The New iPhone Is Bad News for TV News Stations 8

We have already witnessed newspapers collapse at the feet of the Internet. While many are hanging on (by a thread) some have already given up and become online-only or closed down completely.

Next in line are the news stations.

On June 19th our entire media structure will change with the release of the iPhone 3G S. The ability to record, edit and post video online within seconds may be the largest difference-maker since email. While it’s going to use social media as tools, mobile video is going to catch on faster the Facebook and have a larger impact then Twitter – it’s going to be massive.

When I learned that the new iPhone would support video I thought back to a Q&A I did in April with Xconomy’s Wade Roush. Here is an excerpt:

RaceTalk: It will be even more interesting once video is out there and people can just pull out a video camera and start recording.

Wade Roush: That’s happening already.  Although the trick there is its not very easy yet to get the video off your phone.  It’s a lot easier to e-mail a photograph to TwitPic or CNN than it would be to e-mail a video.

RaceTalk: But if you can do live video from your phone that changes things even more.

Wade Roush: Oh live video, absolutely.  Oh wow, just think.  It’s a world where everyone is sensing in a way.  Everyone is carrying around a TV camera.

Wade said it perfectly – as of June 19th everyone and anyone can carry around a TV camera and instantly make their video available to the world.  Instead of taking a picture of the plane crash in the Hudson River people will be able to record video of the crash, and rescue and have it immediately available to a world-wide audience. The content won’t have to go through an editor or a producer. Just quickly post it to YouTube then blast it out on Facebook and Twitter and suddenly it’s more accessible than the common cold.

So beginning on June 19th everything that happens – anywhere – is fair game. When Michael Phelps decides to smoke at a college campus police officers aren’t going to find a picture online – they’re going to find a video of the whole thing taking place.

Every athlete and celebrity should prepare to have their actions documented in video when they are in public, and any type of event will be publicly broadcast on YouTube just seconds after it happens – which is where TV stations get hit. From this point forward, citizens are now the leading news reporters. Sure, Twitter had the news before CNN, but Twitter didn’t have video, and there is nothing quite like seeing something unfolding as it happens.  When the UF student was tasered during Senator Kerry’s speach the video was available shortly afterwords and was posted everywhere the next day. If something like that happens the video will be posted on YouTube within 90 seconds of the incident.

TV Stations are now behind the curve and will begin to join newspapers in line at the history museum unless they adapt with the times. They will need to embrace mobile video, not shy away from it and ignore it. They will need to engage with their viewers and talk with them, work with them, and embrace them. Finally, they need to offer additional insight and analysis that we can’t find on YouTube.

The world is about to change.

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