Commentary

That Big Desktop Is Holding Its Own

People like to put things into two boxes, or maybe three. It’s a way to organize lives and businesses. Up has a down. Yin has a yang, and in the streaming video business, what is happening now hugely overwhelms what was happening, oh, about ten minutes ago. In a business with rapid change, even faster forgetting is a natural result.

Nowadays, you’ll read, content producers, advertisers and brands better have a“mobile-first” strategy because that’s the drift of viewership. At NewFronts, every content supplier assured advertisers that they were all in on smartphones.  

There’s nothing wrong with that but, as a CMO Today. com story points out this morning, the trusty old desktop computer is still holding its own, according to comScore data.

CMO Today’s Jack Marshall writes, that according comScore, the "overall time spent online with desktop devices in the U.S. has remained relatively stable for the past two years. Time spent with mobile devices has grown rapidly in that time, but the numbers suggest mobile use is adding to desktop use, not subtracting from it."

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That’s simple to understand, really, because the overall use of the Internet is increasing, so watching on mobile isn’t replacing watching on a laptop or desktop. We're just using all kinds of devices more. When usage figures are sometimes up by triple digits, percentage-wise,on mobile it’s probably easy to overlook usage on desktops just holding its own or up just an “ordinary” 10% or 20%.

But if you’re looking to see where your bread is buttered, it just might be you should look on both sides of the slice.

THE FUTURE, AS SEEN IN INDIANAPOLIS:You really aren’t hearing much about this yet, but the just concluded Indianapolis 500 was a major staging area for Verizon’s LTE Multicast, which stands to greatly change how and what and how spectators see sporting events, and eventually could make Verizon a content provider that goes cable and traditional Internet delivery modes.

According to a Verizon blog, the demonstration was due to “incorporate live video from the race broadcast, showing how live sporting events are an ideal scenario for LTE Multicast. Large audiences in specific locations who want to watch high-definition video can present a challenge; but with LTE Multicast, a specific channel of spectrum is assigned to this purpose, making the video experience – and ultimately the overall wireless experience of others in the same location – high quality. “

Computerworld reported  that LTE Multicast “essentially tries to mimic what happens in a TV broadcast, so that everyone in the audience tunes in to the same channel on their smartphones to watch events as they happen. There's no individual video stream to each device, but one universal stream that everyone equipped with the right technology can tap into.”

So, essentially, that Verizon phone becomes a content provider. And while that’s nifty at a sporting event, it’s only a few evolutions away from how Verizon could be producing sitcoms--except for the fact that there can’t be a more unfunny company in the world than Verizon. Back on subject, though, watch what Verizon does with the NFL, where it also has experimented with LTE Multicast.

JUST IN FROM AMAZON: Amazon Prime just announced that it will premiere all six episodes of a new comedy, “Catastrophe” starting June 19 in the U.S. and later for Amazon subscribers in the U.K. But over there, “Catastrophe” is already being seen on Channel 4. The set-up: A visiting American (played by comedian Rob Delaney, who also wrote the scripts) has a weekend-long romp with Irish schoolteacher (Sharon Horgan), and a few weeks later, she informs him she’s pregnant. He returns from the States, and they try to become a couple. It’s not easy.

pj@mediapost.com

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