• Xbox Is Only 60% Gaming
    Like every other gamer in the known universe, I got my copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops this week. Unlike my younger game fans, I have a job that pretty much accounts for my waking hours during the week. As I look forward to this weekend, that unopened green game box beckons. Time for some serious killing. And to be frank, that will be the first time my Xbox has been used for a game in quite a while.
  • Apple Quickly Dominates Social Video Promotion
    Because Apple doesn't seem to have taken enough bites out of every market it deems fit to enter, we get word today from video metrics firm Visible Measures that Jobs and co. are also supping on social video. According to VM, Apple's online promotional videos have a 55% "Share of Choice" in the mobile technology category. "Share of Choice" (dare we call this "SOC"?) is a new metric (apparently we need more) the company introduced today that indicates brand preference within a given category of shared video. Apple's videos for FaceTime, the new Nano and iPod gaming have been driving …
  • Brands Leveraging the 'How'd-They-Do-That?' Factor
    What makes a viral video, well, viral? One of the things many of the viral hits have in common, Visible Measures' CMO Matt Cutler told me once, is the "how'd-they-do-that?" quality. Whether it is the CGI dancing babies or the subway stairwell turned into a piano keyboard or Roger Federer's William Tell tennis stroke bit, many of the viral ad hits make the viewer wonder what it took to pull that off? Was that real? And so we get the weird follow-up "making-of" videos attached to viral hits. But in most cases, the can-you-believe-it?" quality in the video is just …
  • Can Undertone, With Jambo Acquisition, Unify Display and Video Across Screens?
    Here we go again. It was just a few weeks ago that we reported on the Specific Media buy out of video ad net and marketing company BBE. Now another major player in the display space pulls a video tech company in. Undertone acquired Jambo Media yesterday, which claims 17 million unique users. Jambo services 1,000 sites and serves video for a number of ad networks and publishers. Its main business is as a supplier of video to third parties like the other ad networks. Undertone says it will incorporate the Jambo video player and content management system. Part of …
  • Election 2010 is Over and The Rent is Still Too Damn High!
    In the last two election cycles, getting "YouTubed" in politics was not a good thing. As cadres of "oppositional researchers" skulked about the audiences in candidate functions, armed with flip cams and cell phones, everyone was on alert. Every misstatement, faux pas and gaffe was moments away from a YouTube upload. There is no private zone in life or in politics when it comes to video surveillance. Smile. Big brother may not be watching you, but the social network is. I am sure gotcha politics will survive this little lull in the hyperventilation over any stray comment. But you could …
  • Shouldn't Microsoft Own the Living Room?
    As the Microsoft Kinect full-body controller for Xbox comes to market this week, the kids from Redmond are beside themselves with high expectations. The company had been projecting a very optimistic sales target of three million units sold in the final quarter. But based on pre-orders and retailer orders, they raised the forecast to 5 million. At $150 just for the add on sensors/camera unit that translates body motion into on-screen interactivity, that is asking for a lot of consumer spending focused on one toy. It means that Microsoft is expecting one of the most staggering video game industry sales …
  • ControlTV Reality Show Crowd Sources a Life
    Talk about audience empowerment. The recently launched experiment in hyper-interactive Web programing ControlTV is claiming 50,000 people a day are voting to determine the antics of Tristan Couvares as visitors control his life. Couvares has his life streamed 24/7 and then in a series of more sculpted episodes often sponsored by Ford, Mars Candy and Sprint. This is branded entertainment coproduced by Digital Broadcasting Group. Tristan drives a Ford, uses a Sprint phone and apparently eats a lot of candy bars. And as if 24/7 surveillance weren't enough, the poor bastard has his existence essentially crowd-sourced as people vote on …
  • WTF Are You Ad Tech Guys Talking About?: The Video
    Digital video is teaching us a lot about the potential of video itself as a medium. Until now, video simply had been the sexy stuff, the lean-back stuff. Decades of middlebrow derision of non-literary media like film and TV trained us intellectually to de-value the depth and nuance of these media relative to the "word." I know whereof I speak. I spent over a decade and a half in academia where teaching film and TV history and criticism consigned me to the "pop culture" ghetto of hip young professors that the tenured English Department members loved to bait at cocktail …
  • Don't Hold Your Breath for Video Everywhere
    It is amazing how quickly you get spoiled by the expectation of ubiquitous on-demand video. When it is taken away, the void is palpable. We keep hearing that broadband coverage either through WiFi, direct connection or wireless 3G/4G is going to be as common as water fountains and power outlets. The CEO of Sprint mentioned recently that the sales of iPads have goosed the market for his shared wireless broadband product. I am writing this from the heart of Times Square, where the sides of buildings are video screens. And yet I can't access the video I want, that I …
  • I'm Sick Of Coco
    I have to admit, I am tired of Conan O'Brien's upcoming TBS premiere even before it even launches next week. The much and publicly aggrieved O'Brien finally comes back to TV after months of Web antics, live shows and relentless reminders that NBC screwed him over. Sympathy is about to turn to impatience. This show better be damned good to merit all of the woe-is-me-ism attached to it. The Web gets its first taste Monday evening in a simulcast across TeamCoco.com, Facebook and YouTube.
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