Last week, The Wall Street Journal printed an article by Bobby White entitled "The New Workplace Rules: No Video Watching." I was intrigued.
Nielsen Online reports that weekday lunch hours (12 to 2 p.m.) are the heaviest for online video consumption, so the article said. A Top 10 chart of U.S. video streams in the work place during January 2008 was included for illumination:
Fox Interactive Media
Source: Nielsen Online, VideoCensus, Wall Street Journal
The article proceeded to discuss bandwidth issues, computer traffic and possible companywide outages. All crippling vestiges of too much video snacking -- nonproductive visual calories from management's point of view. But what about the impact on broadband video as an advertising platform? Last year, advertisers committed $775 million in support of online video. This year, the number is projected to nearly double, to $1.3 billion.
What if businesses began a systematic policy of limiting the amount of time employees could view recreational video during the work day? Would daytime no longer be the "prime time" of broadband video viewing? Would the cumulative effect of a workplace ban impact on the desirability of this burgeoning video delivery platform as an alternative or rightful heir to the $70 billion spent annually on traditional TV advertising? Could TV media buyers, those 35+ year olds with families, sleep more easily at night knowing that their antiquarian status has been suspended -- and their skills and business acumen were still valuable to the media community.
Of course, the government could always intervene. First-amendment violations? The Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission could add the issue to his lengthening agenda. Give the cable operators a respite.