Decima Publishing, in partnership with Decima Research, have just released a market research report on the state of Next Generation Television in Canada. Two national surveys of 2000 Canadians conducted earlier this year provide insight into what type of online video programming interests Canadians, and how much they would be willing to pay. The industry still faces several challenges, but our numbers reveal that a market for next-gen TV is beginning to emerge. Here’s a preview of some of our conclusions: Internet video represents one of the greatest opportunities and challenges for new media start-ups and established broadcasters. The sector is still in its infancy both in Canada and around the world, hindered by the lack of a clear and compelling business case, the high costs of storing and serving content, and fears of theft and copyright violation. Still, a number of Canadian companies have made significant progress technically and economically by finding ways to put video content online that is both popular and economically viable. Both pure-play Internet companies and broadcasters are beginning to reap rewards based on both popular and niche programming, and traditional broadcast models are changing to reflect the new digital reality. One of the key emerging drivers for Internet video is new thinking by content producers that simply putting video online won’t drive either traffic or revenue. The realization is now dawning that revenue models for content must be established even before projects are begun. New partnerships are being formed between online content producers and traditional broadcasters that have the potential to create a new way of doing business which exploits the unique advantages of both the large and small screens. This is not to say that all online video will be produced as a partnership between broadcasters and digital producers. Pure Internet players have an unparalleled opportunity to bring video, movies and short-form content directly to viewers, bypassing traditional broadcast structure altogether. In many cases, the popularity of the content will determine its viability, since a subscription model can only succeed if the content is worth paying for. Still missing from the web, however, is mainstream video content, with the exception of news. The biggest broadcasters are approaching the Internet with trepidation. Several pieces will need to be fit into the puzzle before mainstream, popular video programming is made available online. Broadband networks will have to gain greater penetration to deliver audiences with the necessary critical mass to lure advertisers. Broadcasters and content producers will need several more years of practice at negotiating partnership agreements with Internet rights a priority. Revenue models will need to be clarified with one or more models proven (video content as a value-added product, a subscription-based service, or supported by advertising). Copyright rules which protect digital content will also need to be clarified so that big-budget productions can be brought to the web. None of these will be easily sorted out, and it will be several more years before the technological, business and legal environment is truly right for the ubiquitous launch of television-like content on the Internet. In the meantime, it will likely continue to be small, independent content producers who pave the way ahead of broadcasters by experimenting with new forms and types of content. For information on how to obtain a copy of Next Generation Television: Consumer Interest in New Digital Television Channels & Internet-Delivered Video, contact Decima Publishing at (613) 230-1984; firstname.lastname@example.org.