So tonight I was having dinner with a fantastic group of entrepreneurs (David Cohen, Stan James, Eric Marcoullier, Micah Baldwin, Heather Capri, Danny Newman, Ingrid, Judd and I am sure a few that I am forgetting) and the topic came to live video. Danny immediately had a cell phone camera on the conversation, which went something like this.
I don’t like Live Video on Cellphones in general and as a startup play for the following reasons:
- Compelling Content Is Hard to Produce. There has been some very interesting bits on qik, ustream and other sites, but mostly it is not interesting. You are asking a lot from your users.
- Actual Quality is Low.If you care about video, you care about quality. Shaky quality, horrible audio, and sub par compression rates is not what you want when capturing a memory.
- Demand Is Lacking. I still think live video broadcasting is solving a problem that isn’t there.
- You Can’t Control the Content of Live. Photobucket looks at every photo that is uploaded to their servers before it is put up live. National TV shows sometimes have a 7 second delay just in case. As a startup, you will be responsible for the content, especially if your service is used to break federal law.
- Are Peoples Lives Really That Boring? So in a way you are saying that a low quality lens into your life is better than a persons current situation. I see how YouTube videos are passed on and watched over and over, but you don’t have that luxury with live.
- Does It Have to Be Live? Putting together some amazing event or conversation? Why does it have to be live? Why don’t you get a high quality version and edit it down? Don’t waste the time of your audience (unless they are looking for it). I love interactivity, but there is something to be said about just being there.
- Lack of Compelling Stories. I think my attitudes would be much different if there was a major need for this (ex. a political coup where the news teams can’t move around, for instance). Watching someone walk around a conference can be fun, but I don’t see massive user adoption.
Now this isn’t to say that there are some fantastic uses for live video, and even live cell phone video, but right now, you won’t see me holding up my phone at a concert to live broadcast it (and even if I wanted to, it is an iPhone and can’t do that).