blog and rant in written form, you can start a podcast and rant in verbal form or you can start a video cast and rant in physical form.
If you decide to go this route, you may want to increase your audience, so you can add your content to aggregators and feed lists so that more people can search for and find your content. You can add tags to entries that are cross referenced on other sites. You can offer other ways for your users to find your content, like feeds or social bookmark tools. You can also syndicate your content and put it on multiple platforms and other sites, depending on the format.
What if you are a producer of someone else’s content, like your company, and you find yourself in the similar situation above. As an independent, it’s easier to determine how big and wide-spread you want your content to be, it’s your choice, that’s all you are thinking about.
But with a company, you have tons of other issues to think about:
- Which pieces of content are you going to offer to the world?
- Do you have rights to put this content online?
- Where are the borders of those rights? Formats? Clip length? Countries?
- Should you offer downloads or streaming? DRM or not?
- Are there overlaps with different channels? Mobile? Web? VOD?
- Will you have a Handheld Gaming Device strategy? Does it work on wifi and non-wifi enabled devices?
I have been watching these issues for years now. The market is moving so fast in every way, that I never really get a chance to focus on these channels. So I am reaching out. Correct me if I am wrong in classifications or defintions and add if you can where I don’t have enough info.
Licensed video distribution channels:
– These are companies that you either pay to be on or they pay you, but there is a formal contract/deal/aggreement drawn between the producer of the content and the distribution site/channel.
– They stream most of their content and normally do not allow for cross pollination of the content on their site.
– Because of their association with the networks, these are also sometimes referred to as IPTV or Internet protocol television.
Independent video distribution sites
– They stream their content, but encourage cross pollination of the content on other sites by use of an embed code.
– These are also sometimes referred to as IPTV or Internet protocol television, although not as much as the examples above as television implies networks and programming.
– Some of these sites are using “Channels” to group similar content in an effort to help consumers used to the more congruent programming on television.
Video on Demand (VOD)
– These are distribution methods that are usually tied to network content, where the network will offer selected programming in a cache that the consumer can watch at their convenience.
– This is a highly demographic driven distribution channel. Preschoolers and older adults tend to use this at higher rates. Tech thought leaders use DVR devices in lieu of VOD.
– Comcast offer an area on their set top box where individual networks can offer VOD selections.
– This is where I need an infusion of who are the leaders now. I studied the market in early 2006, but with how quickly things are happening, who knows who is the leader now (actually, one of you knows)
– I DO know, that format-wise, mobile content, at least non-interactive content like videos, needs to be within the under 3 minute mark.
– This will change as soon as the new high-tech phones (iPhone, Nokia N95, etc) start becoming more of a mass market reality, but the marketplace is by in large still flip phone based. I do see more and more people getting the qwerty keyboard phones (ala Sidekick, helio, etc) for ease of texting.
– What is very big still is ringtones and all derivatives of ringtones. Ringbacks are even spreading in popularity.
– Games seem to be holding steady as well. I personally do not know anyone who games often on their cell, but I see them often enough where I am able to accept the statistics that talk about mobile gaming on the rise.
– But who are the leaders? Are the mobile networks still paying for content or are the producers paying to be on the network? Not sure where this stands currently.
Handheld Gaming/Internet Devices
– This is a relatively new area to look at for digital distribution (unless you are a game developer 🙂 ). But more and more handheld devices have wifi enabled.
– Is anyone taking advantage of this medium besides the hardware/software companies that ? Are there any independent distributors utilizing this medium? I know the PSP plays mini disc movies – is there downloadable content as well?
– How is optimization for Internet handheld going? Is the market big enough to justify the resource time from your staff?
Internet Capable Gaming Consoles
– Same sort of questions as above, is anyone taking advantage of this outlet, or is it locked down by the indiviudal game companies?
Correct me if and where I am wrong and add where it is needed. Thanks!
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