Analysis for 'Google TV'
Friday, October 22, 2010, 10:16 AM ET|It was another busy week for online/mobile video, and so VideoNuze is continuing its Friday practice of curating 5-6 interesting industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!
Networks block Google TV to protect themselves
Yesterday news started breaking that ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking access by Google TV. There are numerous concerns being cited - potential disruption of advertising, encouraging cord-cutting, incenting piracy, diminished branding, unsatisfactory ad splits with Google, and general worry about Google invading the living room. Each item on its own is probably not enough to motivate the blocking action, but taken together they are. Still, doesn't it feel a little foolish that broadcasters would differentiate between a computer screen and a TV screen like this? For Google, it's more evidence that nothing comes easy when trying to work with Hollywood. I'm trying to find out more about what's happening behind the scenes.
TWC Lines Up For ESPN Online Kick
An important milestone for TV Everywhere may come as early as next Monday, as #2 cable operator Time Warner is planning to make ESPN viewing available online to paying subscribers. Remote access is part of the recent and larger retransmission consent deal between Disney and TWC. TV Everywhere initiatives have been slow to roll out, amid cable programmers' reluctance. Further proving that remote authenticated access works and that it's attractive with a big name like ESPN would increase TV Everywhere's momentum.
Hulu Plus, Take Two: How's $4.95 a Month?
Rumors are swirling that Hulu may cut the price of its nascent Hulu Plus subscription service in half, to $4.95/mo. That would be a tacit recognition of Hulu Plus's minimal value proposition, largely due to its skimpy content offering. As I initially reported in August, over 88% of Hulu Plus content is available for free on Hulu.com. More important, Netflix's streaming gains have really marginalized Hulu Plus. Netflix's far greater resources and subscriber base have enabled it to spend far bigger on content acquisition. Even at $4.95, I continue to see Hulu Plus as an underwhelming proposition in an increasingly noisy landscape.
Viacom Hires Superstar Lawyer to Handle YouTube Appeal
Viacom is showing no signs of giving up on its years-long copyright infringement litigation against Google and YouTube. This week the company retained Theodore Olson, a high-profile appellate and Supreme Court specialist to handle its appeal. While most of the world has moved on and is trying to figure out how to benefit from YouTube's massive scale, Viacom charges on in court.
Verizon to sell Galaxy Tab starting November 11th for $599.99
Verizon is determined to play its part in the tablet computer craze, this week announcing with Samsung that it will sell the latter's new "Tab" tablet for $600 beginning on November 11th. The move follows last week's announcement by Verizon that it will begin selling the iPad on Oct. 28th, which was widely interpreted as the first step toward Verizon offering the iPhone early next year. Apple currently owns the tablet market, and it remains to be seen whether newcomers like the Tab can break through. For his part, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said on Apple's earnings call this week that all other tablets are "dead on arrival." Note, if you want to see the "Tab" and learn more about how connected and mobile devices are transforming the video landscape, come to the VideoSchmooze breakfast at the Samsung Experience on Wed., Dec. 1st.
One-Third of US Adults Skip Live TV: Report
A fascinating new study from Say Media (the entity formed from the recent merger of VideoEgg and Six Apart), suggesting that 56 million, or one-third of adult Internet users, have reduced their live TV viewership. The research identified 2 categories: "Opt Outs" (22 million) who don't own a TV or haven't watched TV in the last week and stream more than 4 hours/week, and "On Demanders" (34 million) who also stream more than 4 hours/week and report watching less live TV than they did a year ago. Not surprisingly, relative to Internet users as a whole, both Opt Outs and On Demanders skew younger and higher educated, though only the latter had higher income than the average Internet user. This type of research is important because the size of both the ad-supported and paid markets for live, first-run TV is far larger than catalog viewing. To the extent its appeal is diminishing as this study suggests poses big problems for everyone in the video ecosystem.
Friday, October 15, 2010, 10:06 AM ET|Continuing VideoNuze's Friday feature of highlighting 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry stories that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!
