NRI Papers
No.113 January 1 , 2007
  The Long Tail and Lofty Head of Video Content
— The Possibilities of "Convergent Broadcasting" —
 
Teruyasu MURAKAMI
   From the perspective of the institutional framework for the convergence and/or collaboration of communications and broadcasting, we are currently not at the stage where we see remarkable changes in Japan. However, when we turn our eyes to actual business activities, we begin to see a variety of changes occurring in network space. These include IP (Internet protocol) multicasting (broadcasting using telecommunications services) such as GyaO and Yahoo! Doga and the start of content distribution via the Internet by commercial broadcasters.
   In the US, video content distribution services as represented by YouTube have been launched one after another, making 2006 the beginning of the age of video content distribution. With the appearance of these services, more than 100 million items of video content suddenly became available via the Internet. Such content offers high levels of novelty, diversity and freshness, but poor levels of reliability. Accordingly, we are to see the endless lengthening of the long tail of individual content that has low value.
   In contrast to the long tail of video content growing at an irresistible pace on the Net, creation of the "lofty head" in Japanese Net space is proposed, which is video content that is akin to broadcast content offering high levels of reliability and centricity even though the number of types may be limited. This "lofty head" could be brought about by a new business format of "convergent broadcasting" in which self-produced programs are provided for the 24-hour time frame with viewing only by means of software based on a broadcasting license.
   The maturation of the ubiquitous network paradigm has brought with it disaggregation into diversified themes. The concept of "convergent broadcasting" developed through the convergence of communications and broadcasting, which is one of the important steps towards ubiquitous networking, will also contribute to the discussions about the next-generation network (NGN).

 
Contents
I The Long Tail and Lofty Head of Video Content
II Convergence of Communications and Broadcasting and Japan's Video Content Distribution Services
III The Long Tail of Digital Video Content in the US
IV The Lofty Head of Digital Video Content: "Convergent Broadcasting"
V The Ubiquitous Network and "Convergent Broadcasting"

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