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Time now ripe for video blogs: Internet giants to cash in

27 July 2005 News

Within minutes of the tragic London bombings this month, news-sites showed location video footage - mainly from cameraphones - sent in by members of the public.

According to director of news, Helen Boaden, the BBC quickly received around 30 video clips, which aired on broadcasts and online, within 20 minutes of the attack. Boaden called it 'a new world' of digital media distribution.

Vamsi Sistla, ABI Research's director of residential entertainment research, agrees: "Now, anybody who has a voice has a means to express it." Many of those video clips were carried on websites such as Yahoo, Google and MSN, highlighting what Sistla calls the latest trend in digital home 'entertainment': the move by large Internet operators into a realm previously dominated by cable companies and telcos offering broadband services.

The signs are everywhere. Microsoft is collaborating with France Telecom to produce cutting-edge digital media products. Google<, with a new video service, has just announced an investment in a company providing broadband through powerline, and is rumoured to be buying dark fibre bandwidth. China's Shanda Interactive has released a set-top box, and Intel is investing in movie distribution.

This attempt by some Internet giants to take advantage of the digital home media revolution, is discussed in the latest update of ABI's 'Residential Entertainment Technologies Research Service'.

Until recently, insufficient bandwidth to homes, combined with the entertainment industry's grip on content licensing, made home entertainment unattractive to the big Internet players. Now, both those conditions are changing.

"They know it is time for them to take advantage of their brands and their marketing relationships to pursue the next generation digital home and digital media services," Sistla explains. "They are creating the 'Wal-Marts of the World Wide Web', and aim to offer everything and anything to the widest audience. We will soon see true 'video blogs' on their sites."

www.abiresearch.com





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