If Apple’s new iAd network comes to video, it could be a new broadcast model.
Here's my vision of TV 2.0: I'm sitting in a comfy leather chair at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf before work. I pull out my iPad, and as I sip my large coffee, I punch up my personal television network. Video episodes of the technology podcasts "Tekzilla
" and "Buzz Out Loud
," the comedy podcasts "Never Not Funny
," "Downstairs Guys
," and more. All on demand. All created by independent producers and production companies outside of the traditional Hollywood model. All of the shows fully sponsored by Apple’s new iAds. If you haven’t heard, iAds is Apple’s new advertising platform. Actually a combination of an ad platform and an ad network for Apps on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPads. Developers create the apps, Apple inserts iAds that they’ve previously sold to sponsors, and the profits are split 60/40. Google buys DoubleClick, Apple creates “DoubleTap.” Apple has not announced any plans to port the iAds platform to video podcasts, but if it’s a hit with apps, it’s a logical next step. And a great one for creative expression. Bringing the iAds platform to the thousands of video feeds listed in iTunes could do for independent video producers what the App store did for programmers. Finally, a way for anyone with a creative vision to try and monetize their show. This might sound similar to what hasn’t really worked on YouTube, but it’s not. Why? Because Apple knows who you are, where you are, who you know, the music you listen to, the sites you visit and (wait for it) your credit card number. Creepy? Yes, but creepy and practical. Picture it, I'm back at Coffee Bean, watching a “Downstairs Guys” video and during a commercial break I get a popup advertising a new coffee drink… at Coffee Bean. “Show the barista this ad on your iPad for one dollar off!” Or I get an ad telling me that as a heavy user of the Pandora app, I might want to consider subscribing to Pandora One. Or I’m watching a parody of the new Lady GaGa video and I get an iAd for the actual Lady Gaga album. I preview a few songs and tap the Buy button (don’t judge). The album downloads as my video resumes playing. I didn't even take my wallet out of my pants. I already impulse buy apps like they were hanging at the checkout counter of the grocery store. I am the perfect demo for iAds: I want to spend money without burning calories.For content creators, it won’t be the big money payday like writing a sitcom. More akin to the growing class of independent bands who can support themselves as full time musicians without the help of a record label. This could be a working-class model for TV writers, producers and creators. Actually, it sounds like a pretty good way to make a decent living. As a fan of TV, there will always be time in my schedule for big budget network shows like “Lost” and “Modern Family,” and for interesting basic cable series like “Top Chef Masters” and “Archer.” But this new model can better fill my niche interests. In fact it’ll fill everyone’s niche interests. If my personal television network becomes must see TV, I’m going to have to make time to watch it all. And that means trouble for the networks. That’s what happened to all the mediocre sitcoms and dramas when reality TV took off. That’s the kind of TV world I want to live in. It’s not TV, It’s not Apple TV. It’s iNdy.tv.