Web video’s new middlemen: here’s what’s wrong with consumer electronics


Online video was supposed to free us of the middlemen, and offer us access to all kinds of content without the interference of pay TV providers and TV networks. But in place of the old gatekeepers, there’s increasingly a new guard — except that this time, consumers know even less about who is interfering with their choices.

In a way, utopia really has arrived. There are millions of channels on YouTube (S GOOG) alone, and thousands of small and independent web video publishers produce all kinds of niche content that would have never made it on TV. Want a sports channel just about table tennis? You got it. How about a channel about goth makeup, or a channel with obscure Turkish TV dramas? It’s all there, in the vast and sometimes messy world of web video.

But as this type of content moves to the living room…

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