So what will be the break-out electronic trends in 2007? One that I feel will certainly create a steep rise in some company sales graphs is on-line video.
A recent bit of news that caught my eye concerned a company that really stirred up the telecommunications business, and is now looking to do the same in the television sector. It was only a few years ago (2003 to be precise) that Jannus Friis and Nikla Zennstrom unleashed Skype onto the communications scene. It proved a massive success.
Now the two entrepreneurs are hoping to shake up the TV market in a similar manner with a new project called Venice, which will provide a video online service. It’s currently being tested by about 5000 people, and much like Skype, users download the software to their computer (I understand it is both Mac and PC compatible). The system can display very good quality, full-screen-size video on your computer screen. There are plans to make the service available for TVs. So how does it differ from YouTube? Well, unlike that site, all of the video is professionally produced, made available by the content owners and from a product security aspect encrypted before being distributed.
The Skype founders want to avoid the mistakes made by some download services a few years ago, which resulted in an inundation of lawsuits. Their approach will always be to work in conjunction with copyright owners.
But these guys aren’t the only ones licking their lips at the profit potential of Internet protocol television, or IPTV. Japanese media giant Sony, looking to grab a slice of the cake, plans to launch a download video service for PlayStation Portable users. This is a smart idea for a few reasons. First, Sony won’t have to develop and launch a new version of the PlayStation Portable to launch its download service. Second, the company has already sold 20 million of the units. Third, companies like Amazon, CinemaNow, and Movielink are showing enthusiasm about getting involved in the project. Sony will use its memory-stick technology to store the video content; in fact, the company is currently releasing sticks with a memory capable of holding 10 full-length films.
So, 2007 looks like it will be a hot year for the video-download business. Apple better watch out, because any ideas it had on monopolising the business may have just disappeared into the ether.