I’ve become a fan of Heroes, an ongoing series by NBC. Interestingly enough, I time shift, medium shift, and control the content in the way I want to. The first season, I didn’t watch on TV, we rented the episodes from the local Blockbuster (not online). For season 2, which just started, I’m watching the episodes online from the NBC site.
The have pre-roll ads, that are about 30 seconds, which you cannot fast forward. The advertising videos are actually interesting, as they change them up for different sponsors and there are links to learn more. For example, last week, there was an interactive game in addition to the video for a new Nissan crossover. This week, Bertolli is launching a frozen dinner product, and there are links to video recipes, very interesting. After the spot plays, the user is required to click on the add to advance. 3-5 times during each episode a 30 second spot is run, which I can’t fast forward.
I’m in control of:
1) What I watch
2) When I watch
3) What medium I watch
4) How I watch (I can start and stop)
5) Where I watch (mobile)
In return, a few 30 second spots, that are related to my interest don’t bother me at all, although I would prefer if I could select (rate and comment too) the types of commercials I want to watch, increasing the opportunity for the message to be on mark.
Most of the control over TV medium is now in my hands, although the 30 second spot doesn’t seem as intrusive. The web and TV continue to intersect, with the control moving to my hands, the savvy media brands realize, embrace and change.
Google announced that it’s going to imprint a tracking algorithm being referred to as a “fingerprint” on video media for it’s video systems (Google Video and YouTube). I had conversations with colleague Jeff Scott over coffee, and we came up with some interesting risk analysis. While the media industry breathes a sigh of relief, what are the business and user impacts for such a system?
Potential risks and considerations:
1) This finger printing system, which is likely invisible to users, could decisively leave small pixels that could eventually be added to create a unique identifier. Sadly, there’s no security system ever that is fool proof.
2) For Google, this could be a media lock in process. Media companies that want to play on the world wide web would go through Google to submit video and for it to become imprinted with the fingerprint.
3) With trust increasing for online distribution, Google will become the IPTV player of choice, furthering it’s mission to organize the world’s information –and generate contextual advertising dollars.
4) Google becomes the cop, and has the power. As Google builds the security system, they become the single police force, and continue to maintain more control.
Other options for media brands
What should Media brands consider before jumping onto Google’s priopriatary security system? Seek other forms of fingerprinting and watermarket, and consider deploying video on other platforms, not just on Google. I expect other video fingerprinting systems to appear that can be leased or sold to media companies, giving more control over content.
So before we embrace the much needed tracking system, let’s first look at the impacts it could have on online media, although dominant, Google is not the only video platform to consider.
That’s the quotient that online video people are trying to figure out. Well Ustream has launched a new tool in their latest version that lets users ‘shout out’ about a show that’s interesting, their blog lists out the details.
What’s Engagement? I’ve discussed it several times, and have been able to boil it down to “Apparent Interest“. My formula suggests it’s the factor of Attention, Interaction, and a few other attributes.
Colleague Robert Scoble has a video interview with the CEO of Ustream, and Techcrunch has the feature breakdown.
What’s interesting about Ustream, a company that I’ve decided to advise? Well John Edwards was using it live on Monday after the debates, Chris Pirillo has a live show, and even Andy Beal has a weekly show. If you know about what I did at Web 2.0 expo, we really made an impression, and even used it on our panel. I’m waiting for buddy Allen Stern to start one!
In addition to asynchronous content, the web is moving to real time.
Killer App suggests that a new generation of online video aggregators are appearing, MSNBC has a great article by Ramon Ray that gives some resources on how to enhance your website with video.
Communicating with your customers through video can offer them a fresh alternative to basic text on a static website. We all know the saying, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” The principal is the same for a video on a website.
I would also suggest that video is great for executives, and I’ve listed out some resources on Why Online Video is good for your Corporate Executives and How to Deploy.
You may know me as one of the guys that was live streaming the Web 2.0 conference in 2007, this is a space that I’m watching grow quickly.
I like lists, it helps me to keep track, gauge and watch a market. I’ve done this for a few other industries such as Online Data Storage, Social Media Measurement, and White Label Social Networking products.
I’m starting to see more and more companies emerge that offer Online Video Web Streaming. The requirements? It should be accessible by the average consumer, no or low-cost, and transmits video through the web. It should be MORE than just a webcam software or home security, it should have features such as social networks, widgets, and archiving abilities.
A list of companies and services that provide live, streaming, web video:
Express yourself live
Live interactive video for everyone
With kyte you start your own broadcast network!
The live TV studio in your browser
Grab your cam and join any show that’s netcasting
Instant Social Networking
Home Monitoring made easy
Webcast Your Event… Get the Power and Reach of a Radio or Television Broadcast at a fraction of the cost!
Create, Share, and Watch Live Broadcasts
“Broadcast video “live” from the palm of your hand”
“A place for live video. That means everything from event streaming to lifecasting.”
“Y! Live was dreamed up as a way to make it possible for anyone to create their own live video experience”
While searching for more video lists, I ran across this great list. He’s got some other companies listed for scheduled broadcasting and remixing, but I’m primarily focused on live streaming. I’ve got a few he doesn’t and he had a few I didn’t. I love how the web promotes sharing and collaborative learning.
