The Big Video Support Group: Connected TV Summit

Perhaps the most striking fact of this year’s Connected TV Summit was not who was there but who wasn’t.

In a room full of over 300 550 delegates [thanks to the organisers for the correction], where I felt considerably un-suited and un-booted, there was material under representation by the new age players in this space: Apple, Akamai, Boxee, LoveFilm, NetFlix, Facebook, YouTube all seemed completely absent.   Service and Technology players left a void as well: Brightcove, a sponsor (and my alma mater), didn’t have one rep show.   thePlaform sales director showed up briefly then left.

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4 London Startups to Watch

4 Startups to Watch Over the last year and a half London has been getting increasing attention from the VC industry.    And with good reason.

With soaring numbers of startup ventures coming out of the Big Smoke coupled with public and private initiatives like TechCity, TechHub and the focal point of Silicon Roundabout it’s all getting really interesting.

Out of the crowd are emerging killer products that will truly transform their respective spaces and make London and the UK proud.

Here are 4 to watch:

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It’s Time to Party Like It’s 1999

Pulp FictionWelcome to the 1990s of Digital Media.

With the Second Great Digitisation of Everything fading to the RAM banks of society, with only historians and ageing veterans to mark it’s passing we have entered a time where  Digital Media has finally grown up.  Running at a pace that would  at last give a dog something in common with a tortoise.   No more awkward nothing-to-say silences at those Tree of Life meetups.

As fast as a blink of a monitor screen Digital Media has reached it’s true Coming of Age.

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The True (Awesome) Power of the Second Screen Revealed!

The Tweet came in innocently enough.

At 8:26PM GMT Saturday night, Ernesto Schmitt,  the CEO of second screen startup Zeebox tweeted the true power of the vision beginning to unfold.

“Wanna know who won the ratings war between The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent? Hands down guys, hands down: http://pic.twitter.com/o1A9e7jx

You could be forgiven to dismiss this as nothing more than some cheap attempt at marketing and self promotion.   But taking another look it becomes immediately clear where the true value (and stock market valuation!) of this startup lies.

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The Walls of Hollywood Won’t Fall In A Day

Pontus Pilot of HollywoodThe Barbarians are truly at the gate of Hollywood.

Two recent posts which I highly recommend reading have shot more burning boulders over the high walls of Jericho Hollywood.

One from industry blog GigaOm taking on a marauding stance saying that those pesky pirates are really just humble poor peasants trying to feed their starving eyes.

The other from LIVEdigital taking a more sympathetic olive branch approach clearly and concisely arguing that indeed the owners of the channels and pipes to your living room are doing plenty to give from the rich to the poor.

As Allies they offer a considerable force but like the Soviets and Americans before they are worlds apart.   And like the evil Axis of WWII, their foe is well entrenched, well funded and fanatical about their world view.

The problem is: are the tactics being used by ‘our saviours’ the right ones?   Are they pinging bronze arrows against the metal Blitzkrieg?

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What’s Certain About Social TV? No One Can Agree On What It’s All About

Everyone from Apple to Zeebox are doing “it”.

Startups named after Japanese soups and the byproduct of horses hooves are also in on the act.

It’s got its own Wikipedia page, dedicated blogs and is a new entry onto the boardroom bingo score sheets.

It even has offline/online community gatherings paying homage to it hosting evenings of thought provoking discussions.

But for all hubbub and buzz around “Social TV” – it seems from where I’m standing nothing is really truly known about what Social TV is.

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UK PayTV Operations Are Smoking Their Own Dope

UK PayTV Are Smoking Their Own DopeA couple of nights ago I was invited to attend a PayTV roundtable put on by MTM London.  It is clear to me that the UK PayTV operations are high on their own dope and, while it’s a blissful existence, it feels like they’re about to get slammed by the crisp truck when going out in search of a cure for the munchies.

At a swanky London address I was privileged to sit in on a moderated discussion about PayTV and its future.   Listening to: Continue reading

Seriously, Why Is Everyone So Surprised About BSkyB and YouView?

What is it they say?  Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer? Or what about if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em?

Maybe it was just a slow news day or something but when YouView released the list of their first round of ‘content partners’ last week there was a rush of OMGs across the Tweet-a-verse when it emerged that right in the middle of the list was one BSkyB.   THE BSkyB – the right arm of the Murdoch News Int. evil empire.  Here, in bed with the likes of the BBC and all good things Public. (side thread: name 2 good things that are Public – I came up with the library system and then struggled….)

The shock, awe and horror – to read some blogs you’d think Up had become Down, Right, Left and the UK Conservative Party teaming up with the Liberal Democrats in some weird coalition to run the country, how crazy would that be, I can’t just…..oh wait.

But really why is this such as surprise?   Continue reading