Tuesday, 10 February 2009
In-stream ads ... and a new era.
As many of you know, I have been slogging away at this concept for over 10 years, and today is a special day. Because WE are launching in-stream advertising today. That means that every 90 seconds a banner ad is going to appear at the bottom of the stream for about 25 seconds. Many of you will have an instantly bad reaction to this, and that is completley understandable after so many years of watching our LIVE streams with no advertising. But let me explain why this development is so exciting and why it is something you should embrace as well ...
You see the cost of broadcasting LIVE to a global audience has been very high, and quite unprofitable since it all first began at Djuma in 1998. Not only is there the cost of putting the camera equipment in place (not to mention the infrastructure for a LIVE safari) and getting that stream to a video server (particularly from remote locations in Africa), but for each extra person that watches the LIVE stream WE have to pay for the extra distribution bandwidth. Few people realise this strange factor, but the more popular your broadcast the more expensive it is to run, and therefore the more money you loose. In other words the better you are at producing great LIVE wildlife viewing the quicker you run out of money and have to say goodbye! As a result of this strange and counter intuitive effect, there has been scant motivation for people to develop compelling content or for those to invest in improving the cams they run. So our industry has hardly developed from those exciting first few cams back in 1998.
WildEarth has been working along two different paths to overcome this problem. On the one hand WE have been developing a content licensing model and as a result WildEarth is now available on SomethingTV in the United Kingdom and WE are in negotiations with several TV broadcasters all over the world ... much more about this later in the week. And on the other hand WE have been developing an Internet platform that will not only help WE to generate a revenue from our online broadcasts, but also empower others to succeed and produce great LIVE wildlife content.
Thats right ... WE have partnered with other LIVE broadcasters so that they can use our LIVE platform, our archiving, seekpoint and advertising systems. This means that they can focus on creating great events for you too watch instead of worrying about where they are going to find the money to build yet another player, pay for the distribution bandwidth, build a social network, promote the stream and generate revenue. WE have done it for them ... it is in our nature.
All of this is possible because of those ads. So please, instead of seeing this as a dark day and finding fault ... realise that today is the beginning of a new era, that will empower us and many others to bring you an insight into nature that you never dreamed possible.