You have to wonder whether the TV skunk works at Google have been totally routed by the apparent dismissal of the Google TV project in the general digisphere. When the platform flopped originally late last year, we were promised a robust 2.0 update. Now we may be waiting until fall to see the platform refreshed to accommodate Android apps in a retooled Honeycomb interface. Meanwhile, to add humiliation to the insult and injury of Google TV, Logitech reported yesterday that sales of its Google TV-powered Revue device were actually worse than zero.
That happened pretty fast. Just a couple of years ago I recall speaking with online video providers who were starting to distribute via emerging set-top boxes and laptop-to-TV interfaces like Boxee. Although they found the Web-to-TV path for online video promising, generally less than 2% of their clips were being viewed on TVs. Nielsen's latest study of how people are viewing Hulu and Netflix is remarkable in demonstrating how quickly a popular service can drive adoption of new distribution paths.
Now here is a study in contrast between what seems to have the most impact on TV and what works online. Nielsen released its list of most-liked TV ads from the second quarter of 2011. Sentiment is the dominant theme among those spots, with the highest "likability index" scores (those ads noted by the consumer panel as being liked "a lot.") Topping the list is an Oreo spot in which a boy wakes up dad for a midnight Oreo snack in order to say "Happy Father's Day."
And here's another good reason for TV networks to dislike the Internet: they just don't get a fraction of the attention here that they do on their native platform. In a roundup of traffic metrics to the major nets this past year, Compete shows that the average unique user spend about half an hour at a network site each month. Compare that to the 34 hours per person per week Nielsen says Americans watched traditional TV in 2010.
Hulu is turning out to be one of the most wanton debutantes in recent digital M&A history. Determined to sell itself, the TV-heavy video subscription service is being shopped around by Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners with a reported valuation of about $2 billion. Now, Bloomberg reports
that Apple is among the interested parties, which already include Google, Yahoo and AT&T.
For the time being, game consoles are the undisputed king of the hill when it comes to providing over-the-top (OTT) video services to the living room. But within the next few years look for Internet capable TVs and Blu-ray disc players to supplant the aging Xbox360s and Playstation3s as the preeminent connected sources of IP content to the TV. In a new report from IMS Research, the company predicts that access to IP video content to the living room will accelerate rapidly as "all but the lowest-end" TVs and disc players will carry network capabilities. In terms of raw bandwidth, …
With its obvious likeness to broadcast TV, branded online video might appear to be primarily a consumer market game. But long before YouTube, some of the earliest and most lucrative video ventures online were driven by b2b models. Video Webcasting back in the early and mid 2000s was economically viable for some early players because big hardware and software companies appreciated the sheer economics of underwriting video programming that could run tens of thousands of dollars a pop. One company that has been generating scores of b2b video is Symantec. In early June the company released a pair of sci-fi …
It is hard for me to imagine a situation where a little John Cleese is not in order. Ex-Monty Pythoner Cleese was not only one of the driving forces of that troupe's best writing, but in the dozen or so episodes of Fawlty Towers, he and former wife Connie Booth created one of the high points of TV comedy. When Cleese sends his towering frame into managed chaos, when his splayed limbs belie his inner frantic state, there is simply nothing like him to behold. When his writing is on target, it layers absurdity onto absurdity at a merciless pace …
Go figure. The movie industry may actually get at least a piece of the digital model right in coming months. Sometime this fall, a consortium of studios is ready to launch the UltraViolet project that will allow people to buy hi-res physical discs that will include rights to access the same films from PC and multiple devices like smartphones and game consoles. According to Reuters, the plan is close to ready and should be part of your holiday Blu-ray purchases.
f you look at the usual demographics surrounding video viewing online, you would think much of the action is still going on in the under-55 set. After all, most of the Web celebs are young, edgy, and Web cam-comfortable. But in fact, millions within the older demographics are likely targets for online video, too, and they are just as capable of creating their own video stars. To wit, one Jeanne Robertson, a 67-year-old stand-up comedienne with a large YouTube following.