Archive for the ‘future’ Category
It's December and I haven't seen any proper snow yet so I might have a blue Christmas, because I'll be missing the snow that I am so used to. Of course, if you're not in a part of the world where snow is abundant, you haven't a clue why I'm so fond of it. Either way, we have all got the need for the news and here's what was hot this week in the online video realm.
Google + Apple = Kodak Patents
Google and Apple have partnered on a bid of more than $500 million to buy the bankrupt Eastman Kodak's digital patents, a not-uncommon practice among rivals who want to prevent litigation. "They have decided to come together in this process to reduce the cost of purchasing the Kodak patents, while meeting their business needs," said Richard Ehrlickman, president of IP Offerings, a patent brokerage and consulting firm. In other patent news, the U.S. Patent Office has issued a preliminary ruling invalidating all of Apple's 20 claims to a group of multitouch patents.
Source: CEA SmartBrief
Ensequence and Audible Magic Team to Deliver Interactive Advertising and TV Across Multiple Devices
Ensequence, the leading supplier of advanced interactive television (iTV) products, and Audible Magic, the leading provider of automated content recognition (ACR) solutions, today announced an integrated platform that will create new opportunities for brands to engage and win loyalty among TV viewers. Combining Audible Magic's SmartID and Ensequence's award-winning iTV Manager® solutions, the platform offers viewers unique, immersive experiences with their favorite shows, and enables advertisers to connect one-on-one with audiences across devices including TV sets, tablets, laptops, and smart phones.
Offering a unique opportunity for service operators, the integrated platform also has the ability to monitor hundreds of broadcast streams that then trigger events across set-top boxes. This, in turn, activates programming and TV commercial enhancements that further engage viewers.
Source: Press Release
Netflix November ISP Rankings for the USA
- Google Fiber
- Verizon -FiOS
TWC was 7th, AT&T U-Verse 11th.
New Zeitgeist 2012 video from Google
Google this morning released its annual “Zeitgeist 2012: Year in Review” list and accompanying video that looks back at the most popular and fastest rising search terms of the year. To create the video, for the third year in a row, Google tapped LA-based creative agency, Whirled.
Coinstar, Verizon Doing Redbox Instant Test This Month
Coinstar and Verizon Communications have announced Redbox Instant by Verizon will launch a beta test to consumers, including free 30 days of service, this month.
Priced at $8 per month, Redbox Instant will offer unlimited streaming of movies, including titles from pay-TV service Epix, with four one-night credits per month for new releases on DVD at Redbox kiosks. For $1 more, or $9 per month, customers can opt to redeem their four credits for rentals on Blu-ray Disc at the kiosk.
Unlike other subscription video-on-demand services, Redbox Instant will offer electronic sellthrough and transactional VOD options for new releases on street date from Lionsgate, NBC Universal, Paramount, Relativity, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Source: Home Media Mag
Samsung Smart TVs Vulnerable to Hackers
Malta-based security start-up ReVuln claims to have discovered a zero-day vulnerability affecting Smart TV, in particularly a Samsung TV LED 3D.
Smart TV can be used to browse the internet, use social networks, purchase movies and perform many other functions. A demo video produced by ReVuln shows how a "vulnerability for such devices can be used to retrieve sensitive information, monitor and root the device," according to Luigi Auriemma of ReVuln. Exploits developed by ReVuln appear to allow it to access remote files and information (including viewing history) as well as the ability to siphon off data on USB drives attached to a compromised TV.
Source: The Register
Yahoo, NBC Sports Forge A Web Content Partnership
NBC Sports and Yahoo are taking on the crowded sports media landscape with a partnership that fills in gaps for both companies.
NBC brings video and big-name broadcasters and Yahoo adds college coverage and fantasy games in the agreement announced Sunday. They hope their strengths will complement each other and attract more eyes to both as they vie with ESPN and other outlets for multimedia sports supremacy.
Second-Screen Super Bowl Spots Near Sellout
Ad sales for what is just the second live-streaming of the Super Bowl are nearly complete, with CBSSports.com nearly sold out as advertisers seek to dangle their promotions in front of consumers whose familiarity with streaming video and "second screen" experiences has grown exponentially since the 2012 event.
"The online inventory is nearly sold out at this point," said David Morris, chief client officer of CBS Interactive, which is overseeing sales of the digital inventory surrounding the game. "We only have a few packages remaining."
