The Volcano of Video 3.0

Video 1.0 is TV, low-def camcorders, VCRs, analog and HDTV as it now stands: in the form of “HD” that’s much prettier than SD but is still packed with artifacts because it flows through pipes (both wired and wireless) that limit how good it can look, and that flow only in one way: from producer to consumer. It’s everything we’ve seen up until now.

Video 2.0 is vividly described by Simon Aspinall of Cisco, who rocked Telco 2.0 last month with a vision of what TV over telecom can become. It’s also unpacked nicely in Video will be nearly 90% of Consumer IP traffic ty 2012, in the Telco 2.0 blog. Note the “to”. This is still TV. In Video 2.0, TV still predominates, even if there are a zillion “channels” and much of it is widening the sphincters of the cell phone system.

Video 3.0 is two way. Or many-way. It’s with, not just to. And its “def” is truly high, and not compromised by current channel-defined bandwidth constraints. This is what will disrupt both telecom and cablecom in a huge way, unless they get on the side of all producers — including the people they now call consumers. The opportunities here are enormous. I think telcos are especially advantaged in this sense: telephony is naturally two-way, and has been ever since the 1880s. Now is the time to think about how we return to that in a big way. Telcos may be getting hammered flat right now, but there’s a groundswell underneath there. Just watch.

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8 Responses to The Volcano of Video 3.0

  1. Mike Warot says:

    I think the best way to prep for such a future is to start taking lots of videos, NOW, and start with sneakernet ways of sharing them, to get a feel for the dynamics of it, and a possible hint of the future.

    Or… I could be wrong. 😉

  2. Mike Warot says:

    Ok… I was probably wrong. 😉

    I now think the best way is just to make all of the movies, make them lo-def, and just get practicing.

    At least that’s today’s opinion.

  3. I did a Skype interview with Nicholas Reville of the video aggregator Miro for Knight Pulse last month: that may be useful here.

    The online communities around video will help drive that groundswell–

  4. Doc Searls says:

    Thanks, Kristen. Nick rocks, and so does Miro. Also check out Tribler.

  5. Pingback: Strange Attractor » Blog Archive » links for 2008-12-23

  6. alan p says:


    I did the talk right after Simon at the Telco 2.0 event on our research into the Future of Online Video, which the Telco 2.0 guys will release as a major report early next year.

    The presentation is on slideshare over here:

    Early-day interactive video companies (such as Seesmic, Phreadz, Qik to an extent) by our analysis sit in the user generated / auto aggregated sector of the continuum that is online video (see slide 6 in the pack above for the overall industry map)

    However, that sector of the industry faces two related issues:

    (i) Low value (ie advertisers are not prepared to fund “social network” media, and video does not seem to differ yet at any rate)
    (ii)High Cost (video, unlike text/picture based social networking, is comparatively very expensive to serve)

    As we show in our analysis of YouTube vs Hulu economics – see

    ….the economics of this particular sector in the continuum is a tough ask right now, especially as post crunch there is less speculative funding willing to take these services forward.

    Interestingly enough, in a post crunch world,the Telcos and CableCo’s are some of the few companies actually capable of affording the running of Video 3.0 type services, so they can potentially use it themselves to disrupt others – assuming, of course, that they have the vision and execution capability.

  7. Mike Warot says:

    It’s not expensive at all to serve up my videos… because they are almost never viewed… the unpopular one take up disk space only, which is still trending downwards in cost at an astonishing rate. The popular ones (which are called “viral” in marketing speak) are the ones that actually can generate significant traffic.

    If a bittorrent video standard were established, that would severely cut the bandwidth costs of even the popular ones as well.

    Then it goes back to simple hosting files on a disk somewhere. Amazon S3 currently prices that out at about $0.15/Gigabyte/month. Compression helps.

    The 15 minutes of video I currently have on YouTube, for example, is probably 0.1 Gb, so it costs (at a maximum) YouTube about 1.5 CENTS every month to keep my account alive.

    Hosting the long tail is dirt cheap, because we’re not popular. The popular sites can support things because of ads, etc.

  8. alan p says:

    Mike, if you follow the second link I showed above, you will find that uploading and hosting your videos is an insignificant cost in the scheme of things.

    What does cost money is distribution, as one stored file of X Gb is then potentially served many times. Your own video streams may be small, but summing up all the billions of videos served across the entire YouTube ecosystem gives a different order of magnitude of cost entirely.

    Also, YouTube can only support 3-4% of its content via Ads (as at present), and CPM’s remain (according to information in the public domain anyway) below average CPM. There is thus a point at which each non Ad bearing video is costing them money to serve, and they have – by our analysis anyway – long since exceeded that.

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