Friday, April 27, 2007

Joost's advertising wins

Its just a three month trial but still pretty cool.

From Clickz:

"Online video platform Joost has signed three-month contracts with a group of 31 big brand advertisers, including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Nike, General Motors and Visa. It will offer these marketers traditional units such as :30 mid-roll spots as well as unique formats, including a small digital overlay ad.

Ad units include still images, video spots, overlays and widgets, in addition to branded entertainment and channel sponsorships. Joost has also created an ad unit called Ad Bug, consisting of an advertiser's animated logo in a corner of the screen, similar to station ID components in cable and broadcast TV. Ad bugs will appear at various times during a given show and disappear again after a matter of seconds.

Joost is working with research firm Frank N. Magid Associates (no way!) to test new ad formats, measure user consumption habits, and assess ad effectiveness. It also has a year-long strategic partnership with Interpublic Group's Emerging Media Lab to develop and sell advertising on its platform."


IBM's mainframe for virtual worlds

IBM will build mainframes to support virtual worlds.

From 3pointD:

In concert with Brazilian game developer Hoplon, IBM will use the PlayStation3’s ultra-high-powered Cell processor to create a mainframe architecture that will provide the security, scalability and speed that are currently lacking in 3D environments — a lack that is one of the factors keeping them from becoming widely adopted.

While it probably won’t have much impact on the state of virtual worlds right off, IBM’s new infrastructure could make a big difference in the long run, by enabling much greater numbers of concurrent users in next-gen virtual worlds, and by creating more secure possibilities for commerce.

From ITH:

"It's a new era. It's the era of application-specific computing," said Bernard Meyerson, chief technologist of IBM's Systems and Technology Group.

There are already massively multiplayer games that support hundreds of thousands of simultaneous players, but the IBM system will add an unparalleled level of realism to visual interactions, Meyerson said.

From 3pointD:

"I had the chance to talk to David Gelardi, IBM’s vice president of industry solutions, who is heading up the effort.

“I would argue that the world doesn’t yet understand the promise of [virtual world] technology,” Gelardi said. “We see this technology moving into banking and retail and anything where the consumer is involved in a transaction of commerce that they would today do over the Web, online shopping, online banking. The problem is that rendering is kind of weak. We haven’t figured out how to accelerate that yet, and how to marry that to transactions.”

From a press release I can't find but is at the above 3pointd post:

"IBM intends to create an environment that can seamlessly run demanding simulations — such as massive online virtual reality environments, 3D applications for mapping, enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management, 3D virtual stores and meeting rooms, collaboration environments and new types of data repositories. It plans to achieve this goal by parceling the workload between the mainframe and the Cell processor"

From eWeek:

"The way to think about it is just look at the way the Web has evolved over time," Gelardi said. "More banking is done online. More shopping and people's hobbies are online. In that context, the next step is to offer 3-D capabilities, and what we are doing is starting with online gaming and then moving into a Web-based commercial world."

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SAP in Second Life

From 3pointD:

SAP, the German software giant, is about to open its doors officially in Second Life. Rather than going for an out-and-out island build, they have opted for a more conservative approach, opening a relatively small office on the Second Life developer island of »Silicon City«, owned by The V3 Group, who are sponsoring the ITE’07 event, that starts tomorrow (Friday, 20th April).

The work is largely that of company Second Life evangelist, Craigster Hax. Initially, he wants to provide education and information for the SAP Developer Network, a global community of It professionals. “Many can’t make conferences and meetings and this could be the bridge for that. I [also] plan to start a movie a week here showing video blogs and things like that, then start to bring the folks in to have conversations. South America seems to be hot for VoIP but we’ve not got a large amount of conferences going on there, so this could be an alternative.”

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The Street reports on NAB

From The Street, the big things that came out of this years NAB.

From the post:

1) "Apple will polish low-budget content

The new version creates fabulous-looking content and comes chock full of first-rate Hollywood effects, including smart image compositing, automated music editing, advanced sound effects and more. Effectively, Apple is offering a full-fledged HD production studio for $1,299 -- or about one-hundredth the cost of what FoxSports pays for one it is new HD sports trucks.

