The four enemies of indie Internet TV
Trying to assess the prospects for independent online video entertainment—video that doesn’t come from one of the established outlets—is a day-to-day process. On some days the future looks bright; on others, less so.
On the exciting side, Google just launched an experiment in live broadcasting, including a real time safari in South Africa’s Djuma Game Reserve, a cricket match between the Delhi Daredevils and the Mumbai Indians, and a Mortal Kombat tournament. Most of the participants in this beta test look decidedly indie. We’ll reserve judgement on how the Wing Girls Answer Your Dating Questions show will work out.
On a less hopeful page of the prospectus, Netflix has announced that it is downgrading the quality of video streaming for Canadian consumers. Mindful of the tight data caps imposed on consumers at Rogers, Shaw, and Bell Canada, the default setting will provide 625Kbps of throughput, Netflix says.
The movie distributor notes that “there is some lessening of picture quality with these new settings,” but assures Canadians that the experience will continue to be “great” (albeit less filling, data-wise).
Any snapshot of the online independent video scene suggests an uncertain forecast. We can think of four likely impediments to a full takeoff.