Analysis for 'iPad'
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.
Monday, October 18, 2010, 9:17 AM ET|Click-through rates on video ads shown to iPad users are much higher than similarly formatted ads shown to iPod Touch, iPhone or Android users according to new research released today by Rhythm New Media, a large mobile video ad network.
In analyzing their viewers' behavior in Q3, Rhythm found that iPad users' click-throughs on Rhythm's "interactive pre-roll" unit were 2.32%, which is 58% higher than the 1.47% for the iPod Touch, which came next. Rhythm CEO Ujjal Kohli, who I spoke to last week, said the data suggested the iPad's larger, more immersive environment is leading to more engagement with ads and users' higher inclination to click-through, particularly when more video is involved.
Friday, October 1, 2010, 5:05 PM ET|I was checking out Nielsen's Q2 '10 Home Technology Report findings and one stat jumped out at me: 3.6% of U.S. homes now own an iPad. The percentage would actually be a little higher than Apple's own data given that it reported 3.27 million iPads sold in the quarter ending June 26th (assuming there are approximately 110-115 million U.S. households).
Either way, when you think of iPad sales in household penetration terms, the question that comes to mind is how long after their introductions did digital products and services like DVR, HDTV, broadband Internet, VOD and others reach 3.6%? I don't know the answer, but I suspect it was far longer than a single quarter.
With Apple's next quarter performance due on Oct. 18th, we'll see how many more millions of iPads were sold in the 3rd calendar quarter of 2010. And of course with Q4, the holiday quarter, now underway, the biggest wave of purchases is just ahead. At some point it will be fascinating to overlay the iPad's early years' quarterly household penetration curve on other digital products and services. No doubt it will tell a remarkable story of success.
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