2) Local broadcast TV will come to your cell phone

What is new is that your local TV -- the exact feed your local broadcaster emits -- will be coming to cell phones sometime next year. Expect some neat new riffs on traditional broadcast TV with the service: Real-time traffic information for exactly where you want to go is probably my favorite.

3) HD Radio will get real

ust like cell-phone networks that made the transition from analog to digital in decades past, new digital broadcast networks will provide a full range of new services. Conditional access will allow for highly targeted radio feeds to groups as little as a few hundred. Forget KROK. You'll get YourROK."


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mobile TV advances

From Businessweek:

"Today, 5.3 million U.S. wireless subscribers pay for video--just 2.5 percent of all U.S. cell-phone users.

Using UHF signal means "we don't have to burden the 3G networks," says Gina Lombardi, president of MediaFlo USA. It also means just 0.4 percent of mobile devices sold worldwide can pick up the broadcasts.

But that number will hit 10 percent by 2011, says London-based research firm Informa Telecoms & Media--and the global mobile-TV business could be worth $31 billion by then, up from $2 billion now. That's also a boon for smaller players like Amp'd Mobile and GoTV Networks, which have launched made-for-mobile-TV production studios.

"Just a few years ago, using your wireless phone as a camera and then sending pictures to your friends was a novelty," says AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel. "But we've already learned that what people do with their cell phones is increasing exponentially."

From Businessweek:

The UHF shift comes five years after the industry poured billions into third-generation networks, assuming that near-broadband speeds would support streaming video. But now that 3G is being used mainly for wireless Internet and voice, carriers fear that adding video will lead to slow delivery and dropped calls. UHF, however, could deliver TV more cheaply than 3G without clogging the data pipes.

Qualcomm's and Nokia's competing UHF technologies will work in similar ways: Signals are broadcast from TV towers and processed by specialized phone chips. Qualcomm is spending as much as $800 million on a new network, called MediaFlo, which will interact with a proprietary system of chips and servers. The San Diego giant has acquired UHF spectrum in most major U.S. cities and expects to launch trials later this summer, rolling out nationwide service next year.

Nokia, meanwhile, is looking to sell handsets and gear based on a competing technology called DVB-H (digital video broadcasting for handhelds). To build a test network, the Finnish company is teaming up with cell-phone-tower operator Crown Castle USA. Trials are under way in Pittsburgh, though widespread deployment isn't expected until early 2007. Meanwhile, Texas Instruments is working on a mobile-TV chip called Hollywood for Nokia and others.

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Youtube revenue split

Youtube comes to the table with its rev share plan...and its pretty much like all the other ones.

From Variety:

"Content creators who upload their videos to the site will be offered the option of having short ads shown at the beginning or end, with the resulting revenues split 50-50, according to Howard Lindzon, founder of Wallstrip, a finance-oriented site that distributes videos through YouTube."

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In-game ad spends

From eMarketer:

"Globally, it's estimated that video game advertising will grow nearly 23% a year over the next five years. The main reason? Everyone is playing."

From the MIT Adblog:

"eMarketer projects that $295 million of the 2007 total will be spent on in-game advertising and that spending on advergaming (the creation of games for the purpose of promoting a brand) will reach $207 million. By 2011, the balance between the two will have shifted significantly. US spending on advergaming will climb to $344 million in 2011, but US spending on in-game advertising will climb faster, reaching a total of $625 million that year."


TV station manager

I haven't played this yet but it looks like fun.

From MIT Advertising Lab:

"TV Station Manager is an indie game of the simulation / tycoon genre that puts you in the shoes of, surprise, a TV station manager. Wonder if it can be used for training; will run it by the agency's media guys to see how accurate it is. From the game description:

"In this game, you'll take the role of a new manager, just graduated, which is appointed by an almost bankrupt TV Station, hoping that you'll be able to fix the situation and maybe even raise the TV Channel popularity."


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

3D Web

Newsweek has a big article up about the 3D web.

From "The Coming Virtual Web:"

"They suggest that before long, the Internet of the future, and the vast wealth of information and services on it, will look different: slicker, more realistic, more interactive and social than anything we experience today through the Web browser. "Three-dimensional virtual worlds will, in the near future, be pervasive interfaces for the Internet," says Bob Moore, a sociologist who studies virtual worlds at Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, the legendary Xerox (XRX) lab in Silicon Valley.