It’s May 2007, and there’s five on this list, I predict there will be at least 20 of these types of companies on the web by the end of year. I anticipate that Google or it’s YouTube acquisiotion will launch such a service by Thanksgiving of Christmas (when people want to talk to family remotely). It does seem like everytime Google swallows a company that it has little innovation for sometime, so we’ll have to see.
What’s the future of online video media? While video blogs are certainly getting more popular, streaming will too. I see social media moving from asynchronous to real-time. As our culture catches up to Asian countries usage of mobile, we’ll start recording and distributing more live video from cell phones.
Know of a company or service? Leave a comment
Help this list to grow, so leave a comment below.
Update: May 29th, I’m excited about Ustream and have now joined the board of advisors, details on this post.
Viacom sues YouTube for “One Beeeelion Dollars” reports the whole world on Techmeme. Yes, too late John, too late.
I realize that Google has deep pockets, but trying to fight the intrawebs is going to be a tough battle. My CEO John Furrier has some interesting takes on this, he even talked to some folks at Google, read his post on the topic. In the comments section, John suggests the following: “If I was Viacom I’d be using the new technology to extend their franchises not use their resources fighting an already rising tide.”
Just last week, I was present and documented how the emerging Web industry is being sought after by Enterprise IT companies, now this latest ploy is starting to flip over as Social Media features integrate into existing enterprise environments.
Social Networking is nearly present in all communities, we know that as the groups fragment by age group (and there will be more niches and fragmentations over time) that for the fores sable future, that logging on and getting instant access to existing and new friends is satisfying our human needs to connect with each other and belong. While there’s an excess of White Label Social Networking sites out there although Cisco decided to buy Five Across.
Benefits of new web tools emerging
Having spent most of my career in Enterprise IT type companies as a web professionals (four enterprise Intranets and two enterprise Extranets), I could easily make the conclusion that Cisco is entering the “Enterprise 2.0″ Market. Which when broken down into human terms suggests that they will deliver to their established customer base a pre-packaged suite of productivity tools for the Intranet and Extranet. The sell actually won’t be too difficult, as there’s productivity benefits according to commentary from the folks at ConnectBeam where I’m an Advisor. In his analysis, those that are well connected are actually highly productive. Looking forward, we all know the Internet is going to be the platform for the next TV, other rich media, and the connective tissue for networked gaming that these infrastructures are moving Cisco up the platform into the business space –Where I know that other ERP systems may already sit.
If you want to learn more, as fate would have it, yesterday James Durbin and I had a lengthy conversation around Social Networking Analysis, an emerging industry to measure the benefits of how these networks are impacting individual productivity, velocity, and information emerges. He recommended I subscribe to Network Weaving, Connectedness, Networks, Complexity, and Relatedness, and Centrality.
Getting ahead of the Enterprise Web “Islands”
For much of my career as an Enterprise Intranet Manager many of my projects were cleaning up all the disparate sources of rotting data, processes and finding tools that can seamlessly improve the user experience –it’s going to happen all over again. Enterprise IT Dennis McDonald, discusses how the risks of the open information age needs responsibility. None of this is really new to Dennis or I, we wrote a forward looking white paper on how Social Media “Web 2.0″ will hit the Enterprise Intranet over a year ago. It was our conclusion that IT departments need to get ahead of business groups that can deploy social media programs without the aid of IT, and I believe that Cisco and other companies are going to enable just that.
This morning, my discussion with Dennis revolved around on our predictions of why enterprise companies are headed this way, he emphasis on actual implementation as the real cruz over any turn-key solution:
“By beefing up their offerings in the collaboration and social networking space, they are following in the footsteps of Microsoft and IBM who have also been rolling out “Web 2.0 enabled” enterprise infrastructure components. The proof of the pudding will be the skills of their business partners, resellers, and integrators. Those are the people on the front line with customers who are still undecided about so much of what we in the enterprise 2.0 area have been talking about.” -Dennis McDonald
Intranet adoptions will be interesting
I can already imagine how the Information Architect community, who is just getting settled into their roles after years of proving their worth will be introduced to user created taxonomies, amorphous content structures, and the shifting and moving of data out of their control. I’m the moderator for the Intranet User Experience group, a working group that will have to deal with this.
I get it. It’s more than an Intranet play or an Extranet play. Enterprise tech companies that can successfully introduce a platform that’s tied to existing corporate directory and identity systems, provide security, handle the load, and deliver measurement and metrics have a strong chance for being a successful deployment. The bigger sale is to help those worrysome CIOs to get ahead of business groups who will downloadable blogs, networks, and systems from being deployed in a disparate. It’s also about looking at digital media, they make that clear from their push on the Human Network, you can hear from the CEO directly.
[When the CEO figures out his kids are all over Facebook and MySpace, it's just a matter of time before his next meeting with the CIO/CMO where he asks for some exploration. Embedded and established IT infrastructure companies who have a turn-key solution make the logical choice in deployment]
Delivered correctly, IT Infrastructure companies that move upward into employee productivity have a larger play in the game; productivity, reduction in future cost, lock-in to the enterprise Intranet, and hard statistics and measurement to employee communication and productivity, it’s much more than just MySpace for the Intranet.
