Speaking at the AsiaD conference, Former US Vice President Al Gore spoke about the issues that online television will face as consumption increases – rather, is already facing. Gore said that TV is by far the most dominant medium, especially prime time. 7-10 PM Prime Time still blows everything away. But the activity on iOS and Android is now rivaling TV. There is a problem with TV on the Internet – you hit a bandwidth capacity problem. Now with Video, the number of digits in a 30 minute video is a like a years worth of email. Even with compression, it still is absorbing a massive majority of an increase. There is a crunch coming, but that is what has impeded the migration of television proper on to the Internet. People like Hulu have been very creative. For the majority of people, it is still going to be some time before we get a full migration of TV on the Internet.
On Internet Journalism: Crowdsourcing is not a substitute for Investigative journalism. The move to internet journalism, the medium is so centrifugal, that you don’t get enough mass to get centripetal push to build revenue models to support well trained investigative journalism. The advertising revenue shift has led to newspapers firing people, but the business models aren’t ready. Where will it go? it’s impossible to predict, because it is an emergent process. We’ll have some mobile smartphone journalistic model. I consumer a lot of news on my iPhone 4S and the iPad, but most of the high quality stuff is still derived from newspapers and magazines. It is an urgent challenge to support high quality journalism on the Internet. There needs to be a new standard business model that needs to be replicated to support journalism. Some people are hitting around it. I’m proud of what Current TV has done, but it’s rare to see, but increasingly, programs that were focused on news, will do polling of their own, and blur the line between news and entertainment, to target the lowest common denominator. Gore mentioned news channels doing reports on a kid hiccuping. (Ed: India’s seen worse)
On T-Mobile and AT&T’s Merger: The justice department so rarely undertakes an initiative like they took on that merger, so I think it is hard to overturn that decision. They would be well advised to look at alternatives.
On Mobile: 5.6 billion of the world’s 7 billion people have mobile phones and less than 1 billion are smartphones, but that will change dramatically. Low end phones are going to get smart, and that will unleash amazing creativity.