Source: Advertising Age
Time Warner Cable Adds On-Demand Video To iOS App
Time Warner Cable subscribers with an iPad or iPhone have gotten a nice update: the streaming app now includes the option to watch selected on-demand content. TWC says the catalog currently includes about 4,000 titles in a mix of HD and standard definition, depending on the provider, and more should be added in the future — though it'll likely still be much smaller than the TV catalog. A similar update is coming at the start of 2013 for Android and PC users.
Back in June, Blip.tv launched Blip Studios, getting into the original video content game and positioning themselves to work with brands, talent, and independent producers, where before, they only served as a video hosting and destination site. With the new launch, they promoted VP of Content Steve Woolf to Senior VP of Content and President of Blip Studios. We got a chance to talk to Steve Woolf about the new studio, where he believes Blip and online video are going, and how the new studio allows them to work with brands like never before.
Here is the video of this interview, with the transcript down below:
Blip Studios President Steve Woolf on Original Video Programming
Mark Robertson: What is Blip Studios?
Steve Woolf: So, for a long time, Blip has been this platform where we've been aggregating all these shows and we had what we considered, "services of scale" for producers, and it was always about web series. That was advertising, distribution, and a video player and all these things. We never really invested in content ourselves, we never created any of our own content. We just had this amazing variety and this broad group of creators that drove us to hundreds of millions of views.
From our standpoint, it seems like as we move from platform to media property, it's important that we have some kind of ownership stake in content and that we create and own some of our own content. Work more closely with creators. Because one thing that really enables us to do is get them better revenue. We can do brand deals with a much closer relationship with producers and we couldn't do that before.
Mark: With Blip Studios and the new original and premium content you're putting out there, how can brands work with you guys?
Woolf: The good news is that for many years we've had one of the best digital media sales groups of any online video company. So brands have actually been asking for us, "When are you going to be making original content? When can we do deeper things with you? And there have been occasions when we have married brands to creators and done some original branded series or done integration with shows on the Blip Network. But it was always so difficult because we had no way of predicting what our relationship with those creators would be three or six months down the road, which is the typical amount of time it takes to turn around a big deal.
Mark: Independent video producers and those who are just putting their videos up all over the web...can they put their content on Blip? What content are you looking for and how should they work with Blip?
Woolf: Blip is currently an open platform and always has been. We focus only on shows, though, so if you upload a viral video or your director's reel or some family videos, we'll probably send you an e-mail and say, 'Hey, we're glad you came to Blip, but that's not really what we specialize in, so you probably will want to move your videos.' So we actually just try to focus on shows. And as we move forward we may make that much more stringent.
We don't ever want to miss somebody who has an amazing show and an amazing idea, that's the nature of the web. It needs to be democratic. But we also have to make sure, you know, it costs money for bandwidth and it costs money for all the things that go around getting those videos out. So we may make sure that we're getting shows uploaded.
Mark: What's the future for Blip and online video?
Woolf: One of my favorite questions. The answer is, "The industry changes every six months, right? Twelve, eighteen months ago, none of these companies were investing in original content and that's all totally changed. It's the hottest thing going right now. My feeling is that Blip is really going to keep moving forward with original production. I think we're going to see it get much, much easier for Blip shows to get on televisions, and so a lot of the scripted shows where we're really strong, but have small audiences are going to suddenly explode. And we're going to see the same kind of renaissance that we've seen for the personality-driven content, we're going to see that for scripted content.
We'd like to thank Steve Woolf for his time!
So do you use Blip.tv? Why or why not? Let us know! Also, if you're a creator and you think that your content is right for Blip Studios, or if you're a brand looking to work with Blip, you can learn more about their program here - http://studios.blip.com/
Time Warner has been one of the more forward-thinking companies in the cable TV space as far as I'm concerned, at least when talking about streaming video. Now, in a recent financial meeting, the CEO, Jeff Bewkes, seems to have completely embraced streaming video.
When speaking with press and industry analysts he cited the streaming services like Netflix and Amazon as being stabilizing influences on Time Warner. Why? They nabbed a cool $100 million from them in Q3! So all that alleged lost profit from advertising, seems to have been recovered by selling streaming rights and/or splitting advertising money online.
So after all that naysaying, hand-wringing and crying out that 'the end is nigh!' it seems that the streaming services are actually useful.
I hate to tell them 'I told you so,' no wait, I don't hate that. I told you so!
