Feeds

Babelgum - another new, new TV thing

Joost like Joost

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

So P2P TV services really do conform to the proverbial bus cliche: you wait ages for one, then loads of cliches come along at once.

If you know Joost, then you'll know Babelgum, which unveiled its service in London today. Both are PC-based upstarts to the industry's own IPTV standard. Both are in closed beta, both offer TV over broadband, both RE free to end-users, as they're both ad-supported propositions, and both have an element of P2P.

Both, too, offer content providers DRM - and both are eyeing the same middleground of independent producers and small production houses, who even in a multi-channel world find high quality content hard to sell. Users with experience of both beta programs say they're remarkably similar.

You have to look quite closely to see the differences.

Financial support is one. While Joost is a VC operation, Babelgum is privately backed by its chairman Silvio Scaglia. Scaglia is the largest shareholder in Italy's number two telco Fastweb, and before that ran Omnitel, which became Vodafone Italy.

Babelgum also appears to offer content providers much more flexibility. And it's comparatively buzzword-light.

Refreshingly, not once in the Babelgum presentation did we hear the dreaded phrase "Long Tail" - while the Joost CEO couldn't stop referring to his server farm as "Long Tail Servers".

In fact, there's no user-generated content at all on Babelgum.

The question mark that hangs over both services is whether the advertising model supports it. Will it simply find independent programme makers a niche audience? Or will it pay them a revenue share that's meaningful?

According to Babelgum's press release, Babelgum delivers a new and sustainable internet video model [their emphasis].

Sustainable? Scaglia was a lot more frank in the Q&A at the press conference:

"Frankly the business plan is subjective," he told journalists. "You can put any numbers here. Right now, it's a leap of faith."

One other intriguing tidbit emerged. Asked about "censorship", Scaglia said that "any offensive content be removed immediately". All someone had to do was complain.

Which is peculiar. As the internet has reminded us, you can guarantee that someone, somewhere will complain about something - such as the homosexual subtext of Barney The Dinosaur. When programming is essentially on-demand, it makes little sense for the infrastructure provider to be a Nanny - it surely needs to do no more than label the channels and expect us to act like grown-ups.

We'll report back when we've spent some time with the beta. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.