"It was like watching Neil Armstrong," says Peter Farago of his first Internet video broadcast. "It wasn't as clear as TV, but it was pretty damn good."
The event was this past April's InterOp computer tradeshow. Farago's New York-based firm, Farago Advertising, broadcast the show over the World Wide Web: three days of seminars and speeches, including Bill Gates's keynote, all live from the floor. "It was proof of concept: video broadcasting over the Internet. Now we're providing clients with virtual TV stations!"
Farago is a $25-million-a-year ad agency whose clients include Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Prudential Insurance. Rather than using CU-SeeMe to call clients over a videophone, Farago is exploiting the technology to create "narrowcast" programs that address specific audiences. "The kind of stuff you won't see on television because TV wouldn't support it," he says. Farago is exploring the idea of using the Web to broadcast readings from Barnes & Noble stores all over the country. Want to see Stephen King read from his latest blood curdler in Boston? Just tune in to one of Farago's 12 "Reflector sites" (essentially, CU-SeeMe video servers) on the Web and watch it from your desktop.
Coordinates: For news of upcoming narrowcasts, see Farago Advertising's Web site, http://www.farago.com .
A version of this article appeared in the August/September 1996 issue of Fast Company magazine.