I recently watched Die Hard 4.0. It’s a good movie if you’re into that type of thing. Thankfully I am, so it made the evening a very pleasant one indeed!

The thing is, I didn’t go to the movies to see it.

I watched it completely free from an online video stream…

For those of you still watching TV (and you’re probably not reading this post as you’re probably still glued to the cathode ray nipple), get ready for a big change in your visual consumption. The internet is here and more and more people are turning to the likes of YouTube and other online video outlets to watch something.

The days of limited choice has been over for some time and, if you know where to get it, it’s possible to grab the latest episode of your favourite TV series even before the series has ended in your neck of the woods.

I remember when Napster came online and, boy, were those the good ole days of music downloads! Even on the shabby slow connections we had back then, in the ISP I was working in there wasn’t anyone I knew that *wasn’t* grabbing as many mp3s as they could. The so-called techy geeks were getting into something cool and in a couple of years the big boys had to sit up and take note of what was happening online.

The major music publishers were up in arms over their content being so easily distributed *globally* and there was nothing they could really do to stop flood. The dam was already broken with no way to fix it. Hell, even Metallica started suing their own fans for “piracy”. But it depends on where you stand in the argument – for most fans, even back in the day of cassettes (remember those?), letting your mates have a copy was no big deal. I’m sure that quite a lot of people still lend each other books to recommend and promote their favourite authors…

So what’s the big deal with this whole digital download thing?

Well, firstly, a copy of a digital recording is *exactly* the same as the original. There’s no quality lost like tape-to-tape machines used to have. In the old days, after a few copies you’d get significant hiss and crackle on your copy. That’s not the case today with copies of any digital file. The original and the duplicate are one and the same in terms of quality – it’s like having the original stored in a different location.

But I digress. Let’s take a walk back to now and leave memory lane behind…

It’s been happening for quite some time now and again, I’m sure, the big guys will have to sit up and, no doubt, play catch up. The same thing that happened with Napster and the whole filesharing craze will *is* happening with video. It has been for quite a while now.

Again, I remember when the whole DivX thing started. Now *that* was cool! DVDs ripped and compressed into a format that was relatively small in file size for easy distribution. If you knew(know) where to look then you can find entire movies online, right now.

But here’s the surprising thing I found. There’s actually quite a lot of content you can find even on Google!

Their recent takeover of YouTube coupled with their own Google Video technology has made finding videos online much simpler. I wonder if/when the television industry will try and take them on :)

And with the death of the “time schedule” comes the birth of VOD – Video On Demand. Again a relatively old/new technology depending on your timescales and when you remember it coming in.

Earlier this year Virgin Media (formerly NTL/Telewest) started their VOD service. Cables and fibre optic networks bringing Television when *you* want it.

And with NO advertising in between.

So where’s their business model? I have no idea – it will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few years.

The implications of streamed video programmes and movies is huge. The whole TV advertising industry will, no doubt, have a huge chunk of their profits swallowed up by the baby monster that is the internet. He’s growing. Getting faster and soon will be able to command a lot of authority and respect. So watch out!

After all, who wants to watch adverts?

Actually, I like adverts – especially the clever and well thought out ones. Who knows, maybe one of the Ad Execs might bring back the idea of “blipverts” like in Max Headroom. Remember that show?

I still laugh when the media makes a big fuss over the whole Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD situation. Who cares? In terms of data storage, who’ll want to have a whole stack of boxes on their shelves taking up space – especially if you could get to see what you want to see right NOW!

In terms of games, in the future you won’t need to buy one from a shop if you didn’t want to. There’s already companies out there looking to deliver the full DVD of a game directly to you through a download. Trust me, I know. Just before leaving my old job I was on a project researching a company that was aiming to do just that. Don’t ask me what they were called, I can’t remember…

So anyway, if you want to watch a reasonable copy of Die Hard 4.0, then go to this “sample” page from LiveUK.tv. The video is okay to watch on a laptop but don’t expect to hook it up to your 62″ Widescreen and expect high quality! They’ve also got the Simpsons movie there too – and that was only recenly released over here in the UK!

I’m still not sure how they can get away with not charging for this.

So what’s this all got to do with Internet Marketing? Well, basically if you’re not up to speed with the latest events then you could well get left behind. This doesn’t mean you should be investing heavily into new technologies but you should at the very least get to know what’s happening around you. And with the Internet growing as rapidly as it is, who are you going to trust for the best quality information?

As we know, there’s thousands – if not millions – of wannabe film makers out there now, armed with a few friends, their camcorders and dodgy scripts. Wading through the sludge of low grade, badly produced, uninformative drivel will be a hard time…

… shame you weren’t at Rich Schefren’s seminar (aff) to work out how to focus on the important stuff and where to find the best resources. ;)

The question is – if you’re now going to build a product then how are you going to distinguish it from every other person doing the same thing in your field?

Let’s face it – there’s no way I can compete against my good friend Sherman Hu in terms of production value for my latest set of video tutorials. But, you see, it’s all about *Marketing* my friend. Take the proposition and just twist it round – my video’s aren’t that good but the spin is they’re “Rough & Raw” ;) . Set up the expectations in your customer base and then pleasantly surprise them with quality content.

But seriously, if my training videos aren’t good enough for you, then I would recommend Sherman Hu’s WordPress Tutorials site (aff). I’ve seen them and they’re good – why do you think I’m not even going to *try* beat him!

It’s not difficult. As long as you know how to create a bit of spin… (personally, I call it “reframing”).

Anyway, I’m going to check out some other streaming video files. I’ve just found a stackload of movies at TV-Links.co.uk. Probably not legal but hey did you worry back when it was Napster? Anyway, most of TV-Links stuff seem to come from other souces, so I’ve listed some of the better ones below.

Other Video Resources

Stage 6 at DivX.com – It’s slick, it’s black with a big X – a nice looking site with an assortment of really excellent high quality short films, music videos and more. I like this one – they have big size videos! DivX is definitely a great codec for video – pity it’s not used more often. Note: unlike YouTube, they’re don’t censor films here and you can find… er… *cough*… erotic content without signing in here too. You have been warned.

Veoh – another set of videos with a very wide variety from tutorials to music video. I found some of the most recent series of Dr Who (big fan) uploaded here. There’s also a couple of episodes of “Yes Minister” on the site too! (80′s British political comedy that’s as relevant today as it was back then. Plus ├ža change…) Well worth checking out. Veoh, that is… and Yes Minister as well.

Guba – if I’m not mistaken, but didn’t they used to be a Newsgroups provider? I’m wondering where they got their content from ;) ? Looks like they’ve now opted for a different business model and have started to stream stuff… Anyway, I found a classic here (again, for FREE) – here’s a clue:

They’re coming to get you Barbara!

Top tip if you’re going to watch a movie on Guba: Full Screen the video immediately, otherwise the stream will start from the beginning! I made that mistake, so you might as well learn from me…

If you find any other good sources for televisual treats, then leave me a comment – “Information wants to be free”.

Looks like I may not post for quite a while… there’s quite a lot of telly to catch up on :P

PS: Remember, if you’re an internet marketer then this works both ways – you can upload your content too! Now where did I put my videos…