Man, I like agreeing with smart people.
Fred came up with a dead on post yesterday that sums up where I think the successful recipe for distribution of web video will be found:
People don't want to link to media like audio and video (and photos), they want to run it right there on their own pages. They want to be the TV station, the radio station, the newspaper.
"Along the way" distribution that reaches the user where they already are on the web,
and "pass along" distribution that empowers your user to become the distributor.
YouTube's embeddable playlist player is a great example of this - it takes you a step beyond playing a video "right there" on your own page, and allows you to embed an episodic series on your page... like Hugh McLeod's postcards are embedded on my sidebar.
But that player has problems:
It's exclusively for YouTube and, like Fred says in his post, we need to be looking at solutions that work everywhere
It's too clunky - it's not elegant, it's very Youtube-ish, and it's not customizable...
Brightcove's player is similar to YouTube's, except the video looks much better. But Brightcove's player costs money to use - their business model is antiquated before it even launches. And just like YouTube, you're required to do everything from inside their walled garden.
Personally, I want to see a widget player that is just a viewing window. You can play the most recent episode, or click a dropdown menu to select other episodes.
And I want it to use RSS as the underlying technology (the YouTube player does use RSS, but not in a way that helps me - you still have to encode and add the media through Youtube).
The folks over at Feedburner tell me they are coming out with a widget that can do this in short order. I'm psyched... Feedburner is a great company, and if anyone can do this right with RSS, they can.
Plus, Fred is an investor in Feedburner... and if no one else gets it, he gets it.