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Mike Rouse

I joined 18 Doughty Street a few weeks before it launched in 2006 and since then I have learned a lot about the whole online video marketplace.

"Political Internet TV" is a term that requires more definition from a distribution point of view. What seems to be a lot more successful, even for 18 Doughty Street, is the provision of on-demand content. This is consumed at rates of up to 10 times more than live streaming content, certainly in the case of our station. The gap continues to widen as distribution platforms like and Daily Motion make continuous improvements to their systems, which make them more attractive to content producers.

Set-top-boxes are being developed and will form a major part of the digital home. They will provide internet channels, but crucially, in the main, they will not provide live streaming. Even the set-top-boxes will be providing an on-demand service as it is widely recognised that this is what the audience desires. BT Vision is currently the leader in this area, but Tiscali is coming up fast. GDBTV is another, albeit smaller, provider.

"Political Internet TV" therefore, will be a very different beast to what a lot of people may be thinking about. Its increasing emphasis will be on the on-demand offerings, which can be distributed a lot quicker, easier and cheaper than by setting up a full-scale TV station. Therefore, aren't we just seeing the growth of online political videos with improved distribution that makes it all more possible to sit down and watch them in a relaxed style, say in front of a internet-enabled TV set?


Mike Rouse
Head of Technology
18 Doughty Street Talk TV

Charlie Mansell

Thanks for your comments. I think that this is a fair point. I imagine the general public will not differentiate between live streamed content and on-demand content. In addition I imagine technology will make the difference just look like the click of a different button. I hope there is space for both and that we see a general expansion of websites or internet TV stations to encourage a greater range of debate. One area I think we will soon see a significant expansion is the uploading of do it yourself campaign videos as entry costs are tumbling with video cameras able to upload to youtube at under £30 nowadays and mobile phone video technology improving all the time. The next general election in 2009? will no doubt see a significant expansion in this area.


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