JetBlue Unvails Ads Created By Mullen
Take a moment to head over to YouTube today where JetBlue has bought out the top-of-page expanding banner for a hilarious new ad campaign, "You Above All," featuring a series of reality-style videos of New Yorkers in situations that mock the JetBlue competitors' service. The clever JetBlue campaign follows the head-turning Sylvester Stallone YouTube ad for "The Expendables" from a couple months ago and underscores the ascendance of YouTube as the #1 piece of online real estate for break-the-mold video campaigns for high-profile brands. Google is capitalizing on YouTube's appeal by featuring it prominently in its current "Watch This Space" ad campaign promoting the value of display advertising.
Google TV Guns for Cable Deals
And speaking of Google, with the recent introduction of Google TV, the company is reaching out to cable operators to ink integration deals similar to what it showcased with satellite operator Dish TV last week. Google TV offers tantalizing potential, particularly to smaller operators, to add Internet elements to their core video service, helping better compete with over-the-top entrants like Netflix. Conversely, as we saw this week with the funding/public launch of BNI Video (and in a series of separate product announcements coming next week), technology vendors are lining up to offer cable operators the ability to deliver their own Internet experiences. It's a very confusing time for cable operators, who must figure out whether to go it alone and invest heavily, or partner with a tech giant like Google.
comScore Releases September 2010 U.S. Online Video Rankings
comScore's video rankings for September yielded no big surprises, as Google/YouTube continued to be the dominant online video provider and Yahoo narrowly retook the #2 spot from Facebook. comScore changed the way it publicly reports its data this past June which has made it a little harder on independent analysts like me to show trending data as I used to do. Nonetheless, I'm hoping to have some new trending charts to share soon.
Blip.tv Predicts Best Quarter Yet for Web Creators
More encouraging news on the online video ad front, as video platform/distributor blip.tv said this week that Q4 '10 is on track to be its best quarter ever. Blip has been a very important player in bringing independent web series to market and its ability to monetize is a key driver of sustainability for many fledgling creators. Blip's news synchs with overall online video ad momentum in first half '10.
Introducing the JW Player for Flash and HTML5
Friday, September 10, 2010, 10:08 AM ET|Though it was a short week due to the Labor Day holiday, there was no shortage of online video industry happenings this week. As I've been doing each of the last few Fridays, following are 5-6 noteworthy industry stories for your weekend reading pleasure.
Ooyala Raises $22 Million to Accelerate Global Expansion
Online video platform Ooyala's new $22 million round is a bright spot in what's been a pretty slow quarter for online video industry private financings. Ooyala's new funds will help the company grow in the Asia-Pacific region. Ooyala said it is serving 550 customers, double the level of a year ago.
Google TV to Roll Out World-Wide Next Year
Even though the first Google TV-enabled devices have yet to be deployed, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said this week that he envisions a global rollout next year. The connected device landscape is becoming more competitive for Google TV given the growing number of inexpensive connected device options.
Business Groups Question Net Neutrality Rules
Three pro-business trade groups urged the FCC to drop its net neutrality initiative, citing the "flourishing" broadband market and concerns that regulations will curtail new investments and hurt the economy. It seems like everyone has a different opinion about net neutrality, so the consensus needed to move regulation forward is still down the road.
ESPN, YouTube Link Up for Promo Campaign
This week ESPN and YouTube kicked off their "Your Highlight" campaign, enticing ESPN viewers to upload their own sports clips, with the best ones to be shown on SportsCenter. Then the best of the best will win a trip to ESPN's studios to watch a SportsCenter taping. It's a great promotional concept, using online video to further invest ESPN viewers in the brand. Whoever thought it up deserves a shout-out.
Life Without a TV Set? Not impossible
Another interesting data point to tuck into your back pocket: according to a 2010 Pew study, just 42% of Americans feel a TV set is a "necessity," down from 64% in 2006. Pew interprets this as a loss of status for the TV, as other devices like computers and phones have become video capable. The perception of convergence is taking root.
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Video Research Around the Web
- Top U.S. Pay TV Providers Lost 405K Subs in Q3: Analyst Multichannel News
- People watch Netflix unabashedly at work (and in public toilets, too) Quartz
- Streaming Tech Reaches Third Of Universe, Eroding 'Traditional TV' Viewing Mediapost
- NPD: 57% of Smartphone Users Stream Video Home Media
- Millennials Aren't Shunning TV Sports Multichannel News
- Library Content Drives Streaming Service Subscriptions Mediapost
- IHS: Scripted TV Production Declines Home Media
- Netflix Audience Older, Wealthier and Male Home Media