2007 has been the year for Internet TV. And YouTube / Google have played the main part in bringing it into the mainstream. But they are not alone: Joost, Apple TV, Amazon Unbox and many others, including Microsoft, fight for a piece of a market in constant evolution.
Read Write Red has posted an excellent report on Internet TV in 2007.
As with many other new products/services, piracy has help Internet TV to “cross the chasm” and go into mainstream.
It already happened with PlayStation 2, where the wide availability of pirated games, helped many to choose PS2 over Xbox or Nintendo.
And it helped Microsoft Office to displace Wordperfect and Lotus 123, when pirated copies of Office were easily found. Microsoft might have lost some revenue, but they won the ubiquity of Office in every PC.
The illegal use of copyrighted content made YouTube increasingly popular, as people could watch Madonna video clips, football match highlights, or recorded TV shows
User generated content (UGC) alone would have taken a bit longer to bring YouTube to a mass market. Thanks somehow to pirated content, users are already educated on how YouTube works and content owners are opening to new models- e.g. based on advertisement.
Once Internet TV has gone into mainstream, the smartest companies will adapt their business model to benefit from an application that has already “crossed the chasm”. CBS, NBC, Viacom and other broadcasters are already positioning in that direction. Interestingly, the TV industry is even using piracy as a measure of success.
2008 will bring us many exciting news regarding Internet TV.