Entertainment Steven Kippel on 23 Sep 2009
ZillionTV shifting strategy
The online-based media service ZillionTV, with grand aspirations of changing the way we receive media from content providers (which is suspiciously the same way other companies have been doing it for a couple years now) is shifting their game plan slightly. Instead of a set top box supplied by an ISP, they are looking to another technology many other services have been using for over a year – embedding their service in television sets.
While claiming to be a leader, they’re just now catching on that the industry is changing faster than they can get their hardware to the market. Mitchell Berman, CEO of ZillionTV, says they’re “moving forward with efforts to embed the ZillionTV Service in an assortment of consumer electronics devices as industry statistics point to embedded services as the future of video on demand.â€ I guess that’s like Amazon Video on Demand in LG, Vizio, and Panasonic TVs; Netflix in LG, Samsung, and Sony Blu-ray Disc players.
Yet their bold claim is ZillionTV is “a first-of-its-kind personalized television service … providing instant, subscription-free access to an extensive entertainment library of new and classic TV shows, movies, sports, music and more â€“ all on-demand and delivered directly to the television set via a common high-speed Internet connection.”
Sounds like they might have something going for them. Video content delivered from an internet connection directly to your television! What will they think of next? A phone that has a web browser?
But seriously, I’m concerned with the way television is headed. With ad revenue drastically dropping on broadcast television, and revenue from online video less than half of that, how are these shows going to be funded? It’s true killer shows are coming out on smaller cable channels, but they are low budget affairs. SyFy doesn’t have the budget for Heroes. FX doesn’t have the budget for CSI. I guess we’ll have to live with product placement and shows revolving around finding a good insurance company.