Brightcove's announcement with The New York Times Company this week is significant beyond just the wonderful projects that we soon hope to bring to their customers. It represents a shift in how we all think about traditional media. When people say traditional, they usually mean print-centric, even electronic print.
Our notions of print and broadcast media will continue to shift tremendously over the next five to ten years, during which time we'll see magazines, newspapers, broadcasters and cable networks transform their output and their properties - but maintain the integrity of their voice, their brands and what they mean to their readers and viewers.
The media audience as a whole (that's all of us) continues to fragment along geographic, demographic and special-interest lines. We will continue to gravitate to the websites, TV networks and voices that mean the most to us. This is no different than MTV's tranformation from music to lifestyle programmer. As that shift continues, we'll see print publishers become Internet TV broadcasters in the same way that we've seen broadcasters become print publishers on the Web over the past ten years. National Geographic made the leap from non-profit society and magazine publisher, to TV programmer. We'll see many more.
These multimedia programmers will mix a range of self-published content, user-generated content and acquired media into entities that attract and satisfy the needs of their audiences. No different than today in some ways. But with infinite choice and no geographic barriers, editorial judgement, and programming skill will become more important than they are today. We'll rely on the experts at The New York Times and the home experts at About.com for more than just a turn of phrase