Over the next few months, I’ll keep an eye on marketing collateral aimed at this market, let’s see how close my predictions are.
[Disclosure: Cisco is one of the 30 something clients of my employer, PodTech Network. I'm on the Advisory Board for ConnectBeam. These are my opinions only]
Last night, Robert showed his 60″ Sony High Def projection LCD while enjoying a glass of red to Shel our wives and I. Of course, Shel and I used this is a springboard to convince our wives how our lives are somehow incomplete without one. The clarity of the image is just amazing. Interesting to note that Robert has a Polk speaker setup (as do I).
We were watching Mark Cuban’s HDTV channel on Direct TV, Mark’s recently been discussing what should lead, Internet or TV. At one point the AVN footage came up from Vegas, since we were waaay to busy working at Bloghaus, it was interesting to watch from afar. Yes, really interesting. Not to worry, our wives were there to kick, pinch, slap us.
Quite a bit of Robert’s content is being recorded in High Definition, and with IPTV slowly peeking it’s beak out, I know good things will come. I’m predicting a marriage of the Internet and TV into some new type of tool that will have the benefits of all.
Of course, I teased Robert a bit about his post yesterday, I told him he had so many updates he “should have just published a wiki” so everyone could correct him.
I must add that Maryam is a wonderful hostess and cook, excellent salmon and chicken! I told her that her latest post was pretty funny. Shel brought a very nice bottle 2001 Cab over from Silver Oak winery, it was a great wine, had a smoky woodsy taste to it. The interesting thing is, he had stocked up on a few of those bottles before they became popular or expensive. This man knows potential when he sees it. We were also expecting the Citizens but they couldn’t make it, next time for sure.
Maryam, Robert, thanks for being great hosts, Shel, Paula, wonderful wine and brownies. It seems like we all run into each other quite a bit. I’ll be in Miami with Shel in two week at the WeMedia conference, we’re hosting yet another blogger dinner.
(I owe an apology to someone! I was not able to make another event, and I feel pretty bad. Sorry man, I’ll make it up to you next time!)
Update: Funny Conversation
I just ‘casually’ asked my wife:
“Since Robert has an HD, and since we do so much video at PodTech we should probally get one for home. don’t you think?”
“Tell John to get you one”
Dang, I never win, ha!
Shel Israel points me to this interesting article from Richard Edelman who is analyzing the change and removal of TV in the average consumption diet.
“The number of people watching network TV evening news is down from 60 million to 30 million in the past two decades, with viewers at an average age of 60.”
Most folks my age and younger get their news not from the TV, but from the web, word of mouth, or perhaps even radio. It’s not just TV, but Richard reflects that Subscription based content (like Cable and PPV) will increase and Ad media will diminish. The same could be true on the internet, websites that allow downloading of media will continue to explore and eventually grow.
“Some of the change is attributable to the rise of subscription media, gradually taking share from advertising supported media. The Veronis Suhler study of media forecasts that in the next decade, subscription media will grow at an average rate of 9% per year, while ad supported media will decline at 3% per year. Subscription media would include cable and satellite TV, print content behind a pay wall (NY Times Select or WSJ.com) or pay per view.”
I’m carefully watching how the TV and Internet will merge into the next generation of something new. This isn’t it but it’s a start.
I had an interesting conversation with folks over lunch about how the old Media is being pushed over the new Social Media tools. A few meager benefits include time shifting, and place shifting were the differentiators. I commented that communities are still forming around these ‘one-way’ mediums like TV shows and Movies and Radio. Seems like Yahoo gets it with their launch of Yahoo TV, let’s see if people stick around. Here’s what they launched:
“…Yahoo! TV, unveiled tonight, places a much bigger emphasis on community and letting you have your say about what’s worth getting addicted to. Bring on the social media!
There’s something so powerful about unleashing your inner Ebert and posting ratings and reviews for all to read. Yahoo! Local, Yahoo! Music, Yahoo! Movies, and similar products have all had tremendous success engaging their respective communities so thousands of people can weigh in on this movie or that song.
In the new Yahoo! TV, you’ll get a chance to rate any show or individual episode (new or in re-run) as well as write your own review. We’ve also teamed with Television Without Pity to integrate their fan forums for popular shows, so you can debate to your heart’s content which season of “Desperate Housewives” had the best hairstyles.
Seems like there’s a couple of features that will spur on interactive debates in this living breathing TV Guide:
- Ability to watch shows (not sure of how many, or how often)
- Members can rate shows using Yahoo! login.
- Read expert reviews of professional critics
- Members can write their own critic, and respond to others
- Interactive TV guide
- Supplemental show material: Behind the scenes, photos, whatever else.
- I can think of quite a few other features to integrate, there’s a whole user generated portion that’s missing from this equation, the audience can do more than just type back.
If you read the comments on this page, it doesn’t seem like folks are too happy with this new service, including Dave Winer who thinks they broke it, ouch! Thanks Steve Wilhelm for this links.