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Streaming Media East 2000
Streaming Media East 2000 Show Report


Sam Donaldson


  For it was none other than the flamboyant Sam Donaldson of ABC News who gave one of the most entertaining Keynote speeches i have ever heard. His lighthearted comments and honesty was refreshing after the previous two days of hard statistics and business plans. Sam is a 32 year news veteran and is considered a broadcast visionary by many within that industry. In fact Sam's 32 year experience is longer than the age of many of the Internet entrepreneurs! Sam said it occurred to him that the major networks may turn into dinosaurs when cable TV came on the scene many years ago. It started with the "Superstation". Yes, Atlanta's good ol' channel TBS that is also now responsible for CNN and other cable channels today. Eventual the smarts guys decided to say "We'll create the GO network" said Sam.

Last summer the President of ABC came to Sam and said "...if you also would like, you could help us (ABC) start a webcast. I did not know what a webcast was." Sam continues "The more I talked to people, the more they said this was the future... the internet, the pipeline... worldwide." Eventually Sam said ok and so his Internet journey began.

Sam wisely proclaimed "If ABC has a future, it needs to have a worldwide distribution program... We had to accommodate interactivity." So Sam thought "We will do what we can in that area, but it will be a television program." So the wise folks at ABC decided to do an interview program with Sam at the helm. Sam knows that Napster and the likes are reducing the retail legal sales of music, but he admitted that you can't stop it. The same goes for movies. "There is no way we can stop people... on the internet." Sam said the advantage of the internet is not just in the live streaming broadcast, but also in those who watch the archives of his past shows. This helps keep the revenue streams coming from advertisers of his Internet webcast.

"One of the points on the internet is that it has room for all flowers." Many different shows and a wise variety of content is available. There is plenty of room for more programs since the audiences are out there. At some point the audience will grow to accommodate a much broader marketplace than today. Of course there will be niché shows that draw their own audience, though we should start now to initiate gathering a following. Sam does not know how people are making money now with internet content, though he admits there is a huge possibility for future profits. Eventually we well have the internet everywhere and anywhere. "I truly believe at the end of the day with 6.5 billion (people) in the world we will get every one of them."


Sam Donaldson


The proliferation of data is amazing! Ultimately Sam says that people will have a home center and it will be the centerpiece that is as easy to use as people currently enjoy TV and radio programs today. You will, of course, be able to pick and choose the data/programming you would like to enjoy unlike the passiveness of TV as it appears today. Of course the same can be said about music. We will have very high quality music in our homes and can simply pick and choose the songs versus passive radio broadcasting of today.

Of course when it comes to delivering news and data there are credibility factors to be accounted for. Sam feels that eventually the truly credible, truthful sites will succeed as others who are not so truthful will fail as is in the marketplace today... maybe. It all might come down to simple entertainment value (Jerry Springer comes to mind). Accuracy and facts matter. Sometimes perception is a game, too, according to Sam.


John Scully


John Scully of Scully Brothers and chairman of Gizmoz. John was the CEO of Pepsi Cola and of Apple computers. "If you want to build a billion dollar business, you need to solve the billion dollar problems" said John. You need to have the right idea at the right time. "Today we are at the most amazing times that we could possibly imagine." In the new economy of today, people want customized service with a high quality product yet at low prices. This is why we are going through a reinvention of the ground rules of business according to John. He is also the brains behind the image building of the "Pepsi Generation" and also the world renown Apply Computer commercial that was showed during the Superbowl which was an interpretation of the book "1984" per se.


John Scully


Since he is the CEO of Gizmoz, he talked about their business. The Gizmo is a 13 kbs applet (java) that allows content to be delivered without the need for plug-ins (though some of the content could be RealAudio or the likes that does need a supporting plug-in). By the way, Enjoy the Music.com was one of the first websites on the Internet to have this type of technology years ago with our streaming music of Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World" on our main homepage years ago (anyone remember that?) that needed no plug-in and was purely script-based hooking into the power of the browser and the Internet.

What Gizmoz is basically about is the "wrapping" of data within an e-mail so it can be tracked as to where it goes. This helps to track who received the media so that, among other things, the author could build mailing lists from who received the data for future advertising or targeting of marketing. It is the vertical relationship where sellers can relate to buyers. The key, according to John, is in building relationships with those on the internet to enhance the reoccurring revenue streams from customers. In the end it seemed quite interesting, yet it also fragments the marketplace in my humble opinion.


Click here for main Streaming Media 2000 page.





















































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