Above all, virtual worlds hold the potential to transform social interaction online: In contrast to the Web, where there's almost no assumption of a human heartbeat behind the Web page, virtual worlds are inherently social settings. "You go up to an avatar and you know there's a real person on the other end," says Joe Miller, vice-president for platform and technology development at Second Life creator Linden Lab.

"Virtual worlds will be bigger in five years for shopping than the Web," contends T. Sibley Verbeck, CEO of Electric Sheep, which helps businesses market in Second Life and other venues.

The main challenge, though, isn't technical. It's conceptual. Today's 3D interfaces are a work in progress. "They're dragging too much of the baggage of the real world into online," says Multiverse Marketing Director and Executive Producer Corey Bridges, citing virtual stores built by the likes of Circuit City (CC) and Sears (S) in Second Life."

From "The Virtual Meeting Room:"

"At the typical global corporation, 20% of employees have never met their boss in person, House says. And 3D spaces offer a level of interaction that's not possible over the phone or via videoconferencing, says Sebastien Jeanjean, head of sales and marketing at France's Tixeo, a maker of corporate virtual-world software used by customers including Raytheon. "In 2D, even if you hear and see a person, you still have a feeling of being alone," Jeanjean says. "After half an hour, it's very difficult to keep people's attention."

From "Digital Suburbia:"

"In Second Life, you're encouraged to explore an alternative universe," says Klaus. "We're trying to keep within human boundaries, and get you into that world where 'first life' isn't separate from 'second life.'"

In Klaus' virtual world, dragons, aliens, and castles are not allowed. The idea is to create a Norman Rockwell setting that is seen as stable and safe by big-brand companies that want to promote their products without worrying that the medium may be too uncontrollable or chaotic."

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Local TV: Where is the business model?

From CNET:

"Is there a place in this direct-to-consumers business model for local TV stations?

"It's a question of leverage," said Doug Wills, a former spokesman for the NAB, who is now a marketing executive for Redback Networks, which offers video-centric routers. "Virtually all the networks have announced broadband offerings in the last year. There is no question that within 10 years people will be getting high-quality video from the Web. The temptation is probably there for the networks to ask their partners to pony up more money."

Calls to CBS, ABC and NBC were not returned Monday."


Virtual Thirst: Coke in Second Life

Coke enters Second Life.

From the press release:

Mike Donnelly, Director, Global Interactive Marketing: "Put simply, we’ve invited the world to use the Second Life platform to design and prototype the ultimate Coke machine – something that delivers an innovative, engaging experience in Second Life, as defined by its community of residents. For example, it could play music from a jukebox, or display fun animation and video, or transform the user’s experience and capabilities in some positive way.

There are few restrictions, except that the more inspired and original the idea, the better. This competition is a chance for anyone with a vivid imagination to design an experience that embodies the in-world Coke Side of Life in a way that enhances their lives and the lives of others within Second Life.

The prototypes are merely thought-starters that set the optimistic tone of the Coke Side of Life and the virtually limitless possibilities of such a machine. We have been careful to seek the opinion of the Second Life community before bringing it a new experience. Our approach has been to create a program that enhances this exciting virtual environment.

We plan to continue conversing with residents throughout this process. Our goal is to enable individual creativity in pursuit of a ‘vending’ machine that can exist only in your wildest imagination. Virtual worlds make it possible for such innovations to occur, and we selected Second Life as the most conducive to this experiment."

From Millions of Us:

"It makes me so happy to see this project come to fruition. Today, in partnership with Crayon (who rock) and the Coca-Cola Company, we launched the “Virtual Thirst” campaign in Second Life. The basic idea that Coke is asking people to help them design the Coke machine of the future. One of the coolest things here is that submissions are welcomed in a wide variety of formats, from objects in Second Life to suggestions in Myspace to videos in Youtube."

From 3pointD:

"A number of companies have been coming into Second Life lately with similar initiatives, hoping to find the killer entertainment app that residents will either keep coming back to or will carry around with them and use. It’s a nice twist to ask residents themselves to design the device. And definitely a great contract for the crayonistas to have. Looks like we’ll see how refreshing the results are sometime this summer. Should be interesting."

