SAN FRANCISCO -- According to Jeremy Alliare, the old script on how to run a TV business is being sent to rewrite.
The entity ordering the changes, he told attendees at the "Syndicate" conference here Tuesday, is the Internet, which Allaire predicts is ready to radically reorganize the present-day broadcasting market in the same fashion it is currently roiling print and music businesses.
"I'm not just talking about moving video over IP… I'm talking about a wholesale rewriting of the television business," said Alliare, claiming that the Internet's open distribution models and advancing search and advertising technologies will soon bring about an explosion of content providers from all walks of life, whose emergence may spell the beginning of the end of the current high-cost method of producing so-called "broadcast quality" programming.
Of course, as chairman, president and founder of startup Brightcove -- a yet-to-launch online video distribution service that has attracted investments from major players like AOL -- Allaire is almost required to make such storm-the-barricades pronouncements. But with a solid pedigree in the interactive online arena (one of Allaire's claims to fame is his work helping make Macromedia's Flash a success), Allaire has more than enough industry depth to provide sound reasons why the current studio structure of programming production is due for its own Web-based shockwave.
"The current system is full of friction," Allaire said, outlining the massive costs and challenges facing anyone seeking to air video content over the current broadcast and cable regime. Creating a new cable "channel," he said, carries a price tag of roughly $100 million; even after that hurdle (or an alternate costly path of creating a studio that licenses its content) is cleared, there are other profit-defying leaps necessary to gain access to cable or broadcasting channel lineups, and then to gain audience notice and acceptance.