Viacom Misses the Boat?
You may use this content, but please cite my ideas as (c) 2005, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein.
Well, call me "Dr. Academic" who is willing to share his brilliant ideas publicly, but here I go. Do you recognize "Yahoo" or "Google?" Of course you do. According to Reuters and others, Viacom signed a deal with Yahoo! to "provide Web search services and paid search to Viacom's range of online properties including CBSNews.com, BET.com and MTV.com." Hello? What about searching Viacom's database of programs, to be aired live in the future, or otherwise (can you say "video on demand")?
Remember, you heard it here first, and I want the world to know I made an overture to Google about this, these search engines which represent the most sophisticated large database search tools available, also have highly recognizable names. Can I copyright this idea right here? OK, (c) 2005, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein, Dacula, Georgia: Take the brand name of Google and apply it to a search tool for your video database. What, you ask? Well, it's child's play. How many health shows are "in the can" right now? Who knows, right? Let's say your Auntie Faye is diagnosed with skin cancer or high blood pressure or heart disease or .... well, you get the picture. Today, you might go to Yahoo! or Google to look up "static" information about Auntie Faye's disease, its treatment, and what to expect. To quote Klopfenstein, "Video is the literature of our age." What if you could search the databases of video copyright holders and find documentaries or other non-fiction programs about whatever Auntie Faye has? Would you be interested?
Remember, you read it here first. It is inevitable, logical, evolutionary, and even predictable that video programs will be indexed the same way web pages and other more "traditional" forms of media (you know, the library stuff like books and articles). So why get excited about Viacom signing up with Yahoo! for an advertising/search agreement for Viacom's web sites? C'mon, make it exciting. Index those programs and let the audience find a way to access them. Oh, uh, that's completely predictable, too. How much will it cost? Why even think that way. Media in the U.S. has been historically subsidized by advertising. Want to see that documentary on pregnancy? Of course you do, and you will be more than willing to watch a two minute pitch for American Baby magazine first. Oh, yeah. With interactive television you'll order American Baby with one or two mouse or remote control clicks.
P.S. Following this posting, I noticed this from Wired: Why Yahoo! will be the center of the million-channel universe. Do you think I'm surprised? ;-)