From SLNN:

"Coke had already been experimenting with virtual worlds and creating it's own, Coke Studios which launched in 2002. The company has virtual environments in Mexico, Spain, and Hong Kong . Donnelly said Coca-Cola chose Second Life over other virtual worlds because of SL's lack of a safety net, referring to other virtual worlds as "walled garden communities." "Specifically SL is where the traffic is. Its hockey stick of growth is intriguing."

Coca-Cola consulted with an advisory panel made up of SL residents who offered tips on what to do and what not to do. The panel will also act as judges for the contest. The judges include: novelist Scott Sigler, Second Life Herald founder Peter Ludlow (Urizenus Skar in SL), audio educator Chris Hambly (Audio Zenith in SL), Dutch builder Latok Neumann (Latok Millionsofus), video podcaster Britney Mason, consumer advocate and music producer Eric Rice (Spin Martin in SL) and podcaster Lynette Young (Lynette Radio in SL) among others."

From Second Life Insider:

"Are they making a big island, and a big splash, and hoping we'll go and visit them? No. What they are doing is launching a competition (full details on their launch for an idea to make something in SL that will be the SL equivalent of the RL Coke machine.

This machine will then spread around SL, just like RL. It's phenomenally successful IRL, so why not in SL? It's also a new approach, at least for the big RL companies. No guarantees it will work, but it feels like a different idea in SL to me, and that's a good thing to see."

From New World Notes:

"The competition is... well, unusual for such a strongly branded entity as the Coca-Cola Company. They're not creating a controlled brand experience for you. They're inviting people to mix their own brand experience. I don't remember the last time a strong brand invited people to just mess about with the trademarks, if ever."

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Web advice for local TV stations

Steve Safran at Lost Remote has a little advice for local TV stations trying to "harness the power" of the web.

From the post:

"Sites are getting built by the lowest bidder. They’re being run by the cheapest employees. They’re a mess and everyone knows it. Is there any wonder TV website sales are underperforming?

You didn’t start the TV station with nothing but promos for the TV station and shows about what your anchors are doing in the community. You can do better. Start from scratch.

Ask yourself: “If I were to start a local media company today, how would it look?

Change the model. Change the way you gather and spread information, change (don’t add to) the requirements of your staff, and stop throwing away 95% of the information you gather every day. Reinvention isn’t about “spending more money.” It’s about changing the workflow and building your business around what the customer wants."

From the comments: Chump "What do they want? its becoming obvious that one areas we all need to look into live and ondemand MOBILE video. We really need to wake up to this and start delivering."

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What the future sounds like

Its a big week for David Rehr, point man for the NAB.

From the post:

"Internet radio sounds like the future. Wireless sounds like the future. High def sounds like the future. YouTube, Google, iBiquity sound like the future. What does 'free over-the-air broadcasting' sound like? I think you know."

Rehr concluded, "Here's the big picture: we need to reframe and rebrand not only those issues but perceptions about the broadcasting business itself."


Make Internet TV

Make Internet TV is another good "how to" guide for shooting video. also has a good one.

From NewTeeVee:

"Enter Make Internet TV, a newly released site from the Participatory Culture Foundation that also brought you the Miro, nee Democracy player, Broadcast Machine and other free, open-source alternatives to offerings from Microsoft, Apple and Google.

Where Make Internet TV shines is in the explanations of actual filmmaking techniques — everything from the “vlogger hold” for interviews to three point lighting, dollying and homemade steadycams to editing tips for Windows Movie Maker."


Open Mobile Video Coalition

For me the big news out of the NAB is Final Cut Studio Pro 2. But for others mobile TV is in the air.

From the article:

"Rather than ceding control of the mobile TV market to the nation’s wireless carriers, nine U.S. television broadcast groups have formed an industry alliance called the Open Mobile Video Coalition to speed the development of a mobile variant for digital broadcast TV.

Belo Corp., Fox Television Stations, Gannett Broadcasting, Gray Television, ION Media Networks, the NBC and Telemundo Television Stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Broadcasting Company all spearheaded the formation of the alliance. The group is hopeful its membership will grow in the coming weeks.

Already, LG Electronics Co. Ltd. and Harris Corp. announced their Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld technology, an in-band mobile digital television system making its debut at the NAB convention in Las Vegas. Samsung also has announced a similar technology that will allow local TV broadcasters to offer their content to mobile devices.

