TV has been in the process of moving to the web for two decades and there were many start-ups in the 90s that had a great idea to broadcast TV on the web, but were way ahead of their time. Broadcast.com was a success as they had a niche and Yahoo purchased the business for over $1 billion and for the most part they were doing pretty simple technology in today’s world – broadcasting audio over the web, but they had a niche and that was key.
Hulu, which offers free on-line programming of many of the most popular shows and is owned by News Corp. (Fox), NBC Universal and Disney (ABC), announced today they are looking into changing their business model as the on-line services cutting into their owners traditional TV revenue models. Hulu is thinking of recasting their model to an on-line cable operator that would use the web to send live video channels and video on demand to subscribers. It would be similar to your cable or satellite channel line up available today, but offered on-line.
Netflix has turned the T.V. and movie industry upside down offering unlimited movies on-line for $7.99 a month and now has over 20 million subscribers, more than Showtime and Starz. The bottom line is that consumers want to watch their television, movies and other video service On Demand – on their time and the traditional TV model is going through major disruption.
The cost to distribute programming over the web is significantly cheaper and many small businesses use the web for video programming and video is the best way to sell outside of Face to Face communications.
You Tube has been a major force in this disruption and I am amazed to learn about companies like OraBrusch.com that created a tongue cleaner for bad breath and put a commercial on You Tube, which resulted in selling millions of brushes with not one dime spent on advertising. Companies like Orabrush are part of a major sea change using the power of video on the web to achieve major sales. Look for us to profile several of these companies in the coming months.