Feeds

Babelgum - another new, new TV thing

Joost like Joost

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.