Ethics statement. I am not currently sponsored by Vimeo or affiliated with them. I just love the service! This may come across as a bit of blogvertorial but it isn’t!
Our attention spans have gotten pretty short – mine certainly has. Watch something at your laptop or desktop computer, and you end up having it in smaller windows whilst you multitask. Or most likely, if it doesn’t grab you within 20-30 seconds, you are onto something else or skimming it. Not fair on the filmmaker but it is a pretty standard thing to happen.
Now, how many times have you sat on your sofa flicking through dross on your TV but given it way longer than 20-30 seconds before switching over? I have lost many a half hour to stuff I would never plan to watch, simply because I am comfortable on my sofa and my boredom tolerance is a lot higher.
So if I have a spare half hour and am sitting on my sofa these days having a bite to eat or just chilling, do I turn on my Sky box and watch TV or do I actually watch something more useful with my time? Sure there are loads of films I can watch but I do not watch them in chunks. When I watch a movie, it’s an all in one thing. These days I watch stuff on Vimeo. On my large flat screen TV…and you know what? It’s about 100 times better watching something on my TV than on my laptop.
I get sent a lot of requests to watch stuff, and it’s tough finding the time. When I am at my computer, yes I could have it on whilst doing other stuff, but that’s not fair as I mentioned. It needs my undivided attention and when I’m at my computer getting my attention is hard. Emails popping in, tweets etc…yes full screen helps but it’s just never an enveloping feeling like when watching stuff on a TV.
My first internet TV was my Panasonic TV. It has Dailymotion and Youtube but not Vimeo. I looked at some stuff on Youtube but as many of you know, finding good stuff on there is hard. Then I got a new TV for my bedroom, a Samsung LED one and that had Youtube, BBC iPlayer but more importantly Vimeo. I linked up my Vimeo account to the TV and I could watch all my stuff on the TV, and also whenever someone sent me a link to watch when I was at my computer, I would click on “watch later” and it would go into that queue. Sitting at my TV, I can now click on “watch later” and I can catch up properly on stuff people have sent me. This for me was a revelation and from that moment on I loved internet TV.
Advantages of this are simple. It gets my more or less undivided attention (mobile phone can still ping!), big screen, I am comfortable, and everything looks better through internet TV, despite the blow-up to the much bigger screen. Computer screens are not flattering to video, as they are not optimised for it and are too bright. TV screens are of course optimised for video and suddenly everything looks so much better.
If you don’t have an internet TV or your TV doesn’t have Vimeo, there are many add on devices that give it. A Samsung internet Blu-ray player, a Roku box and now more recently Apple TV has something very useful in it: Vimeo. Although Apple TV is only 720p. Then again I am not actually sure what resolution my Samsung TV plays Vimeo at, am sure someone will tell me shortly.
So in my lounge my Apple TV has been plugged in again and become a useful device again for me.
Even my parents have an internet TV (well I advised on its purchase), not that they are using it to watch Vimeo, but they have iPlayer on it and use it.
It’s clear this is the way we will be watching our content in the future. Not just through Vimeo but through Netflix, Lovefilm, iPlayer. TV and movies on demand. With internet TV we are able to create our own TV channels. Features wise it’s pretty basic. I would like to see more stuff added, easier access to channels, the ability to add shortcuts to channels, groups or users. Typing stuff on your remote is a pain so having more customisable options would be great.
Of course monetising internet TV like this is a lot trickier. But I expect banner adverts will be an option to be added onto them at some stage if we want, like Youtube does with its partner program, and of course if you have a feature then if you can get it onto iTunes (like my documentary Confluence should hopefully be soon) then there is a simple clear monetising method. But that of course needs Apple TV to watch on your TV!
In the meantime, use it like I do, to enjoy fantastic content that is online that frankly is a pain in the arse to watch on your laptop. Internet TV is the best thing to happen to Vimeo in a long time. If your TV hasn’t got it, get an add on device that lets you have internet TV! The only real downside is you need to go back to your computer to comment on something!