Their responses are quite different though. Babelgum has created a €10m commissioning fund for original content and made it’s first investment, whilst Joost is retrenching from it’s global ambitions to focus on the US.
I have talked to a lot of people about how the TV value chain might look in the future and for me the most obvious structure to migrate to has just two players (at the highest level) – the content owners and aggregators who provide search and navigation functionality.
Note the absence of broadcasters. As per Anderson’s Long Tail argument I think these guys are products of a bygone era where limited distribution capacity shaped the industry.
That said, as well as managing distribution capacity broadcasters play a critical role in predicting demand and managing the customer relationship on behalf of content owners. I suspect that in the future the larger content owners will do that for themselves and the smaller guys will need to use local sales representatives in each geography.
This matches the way the web works today, and indeed I’m persuaded by the idea that TV programmes will one day be delivered in much the same way as websites. They are both forms of digital content, after all.