Content streams for online TV

Ha ha! You might think I'm after TechCrunch's tail really but I can't help it. It's one of my favourite blogs largely because they've condensed the coverage of startups in America (often other countries) in one place. That doesn't mean that their word is the gospel and I tend to nitpick a lot.

You see the thing about the blogosphere is that you can hardly go wrong. Whatever you write can inspire someone to write more about, often with different interesting perspectives. So, why the prelude? Consider this excerpt from their coverage of Viacom's deal with Joost:

It would be a real loss to the world if the two tiers of creativity, professional and user generated, were forever bifurcated in different distribution channels.

I don't agree with this sentiment at all. If by classifying user generated content as a tier of creativity they're implying that it stands on par with professional content, they've clearly never been bombarded with tons of similar videos of sleeping cats (some of these are really good though). Remember, this is in context with Joost's planned TV-like service. TV-like! Which immediately means that unfiltered user generated content shouldn't fit into the picture at all. We have Youtube for that. The kind of content that would make this service successful would have to be professional (including professionally made-out user videos). Convergence of the two streams of content would be less than ideal given that users would have the same expectations of Joost as they have of TV.

This is why Xbox Live Arcade is a closed system. Microsoft's aim with Live Arcade was to bring casual gaming to the masses through their Xbox console. What platform was and still is the dominant one for casual games? Answer: the PC (browser based games). Now, why didn't Microsoft just create a porting interface so gamers could simply access the countless online 'user generated' Flash/other games available. Probably because they wanted to control the quality and quantity of games published. Revenue splits would also be a good reason :) Even now through their XNA initiative, Microsoft is allowing user generated games to appear on the Xbox 360 only if a gamer is signed up as an XNA subscriber.

It's all about controlling the user experience (remember TV-like) and here bifurcation is a necessity. Now, I'll wait for someone else to be inspired by this ;)

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