2007 is lining up to be the year for IPTV. Microsoft got the most recent round of buzz started at Bill Gates CES announcement of IPTV for Media Center. Microsoft has been in this game for awhile, ever since the inception of WebTV a few years back.
Apple reintroduces AppleTV, with Jobs discussing IPTV for what seemed like an eternity as the rest of us awaited the introduction of the iPhone.
The story to get the most press/blog time for this week seems to be the Joost (aka the Venice Project). Joost is the latest venture from the Skype guys. I had a chance to try out the beta last night, and although I was thoroughly unimpressed, the idea is novel in itself. Joost is an application that runs independently of a browser, and hosts a variety of online channels through a slick interface.
Today Netflix introduces it's own free product to download and view tv shows and movies online to rival Blockbluster's latest attempt to take them down. Blockbusters service is basically a Netflix clone, only you can bring the movies back to your local store and they will match that movie to a free rental instore.
It looks like its come down to this for Netflix:
"Netflix is budgeting $40 million to cover licensing and overhead costs of the service over the next year, which will, by the way, wipe out most of their operating profit of $17 million or so per fiscal quarter. Unless of course this service results in millions of new subscribers."
Wow, we've come a long way since 2005, when the networks and the MPAA wouldn't even discuss online distribution. It seems the catalyst for this change is due to the hype and numbers YouTube created.