While it was once cutting-edge, reality TV has been co-opted by the establishment and is now thoroughly “scripted”.
Take for example the very successful pair of Apprentice shows. While the first season or two actually delivered accidentally rough environments and situations, today the shows are clearly plotted out. How else is it possible that the show could be so stacked with losers and freaks that appear to have settled their lifelong outlooks in high school.
So why should anyone reading a tech report care about Donald Trump and his recent ego fling with TV? Good question.
The answer is that Reality TV’s demise today, signals the next wave of true reality broadcasting or “Realcasting” (a subset of the larger Vidcasting phenomenon that is yet to come). Realcasting is in its nascent stage, but make no mistakes about it, within almost no time it will be here.
Vidcasting, in general, will arrive in a major way as more devices are sold with integrated video cameras. Today, most new digital camera and cell phone consumers have the option to include video cameras on board. Within 12 months this will include a majority of the products sold in this category. Moreover, portable video storage and viewing is proliferating. See the iPod Video. Within the next 12 months, a number of directories (think Podcast Network) will be including video content for consumption in a fixed or mobile environment.
So who does this affect and why? For starters, the TV networks are again in trouble. Temporarily saved by the advent of Reality TV, the honeymoon is over. TV exec, meet the Internet. Internet, meat the TV exec.
Still unclear is whether the cellular operators will benefit from Vidcasting. There is an opportunity to sell micro content, not unlike the mobile gaming operators have.
Once this shift becomes clear, expect either Yahoo and Google to acquire the leading Vidcasting network or one of its rivals. Unlike podcasting, there are likely to be some significant technical hurdles on the processing and distribution side. After all, receiving video from any source and redistributing to a mobile wireless environment is to this day still a challenge.
This development, however, will be fun to watch. So which companies will benefit from this shift? Let us know what you think.