So they made $100 million in that quarter. Now if they were to say, expand their relationships, they might even double or triple that money. That could then start replacing large chunks of their other revenue or even, dare to dream, expand their bottom line! In fact, they've already made over $250 million from the streaming services.
It's more TV content than it is film content that they're licensing. Since the TV model has always included syndication places like Netflix are just another syndication option, except that they don't end up on a regular schedule, just on demand.
It's a pretty big about face for the TW CEO. He was one of the early naysayers, and vocal opponent who didn't believe that there was any future in the likes of those streaming services. Two years and hundreds of millions later? He's suffering from a form of Romnesia it seems. Well, line someone's pockets with gold and they're sure to smile fondly at you I guess.
I think this all goes to the merging of screens. TV and online are no longer at odds with each other. Remember when TV was crying foul and saying all streaming video was bad and was going to kill their business and steal their ads and make them all fold up shop? It seems like the dinosaurs finally looked up and saw the meteor coming this time round, instead of dying off, they evolved into smarter creatures who were able to dodge the cosmic bullet and turn it to their own use and profit. Combine that with the fact that web shows are starting to make the leap to TV and it seems like we will have a single cohesive video entertainment landscape sooner, rather than later (or never like the cable and MSOs were saying back in 2010).
For those of us who are advertising, it could mean a massive rise in opportunities to advertise against brand safe content from major studios. For those of us making content, it could mean more competition for those viewers. That makes it all a double-edged sword in the long run. The only question is, how do we continue to innovate and stay ahead of the curve? I think that's where things like Internet inherent things like interactivity will play a key role to differentiate between the lean forward and lean back viewing experience.
We all know the numbers, or at least, have an idea. Online video burst on the scene not too long ago, and we have studies upon studies about how well it's doing and where we think it's going. For every study that shows amazing growth, there is always somebody out there who has to make a point that, "Well, it's not TV. It's still in TV's shadow," and so forth. My answer to that is, "So what?" Who says online video absolutely has to pull even or surpass TV to be legitimate, or recognized, or convince anyone that it's a strong medium and getting stronger? It's here to stay, and it has a lot going for it. I took a step back. I looked at the state of online video. Here's what I see.
Online Video Is Currently Amazing, Getting 'Amazinger,' and No Need to Compare It to TV
Here's something amazing that happened in the past couple of years, but has hit a great stride this year:
1. More and more big events have become available live online.
With sports, CBS started the big party with NCAA football and the NCAA Basketball Tournament being available online and on mobile, and they've been doing it for awhile, but recent big games thrust their success into the spotlight. Last year's LSU-Alabama regular season game and the rematch in the BCS Championship scored huge numbers. The thought that these games couldn't thrive, or would hurt the TV ratings, was crushed. But we still heard the worries as NBC prepared to offer the Super Bowl online for the first time.
All this fretting soon proved groundless, as NBC saw a huge game that would have already been a ratings blockbuster come in with record ratings, PLUS they got all those live streams in there (2.1 million, a record) and added to their already huge audience. Then, NBC put the Olympics online and enjoyed a great amount of success with that, too. Hundreds of millions of streams played across the world.
You can watch most of this stuff on a mobile device, too. How incredible is that?
These record numbers just happened. In the last 9 months. These are the biggest events and they didn't hurt the TV ratings. They scored because, hey, there are people who don't have a TV or access to a TV all the time. People with a TV will watch it on TV. People who can't...have an option...finally.
This should only mean more big events will be available online in the future.
2. There is no need to compare video to TV.
It's an easy comparison to make, since video and TV are basically in the same business, but one has been around longer than the other. Video is trying to get the ad dollars that TV currently enjoys, but it has a reputation to shore up. Advertisers are skittish about certain entertainment that makes it online, which is one of the big reasons why YouTube began the "Original Channel Initiative" that rolled out this year. They were looking for easily-identifiable, marketable entertainers who advertisers could get behind.
But the comparison of video to TV is pretty ridiculous. I have mentioned before that online video hasn't been around a long time. You might want to trace online video's existence to the nineties, but it's current, viable form hasn't been around long. The birth of YouTube in 2005 is a good starting point, but it's really only been the last 5 years, maybe less. TV has been around since the 1920's and a TV set was only in 1 out of every 10 households by 1960. We now are in an age where there are about 3 TVs per household in the U.S. TV has been with us a long time, about 90 years. Some will cut the cord. But it's never going away, and it's time to stop thinking of video as some "TV-killer."
