MSNBC had a segment about this upcoming service the other day, and when the CEO hailed it as some sort of TiVo killer I knew it was doomed. I wanted to learn more about how it worked and oh my god, check this out: http://www.zilliontv.tv/how-it-works
This marketing material is so bad it makes me wish there was some way to short a privately-held company.
That was my favorite part, too.
It may well be a TiVo killer, actually. Or to be more accurate, a cable/satellite killer. Basically they’re selling a little device for $100 that streams video content to your TV, much like the netflix watch now service but without a monthly fee. It tailors interstitial advertisements directly to your “interests” and has the ability to click a “buy now” button on the remote to instantly purchase whatever crap they’re selling. You can also “purchase” video content, which is stored online and linked to your account.
The website is particularly bad, though, as it doesn’t explain any of that.
One thing I’ve heard about the service is that they want to get the ISPs to offer their service, which immediately made me wonder how well that would work considering many of the major ISP are cable companies, such as Time Warner or Comcast, or offer their own TV services, such as AT&T’s Uverse.
But what’s strange about ZillionTV’s business model is that it plans to sell its service through broadband service providers, many of which also happen to sell their own subscription TV services. Won’t these service providers see ZillionTV as a threat?
The ZillionTV menu can be navigated using a remote control that acts like a laser pointer to select movies or TV shows for viewing.
(Credit: Marguerite Reardon/CNET )Gauthier explains that there are plenty of incentives for these providers to work with ZillionTV. Not only will the service require higher broadband speeds, which will generate revenue for these companies, but Gauthier said ZillionTV also plans to share the advertising and transactional revenue from the content directly with the broadband providers.
Considering how many people I know that are paying $100 or more per month for cable, i’m not sure how ZillionTV would be able to make up the lost profit for that user.
On top of that, most families have multiple TVs, which would mean that you’re multiplying that bandwidth for every TV being used at the same time when you replace that cable box. I’m not quite convinced that the broadband service available to most people would be able to handle that without more expensive packages that negate much of the saved cost and convenience.