The following entertainment article was written for Spreety TV Online by professional journalist Carolyn Giardina.
Telestream: Niche Content, Interactivity Might Drive Online TV
By Carolyn Giardina
“As a distribution channel, the Internet is here to stay,” asserts Barbara DeHart, VP of marketing at Telestream, which provides technology for almost everyone using video: consumers, to amateur and professional content creators, to some of the world’s largest video operations centers.
“The real question is whether consumers will start watching television – a passive activity – on computer screens instead of on traditional TV sets,” she said. “For consumers to switch to the computer screen, they will need some motivation to change their behavior.”
But Telestream has identified two possible reasons why people’s viewing habits might change. “First, the development of niche long-form content focused upon the middle ground may be a key driver for online TV,” DeHart explains. “Niche content will not have a broad enough audience for traditional television distribution, and may be too specialized in presentation for generic set-top box consumption. Internet distribution is a good fit, and may change consumer behavior one niche at a time. Second, the computer gaming audience is becoming ubiquitous, and the line between passive television and active gaming is blurring. For example, text message participation in TV shows is already the norm, and we believe this is just the start of interactive television offerings. When television content becomes truly interactive, then consumers may switch en masse to online TV to take advantage of it.”
Looking ahead, Telestream believes the next developments will be in the middle ground – for both live and on-demand video. “Similar to music, we see online video consumption and distribution becoming more segmented,” DeHart says. “Creative tools allow niche producers to create professional-quality content for niche online audiences. Because video is such a powerful communication vehicle, and since the cost to create high-quality video is coming down, we believe that it will be used more and more for all types of communication, including training, education, high-school sports, churches, town hall meetings, and other non-entertainment forms of video.
“With the emergence of the middle ground, we see thousands of online video niches appearing, each with unique technology requirements,” she added.
Telestream’s acquisitions in 2006 and 2008 meant expansion into desktop encoding, screencasting and live streaming software. The company’s products include free Flip4Mac Windows Media Video components for the Mac and prosumer video production tools.