Wednesday, 4 February 2009

This Kangaroo has ceased to be....

(Photo Credit - Flickr user Thomas Rosenzweig)
Right, I'm going to keep this [relatively] short, as I was looking forward to having the BBC's back catalogue on tap as much as the next comedy addict. What's that? Have I heard of YouTube. Oh!

So the Competitions Commission have pulled the plug on Project Kangaroo. The idea of the 3 main broadcast content providers in the UK all distributing through the same portal whilst selling ads separately was referred to in the report as something that 'has to be stopped'. And you can see the Commission's point. After all, this is supposed to be the future of TV, not just exactly the same model as we have now. I can't see the difference between a TV screen that's been showing content from three UK-based content providers since 1982, and a computer screen doing the same. The only winners are the walled gardens that the ISPs would love to lock us into. Something like Boxee is great, but only for the few people who know that they want this type of app and go out and look for it. The sort of marketing that
BBC, ITV and C4 can throw at a new technology between them would put UK internet usageitself onto a different level.

Where do they go to from here? Well the market for their content isn't going anywhere. It's just the portal that they aren't allowed to collaborate on. I'd expect to see, 4OD and iPlayer scaled up quickly, but this isn't a replacement. It was the robust aggregation platform that would have been the success of of Kangaroo - everything all in one place. If the broadcasters were brave, they would free the content: instream ad units, distributable anywhere. Don't worry too much about the actual viewing platform. Sound familiar? Because it's where we're all going to be viewing our archive UK content now. Until Hulu launches, and BBC, ITV and C4 sell them the content rights. So that 18 months of legal review has got us where exactly? The same result, but US owned.


neilperkin said...

Good point, well made Graeme

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