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Stay Away from Online Video for Henry

I was EXTREMELY surprised that Henry Bodget now has his own online video show. From TechCrunch:

“The show will be hosted by Henry Bodget (Silicon Alley Insider), Sarah Lacy (Business Week columnist) and Paul Kedrosky and will have 10-20 original segments per week day, focusing on financial news and the CNBC crowd.”

I have been following Blodget’s blog for the last few months and he has been “preaching” to people NOT to do video online, suggesting that there is no money in it.

In fact, if I had to name a person who was the most bearish blogger in online video, without a blink I would say Henry Blodget.

So my thought is simply that he was probably bullshitting us all this time and being deceitful in order to gain a market advantage for himself.

Here are some recent quotes from his blog on the topic:

“The widespread adoption of streaming video may permanently reduce profit margins in the Internet media sector.” [1]

“No matter how you look at it, the message to professional online video producers from this data point is similar to that of our Revver video analysis: Keep your day jobs.” [2]

“Most dedicated streaming video start-ups will never make money and will disappear (either via bankruptcy or fire-sale).  Thus, streaming video entrepreneurs should raise as much cash as possible, now, while investors are still throwing it at them.  (Investors, meanwhile, should stop throwing it–immediately).” [3]

“Internet users don’t want to watch TV shows online: Professionally produced video?  Yes. TV shows?  No.” [4]

“After performing a detailed analysis of the economics of streaming video, we continue to believe it is a very tough business–with high capital costs and low profit margins.” [5]

“Unfortunately, after the splits, the $4.50 is still far below the level needed to sustain life at most online video production shops (you could probably make more money writing short stories). ” [6]

“In general, therefore, we believe that observers are vastly overestimating the amount of money that will be made in streaming video, at least over the next several years” [7]

Even as I wrote my most recent post on TiVo, encouraging others to jump in and rise up, I still asked myself (as I always do) if I am hurting Rocketboom’s business by being so giving with this kind of information.

It’s the opposite kind of approach compared to say, Apple, yet I believe in Apple’s secretive approach too, it’s brilliant for them and it’s very justified.

There is a third way of approaching business and that is to try and “mislead” people into going down the wrong road, in order to then yourself go the way you believe is right. Its legal in some cases I suppose, but who wants to live like that? In otherwords, its not being transparent, and its not being quiet, its being deceitful.

I really dont know whats going on here with Blogdet and what he really thinks about all of this and I certainly have no idea if his Wallstreet advise is sound, but I will say that I think every single one of his conclusions about online video have been completely bogus (i.e. not just a little bogus, I mean completely).

“Internet users don’t want to watch TV shows online” – Henry Blodget (see above image for proof).

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