Good news: Today Joost announced they raised $45 million bucks with power VC firm’s from around the globe and a YouTube hating media giant. The deal brings together Index Ventures of the EU, Sequoia Capital of Silicon Valley fame, and the Li Ka-shing foundation run by Hong Kong based billionaire, Li Ka-shing. The international focus of the money flowing into the coffers of Joost is telling as is the participation of the GooTube hating crew at Viacom. The real shocker isnt that Joost got a butt load of money, its that with all the MBA’s, consultants, researchers, futurist and pundits, that are employed by the media companies only Viacom was smart or savvy enough to get in on the deal.
Bad news: CNN ran a story yesterday with the headline “Where have all the viewers gone?” The story is a breathless piece of sensationalism by the AP about the decline in Nielsen ratings at the big TV networks. It seems that this spring has been the worst ratings period since the time of Mosses. The masses, or at least 2.5 million of them, are no longer partaking of the opiates delivered by ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. According to the article;
Everyone has a theory to explain the plummeting ratings: early Daylight Savings Time, more reruns, bad shows, more shows being recorded or downloaded or streamed. Scariest of all for the networks, however, is the idea that many people are now making their own television schedules. The industry isn’t fully equipped to keep track of them, and as a result the networks are scrambling to hold on to the nearly $8.8 billion they collected during last spring’s ad-buying season.
As the article helpfully suggest anything from more sunlight to bad shows could be the cause (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) but the real point, is the shifting of control from cigar smoking whiteguys in LA to computer savvy technophiles on the web.
It stands to reason that as Joost, GooTube, BitTorrent and other super-distribution ventures rise, the networks exclusive lock on viewers will continue to fall. Given the music business’ implosion and big Media’s love/hate relationship with anything that smacks of change (DVR’s, Slingbox, YouTube), the real question is can they get it together soon enough to survive.