Interesting post this morning on a new technology by Auditude that allows the identification of online video using the video content itself to create electronic signatures. This technology is more reliable than tagging as video’s that are posted on networks like MySpace are often tagged with “Cool”.
Using this technology MySpace can now identify the video’s that are uploaded and instead of treating them as piracy it has set up a deal with MTV to display overlay advertisement on video’s that belong to the MTV network.
While this has many advantages over the piracy view where MySpace is forced to take down video’s that have been placed without approval, I can’t help but think that this advertisement trick mostly benefits MySpace and MTV.
Advertisement is hard to get right. In most cases it is merely a way to create revenues without getting the end user to pay for a service. It acts like a 3rd party currency. Advertisement only provides direct value to the end user in a search context. I can understand the need from a content owner/producer point of view to be able to generate revenues. At the same time one of the strengths of the web has always been its power to share. By sharing content gets an audience. Much faster and more powerful than any old fashioned media channel, like a TV station can accomplish.
This sharing didn’t lead to direct revenues for the content creator. It might have lead to indirect revenues because the content gets out there. It’s something every media distributor has been struggling with. And the end result was predictable. While it uses modern technology, the end result is old-fashioned. MTV now has the technology that allows them to add an advertisement tax to all video’s uploaded. Its understandable, but old fashioned. It generates revenues, but it ignores the fact that no user is waiting for this advertisement tax. It generates advertisement revenues, but the advertisement is ignored by the user.
We have seen this business model before. It’s what made TV virtually unusable. Watching a full length movie on any TV channel has become impossible to do without technology that allows the user to skip commercial breaks every 5mins in the movie. A movie of one and a half hour can take twice as long to be broadcasted as we all need to sit through advertisement tax.
It’s a joke of course. Advertisement money spend and flushed down the drain as users have found ways to ignore them. And while Auditude may have found ways to identify video’s online and therefore provide the means to re-introduce advertisement tax, we already know that the advertisement is mostly ignored. You can already predict the next step in this process. Someone will invent a remote control or Tivo-like solution that allows users to view content online without any form of advertisement. And the drive to do this is inherently part of the business model. Advertisement sits in the way of the content we are trying to view.