When I saw today that Clicker and Facebook are partnering it got me thinking about the future of television and in-home movies. This is a crowded market including companies like Hulu, Netflix, Boxee, Google and many more. While it’s far to early to reliably pick a winner, this is not going to stop me from trying.
For the record, one of the biggest determinations about who “wins” this industry will be who can build the largest library. For the purposes of this discussion, I’m going to assume that everyone is able to sort of even out on that. This discussion will be more about who builds the platform people will want to use.
For me, it starts by thinking about the motivations people have when watching television or movies in their home. I think most people are trying to accomplish one of two things. Either they are looking at TV as fodder for the watercooler discussions (sports, reality TV, etc…) or they are looking for personal entertainment for their downtime.
In the first category, a Clicker and Facebook partnering is really interesting. What if all of the content for TV shows and movies were online and available any time, but WHEN you watched them was a social activity. You log on to Facebook and realize that in the last few days, 3 or 4 of your friends watched this episode of this show and watch it as well. This is definitely a platform that could satisfy the second type of viewer.
In the second category (personal entertainment), Netflix seems to have a huge advantage with their recommendation engine. It gives them the ability to create highly personalized recommendations that they can tune to various economic advantages (e.g. focusing on lower price films/TV).
Amusingly, this market segmentation is very similar to the way the Internet market is splitting up. On the internet side Netflix’s role is being filled by Google (and Hunch) who can give personal recommendations, while Facebook can give social recommendations.