“TV industry approaching its iPod moment”

Last February, at a European congress for the cable industry, Google stated that the Internet was not designed for TV:

“It even issued a warning to companies that think they can start distributing mainstream TV shows and movies on a global scale at broadcast quality over the public Internet… One cable chief executive, Duco Sickinghe from Belgian operator Telenet, said it was “the best news of the day” to hear that Google could not scale for video.”

Now, I think Google’s message was not that they can’t scale for video, just not for broadcast quality. But hey, they had something to win at the congress, namely making money with cable operators by offering their (video) search technology and advertising auction technology (Ad Words / Ad Sense) so some soothing words were necessary to take away fear with the cable execs.


Yesterday, Vint Cerf, the founder of the Net as we know it, and currently at Google said the following:

“85% of all video we watch is pre-recorded, so you can set your system to download it all the time,” he said. “You’re still going to need live television for certain things – like news, sporting events and emergencies – but increasingly it is going to be almost like the iPod, where you download content to look at later.”

So how should we interpret that? My take: for 15% of all video we need live TV and the infrastructure of the existing cable networks. For the remaining 85% of all video we don’t necessarily need the TV business of the cable networks anymore. Would you call that the best news of the day if you were a cable exec?


  1. 15% seems low for life, that’s ignoring the HERD needs people have. They want to watch what the neighbours, colleaugues, relatives are watching so they have something to talk about.

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