Sling Media, Inc. is a “different kind of consumer electronics company.”
What kind? “One that's working to demystify convergence technologies and to create empowering experiences for the digital media consumer,” according to Sling Media.
Jason Hirschhorn, President, Sling Media Entertainment Group, addressed the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Leadership Forum on Digital Video in midtown Manhatttan this morning to make the case for why digital media consumers WILL be empowered, despite risk averse strategies employed by traditional media companies aiming to control both their proprietary content and how viewers interact with it.
“Because, after all, can't we all just get along?!” Sling Media asserts.
Sling Media also touts:
Sling Media's first product, the Slingbox, has literally transformed the way we are to able watch TV. The Slingbox turns any Internet-connected PC, Mac, or mobile device into your home television. That means you can watch TV virtually anywhere in the world.
Slingbox is offered for sale in about 4000 retailers in the U.S.; More than 100,000 units were sold within six months of its introduction.
Hirschorn presented his view of the digital video environment today.
“Users are in control”: Content is out, legally or illegally, for viewers to do what they want with it, when they want to,
Revenue generating “windows” are dying: TV, cable, DVD…
Professionally created video content still preferred by viewers over User Generated Content (UGC),
Young men leaving TV for Internet and gaming,’
Network concept; Viewers don’t distinguish between platforms.
Anyone can create media and publish video content on the Internet,
Let it go wherever it can go, follow the online audiences: YouTube, Revver, Sling Media…
Let a million video flowers bloom,
UGC often “User Endorsed Content,” taken from television.
RIGHTS RISKS & CONFLICTS
Media companies airing content,
Guilds (digital media contract negotiations)
How cool is the product?
How can users remix video content?
Free for user still predominant consumption preference,
Video must be monetized by advertising.
HOW SO? The Sling Media Entertainment Group is “chartered with managing Sling Media's existing and future collaborative efforts with content creators, distributors and advertisers.”
Towards that end, Hirschhorn announced last month a deal with CBS Corporation to:
Distribute free, ad supported, full length as well as clip-based video content from CBS via Sling’s forthcoming video destination and its enhanced SlingPlayer software, which will be launched for both Slingbox and non-Slingbox customers this summer. In addition, Sling Media plans to integrate the same CBS content into additional platforms including its forthcoming SlingCatcher.
CBS is proving they are a leader in the digital media space by embracing new platforms for content distribution. The announcement is an example of true ubiquity as evidenced by the cast of both new and established partners, including AOL, Microsoft, Comcast, Brightcove.
According to CBS:
All content will be advertiser supported and free to the consumer. CBS will begin selling the CBS Interactive Audience Network in the coming weeks, including the upcoming Upfront marketplace. Advertising revenue will be shared between CBS and its partners. All content will be available domestically with select clips and full-length sports programming distributed worldwide.
Hirschhorn hailed CBS’ open distribution stance today.
In announcing its new distribution strategy deal last month, Leslie Moonves, President & CEO, CBS Corporation. said:
Today marks an important step in our strategy to distribute content broadly across the online interactive landscape on an open, non-exclusive basis. Each of these partners offers value to our audience and our advertisers, who can now come to CBS not only for the most watched network on television, but for the most widely distributed professional content online.
Hirschhorn challenged CBS’ peers today to embrace open distribution, as CBS has.