Even so, online video has been around a miniscule amount of time compared to TV. TV's presence has built generations upon generations of a following and the ad model is pretty well established. But even its measurements are controversial. Yet, somehow, advertisers and experts want video to be TV right now, or hold video to a higher standard. What we know about TV and online video is that people don't like to watch traditional, interruptive ads. Unfairly, that measurement is much easier to do in the video realm, where all the tracking services can see whether or not you skipped an ad if you have the chance. No one knows how many people get up to go to the bathroom or make a sandwich during live TV ads or forced-upon video ads.
Which brings me to this point:
3. Online video is forcing brands to become more creative with their ads, where content is king.
Red Bull's "Lifestyle of Mountain Biking" breathtakingly shot in Nepal:
People will watch ads. The Super Bowl is an example. Do you know why Super Bowl ads are given so much attention? Because ad companies spend a whole year, maybe more, coming up with those ads and focus on content. They have to focus on content. This is an expensive amount of time they're buying. The thing is, if you can make an ad that people will talk about and share with others, you can get a huge audience and not have to spend millions on a time slot.
The share-ability of online video is something that is being studied, worked on, and being hammered down into a science by a variety of firms. We talked with Unruly about what makes videos go viral, a term that is slowly becoming less and less in favor because virality is viewed as an accident, and those who study the phenomena of online video have narrowed down what makes a video become popular. What it comes down to is being willing to make content that does not focus on advertising but a story. And brands have to do this in an entertaining way, use all the forms of social media and sharing out there, and get that video talked about.
I think what online video is proving more and more is that advertisers need to find a way where consumers come to them, rather than the traditional model where they stick an ad in front of or the middle of something else. Even when the consumer is forced to watch the ad, there is no guarantee that they will actually watch it. This is why brands are starting to come up with their own shows, or at least sponsor their own shows, where their product is displayed or even better, used in the plot in a meaningful way.
By making content that people have actually clicked on to watch, on purpose, that's how advertisers can officially start measuring the effectiveness of their campaign. I think online video has proved more than ever that the "forced viewing of ads" only goes so far. Making something people will talk about and search for is way more valuable.
4. At some point, exclusive, great content will need to be more important for online video to grow, and perhaps the willingness to advertise in places other than online.
Tom Hanks' Yahoo series, "Electric City:"
We've seen almost every online brand get into video in some form. Huge offerings from Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. have been getting into original series. And I think at some point, these companies are going to need to advertise on TV and newspapers that big, fun, original series are playing "only on this online network." There seems to be an aversion to using that other media out there to advertise online video.
Maybe the money isn't there to pull out some ads on TV for an online video series (although the new Halo series definitely has the money, and we know there are plenty of YouTube channels with some cash to spend). There has been a lot of time spent making a series look like an event...online, but online video seems to refuse, almost like a kid brother, to advertise on TV. Hey, movies do it. And there has long been an "animosity" between movies and TV.
Let me tell you a bit about the new Seinfeld web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." It's doing OK. 4 episodes in, it has around 300,000 views total on YouTube. No idea how it's doing on Crackle, the Sony-owned site that is behind the show. But that's not the point. I told someone that loves Jerry Seinfeld about the show...and he still hasn't seen the show. Why is that? Probably because there isn't anything that advertises it (you know, reminds people to watch) anywhere except online.
Those of us who spend a lot of time online and researching online video know about a lot of these shows, but there are still times I totally forget that a show is running. And online video has never been a place where appointment viewing has been all that important, since it has "long tail," it gets lots of views after its initial release and is there forever and ever. But maybe video should try to find a way to make shows more of an event. Maybe this is where social media comes in. Have a show air at an allotted time and make it a social event, or offer exclusive content (deleted scenes, interviews, etc) that people feel like they are missing something if they don't watch it on the appointed date. The way things are now...what is there to remind you a show is playing and deserves your attention?
The Future of Online Video Is Bright, But Let's Be Reasonable
Online video is here to stay, and it's getting better. Let's just not sit here and expect it to destroy TV as we know it, and compare it unreasonably to a 90-year-old institution. Video still has a lot to learn to grow further, but hey, it's a very young medium. It has a growth rate that surpasses TV's humble beginnings, but we move a lot faster these days, and we want everything to happen now and criticize when it somehow doesn't meet up to the lofty standards set by other media.
Well, that's my two cents, anyway.Tags: 2012, events, future, research, study, Video Trends & Research, ^Featured Insights