The New Net TV Format | Key Traits Of The Emerging Grassroots of Online Television

4 min read

Chris Pirillo Live

Traditional television is in irreversible decline. The
industry as you know and have grown up with is on the way out, whether
you realise it or not.

It neither inspires, or moves, apart from those rare occasions
television remembers it’s true and original mandate, the one in which
no other medium can compete… live reporting!

On traditional television everything is
pre-ordered, pre-planned and designed for, edited, revised, cropped,
trimmed… censored, reviewed and approved.

Old style television is not a
real communication medium any more, it is just an instrument
of political and corporate

If you had not realized this yet, wake up!

The Pace Of Change

To live at the pace of change we are experiencing today, you
need to
take full control of the information channels through which you learn,
find out, inform and entertain yourself, you are out of the game.

From today you have become your own control room, the control
the living remote control who choses and selects the clips that will
help you learn, discover, and understand other things and people that
share your same passions.

I have caught you.

If you sit another time again to look at another sit-com or at
another Lost episode you can stop reading right here. Close this web
page and forget it.

The world around you, ideas, the company you work for and the
that work for it cannot be changed while they also let themselves be
hypnotized by this entertainment stream with zero ethics and nano-sized
information values.

Only in rare instances of major live sport events, traditional
television is still capable of making you taste the adrenaline of
“being there”, excited and alive, as if truly tele-ported to that
however distant happening.

Magic moments in which you forget where you
are and you become one with whatever is happening at thousand of
kilometers away.

But beyond that, is the deepest boredom.

The New Grassroots Online Television Channels

The new grassroots online
television channels that are sprouting online are very
different from what you have become accustomed to see on
traditional television.

But how can you tell whether what you are seeing on the web is
a web-version of a traditional television channel or it is an emerging
pure-breed Net TV. 

As you will find out by reading further, discoverign
which is which, will not be very difficult.

The new television is made up of many new ways of doing
each of them evolving into what will be new styles and formats:
YouTube,, Brightcove, ,
Miro an Dovetail.

Some call it “Online Television”, some “Internet TV“, and
some have been spending lots of PR money to get you to call it IPTV.

Without you even realizing it, Net TV is already here.

Television From The Roots

It is a new way to do television from the roots, without a
equipment setup, and with the flexibility and freshness of a blog.

Inside and outside of your organization,
on the
intranet or on the national professional association site, Net TVs will
grow like mushrooms. 

Net TVs will open up many opportunities for all
those with talent, a voice and a great desire to share their pioneering
efforts in one of the most revolutionary media formats to appear.

But don’t be fooled by these acronyms. The new online,
Internet-based television, the Net TV, has a completely different
taste, and it is easy to recognize independently of the language it
speaks or the name it uses.

This is its unmistakable identikit:

The Net TV Profile

  • It has no schedule

    It is you who decides what to watch and when. Everything
    that is
    broadcast live on a Net TV is always available also in a recorded,
    on-demand format.

  • It can be seen anywhere

    A Net TV can be seen from home, on the move, on your PDA,
    on your
    laptop and with new internet
    television platforms like the Apple TV even
    on your traditional television set.

  • It knows no borders

    It can be seen anywhere around the world where there is an
    connection. Anywhere there is a Wi-Fi
    connection, an ADSL cable or even a cellular mobile link, Net
    TVs can be easily reached. In Koh
    Samui just like in Rio

  • It asks no payments

    Net TV does not require a paid subscription, viewing fees or the need
    to purchase a decoder or set-top box to allow you to watch its best

  • It favours re-use and re-distribution of its
    best contents

    Net TVs provide true free access to all of its video
    programming, live
    and recorded, and it actively promotes the re-use and the distribution
    of its best programs on other Net TV channels, blogs sites and even on
    traditional TV.

  • It gives a voice to its audience

    Net TV characterizes itself because it allows its
    spectators to join in
    and participate into the show, it allows to ask live questions to both
    those running show as well as to other participants connected from
    other distant locations.

  • It has audiences of thousands not of millions

    Instead of typical television-sized audiences of
    spectators, Net TVs have audiences of only hundreds or thousands of
    active participants at best during their live shows.

  • But they have
    crowds of hundreds of thousands and even millions of loyal, passionate
    followers spreading over time to watch their recorded shows.

  • It loves niche

    Net TV loves focus. Net TV loves being thematic and
    topic-specific. Net
    TV loves communities of interest or practice seeking news and
    information on tight subjects. Its spectators know what to find on it
    no matter at what time they tune in.

  • It’s passionate

    Driven, presented, guided and managed by true passionate
    Net TVs have a completely different taste from traditional television
    where everyone and everything needs to appear perfect, strong and

    The true Net TV is characterized by the passion with which
    its authors, showmen and anchors share its live sessions.

    Just like in
    the 70’s when here in Italy private (pirate) radio stations first
    challenged the monopolistic status quo of state-television, today these
    Net TVs have very loyal and passionate fans who can ignite instant
    viewing swarms of hundreds of people in a matter of minutes.

  • It has a strong and clear voice

    The new Net TV doesn’t hide itself behind opinions and
    statements made
    by others, as it expresses in a direct and transparent way its

    It doesn’t sell subjectivity and opinion for objective
    and reality.

    As with blogs, Net TVs tend to be powerful communication
    outlets for artists, writers, change-agents and even independent
    analysts who do not find space inside traditional media to expose and
    share with others their ideas without selling their credibility with it.

  • It has a grassroot spirit

    Net TVs are generally inspired by concepts of community and sharing
    while resisting too formal programming styles as well
    excessively-polished corporate communications and the typical
    Hollywood-originated TV formats.

    Net TV is groovy, has an accent,
    doesn’t dress Armani… it creates new trends by itself, is typically
    against the mainstream, it is nomadic, tribal.

  • Anyone can create it

    To create a Net TV you don’t need a large budget nor the
    need to
    pull-up transmitting towers around the country.

    You need only to
    sign-up for Ustream,
    Mogulus, Operator11, Kyte or Stickam
    and you can be broadcasting live via your webcam in a matter of

    There are no limits to the number of spectators you can
    nor to the length or topic of your shows. Infinite bandwidth is now
    available to everyone.

Read more about Net TV Online

MoBuzz TV | An Internet Video Channel Success Story

BBTV From Blinkx | Internet TV To Rival Joost

BabelGum | Internet TV Start-Up to Contend With Joost

Originally version written in
Italian by Robin
Good for 7thfloor
and titled “Prime Time is any time” on July 31st 2007. Some Rights Reserved. English version
revised and edited by Robin Good.


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