Verizon Broadcasts Its TV Visions
It's a pretty ambitious list, too. For example, Verizon wants to see user-based licensing take hold, something that would allow users to consume content anywhere. Essentially, said Ambeault, Verizon wants the TV sector to avoid the content consumption and protection issues that have affected the music industry.
Along similar lines, Verizon expects to have to support multiple business models, including outright purchases, rentals, and advertising-supported deliverables.
Ambeault also talked about the need for a new advertising marketplace to emerge around new video services like FiOS and IPTV.
"Advertising -- it's just clear from the Internet -- has to play a bigger role in video [service delivery]," said Ambeault. As a business, video collects $70 billion to $75 billion per year in purchases, subscriptions, and rentals, but only $50 billion to $60 billion from advertising, he said.
But there's more to it than the numbers. Advertising isn't taking full advantage of all the possibilities offered by video, especially regarding the promotion of available video content, so it's important for video search queries to return pictures and clips as well as text, he noted.
FiOS already enables that, even when the end user has an underpowered set-top box. "I have boxes with 128 MBytes of RAM. There are cellphones with more than that." The key to delivering multimedia feeds is having a low-latency network: That lets miniscule set-tops render fancy-pants graphics "drawn" by servers elsewhere.
It's like (oh no... here it comes) a cloud approach -- Verizon makes the network do all the work.
Targeted advertising is going to have a role in the future of TV services, too, but Verizon doesn't want to give consumer groups an excuse to assemble any torch-burning mobs. Ambeault also said Verizon doesn't want to follow the example of cable's Canoe effort, which was started in secret. (See Canoe Ventures LLC and Who's Rowing 'Project Canoe'? .)
The problem, Ambeault said, is that while consumers seem resigned to being tracked on the Web, they're suspicious of any effort to track their TV content consumption, according to surveys Verizon has conducted. "We don't want to violate that trust. That's why we're taking a very slow and sometimes very public approach."
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading