Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Venice Project

Coming soon to a computer monitor in front of you! TV unleashed by the guys that brought us KaZaA and Skype.

Janus Friis:

"What are we trying to do with Venice?

It’s simple, really — we are trying to bring together the best of TV with the best of the Internet. We think TV is one of the most powerful, engaging mass medias of all time. People love TV, but they also hate TV. They love the (sometimes…) amazing storytelling, the richness, the quality itself. But they hate the linearness, the lack of choice, the lack of basic things like being able to search. And wholly missing is everything that we are now accustomed to from the Internet: tagging, recommendations, choice, and so on… TV is 507 channels and nothing on and we want to help change that!"

Bruno Giussani:

"So, to summarize:

  • streaming peer-to-peer television (near-TV quality)
  • free to the user (just download the client software)
  • ad-supported (with ad targeting)
  • deals with content providers (revenue-share)
  • time-shifted
  • searchable
  • with "social TV" features (tagging, recommendations, etc)"
Om Malik: Interview responses from Janus Friis

"Like Skype, The Venice Project is simple - you download and you get free television. There is nothing complicated and simple. Our software is already in beta, and we are doing some bug squashing right now. You can sign-up and we are inviting more people to our beta program. It is near television quality, and it needs about one megabit per second.

We are building an ad-based system, and it is close to the television model. We will do revenue share with the content providers. With our system, people can be targeted with the right kind of ads. We are respecting the copyrights. We will reveal more details about the technology soon."


"The time is right for this. Consumer demand is there and the networks seem ready to take the step. Apple has secured rights to over 220 television shows and sells them on iTunes. YouTube’s market valuation has been set at $1.65 billion by Google, showing the value of simple show clips on the web. And the networks have shown that they are open to trying new distribution options through the Internet. If Niklas and Janus have been successful in securing rights to network shows, we’re about to be introduced to something which is very likely to result in me canceling my cable television subscription once and for all."

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