So far, no cellphones have been announced that support the new technologies."

That last line is the funny part.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Intel's Ultra Mobile PC

More UMPC from Intel:

"The Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) category offers consumers small, ultra-mobile devices with full PC capabilities, uncompromised Internet access, anytime connectivity, and the ability to recognize and adapt to its environment virtually anytime and anywhere.

Intel is addressing these needs by delivering low power technologies that enable a new category of small, thin, and light devices, the Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) platform. Simply put, the UMPC is the perfect PC companion. Mainly designed for content consumption, the UMPC allows users to:

  • ACCESS content and information virtually anytime, anywhere
  • COMMUNICATE via email, IM, chat, or blogging
  • ENTERTAIN themselves with videos, games, music, pictures or TV on the go
  • BE PRODUCTIVE by monitoring office apps and tools"

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UMPC in the future

Cool video from Intel:

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CBS mega-deal

More on the CBS mega-deal from Lost Remote:

"So in essense, you’ll soon be able to watch CBS shows just about everywhere online. Lost Remote reader Jeff sent us a note earlier this morning about his experiences with Joost, and his comments carry even more weight when you consider the new CBS distribution deals: “This demonstrates that for local TV, the license no longer is an exclusive franchise to print money. And for cable MSOs, this should further drive home that maybe they should have an alternative business plan to just provide a lot of bandwidth to the consumer and let them have at it.” It’s a new world, folks."

From the press release:

“CBS’s ability to partner with leading next-generation interactive platforms is the best way for CBS to evolve from a content company to an audience company,” said Quincy Smith, President, CBS Interactive. “It’s really all about the user and in building the CBS Interactive Audience Network, we are bringing our content to each unique platform of their choice. In remaining open to all online distributors and community builders - big and small - we can learn more about our existing audience, be exposed to new ones, and flexibly cater to their changing consumption habits.”

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Terry Heaton's NAB message

Terry is heading to the NAB and has three main message points.

From the post:
  1. "The key disrupter to the business of media is people, not technology. This is the key to understand all that’s taking place, because the press-public dynamic has been flip-flopped, with the public now clearly calling the shots. When we look at it as only technology, we drift down a path that won’t do much to resolve the disruption to our bottom lines. Relevancy is determined, after all, by them, not us.
  2. None of this is “all-or-nothing,” and those who paint it as such generally have a big stake in the game, usually the status quo. Broadcasting will continue and we’re not all going to die tomorrow. There certainly is an evolution underway, but let’s not get caught up in the hype of the all-or-nothing crowd.
  3. People want to know what we know and do what we do, and business models that support this will succeed in the near and long-term future. Think Gordon Borrell’s “ammunition” scenario: “The deer now have guns. What do you do when the deer have guns? Get into the ammunition business.” YouTube is the textbook example of this, a business that enables the deer to share their work with others."

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From Ad Age:

"Traffic at Anheuser-Busch's online TV network cratered in March following an already underwhelming debut in February. Bud.TV drew 152,000 unique visitors last month, 40% fewer than February's 253,000 visitors, according to numbers released today by ComScore Media Metrix.

Quantcast, a separate ratings service, said the site was the 49,303rd busiest on the web, just ahead of pornography site, and just behind, which bills itself as a "comprehensive source for sheet rubber."

Pete Blackshaw, chief marketing officer of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, which measures online buzz through tools like BlogPulse, said Bud.TV hasn't made much of a stir online. "It's generated very little discussion, even relative to other things they do like Bud ads," said Mr. Blackshaw. "It is not penetrating at the level you'd expect."


Thursday, April 12, 2007

CBS and Joost

Another big win for Joost.

From the press release:

"Through Joost, the world's first broadcast-quality Internet television service, viewers can watch CBS programs through a customizable platform with advanced television viewing features such as links that lead to more information or related websites based on the content; and a variety of plug-in applications, such as instant messaging, message boards and news tickers.

"Joost is a long-term solution for content owners seeking to expand their audiences in the online world. A state-of-the-art global distribution platform, Joost is the perfect place for CBS to offer its channels, brands and premium programming to online audiences," said Yvette Alberdingkthijm, executive vice president of content strategy and acquisition for Joost. "By working with Joost, CBS can get closer to its audiences while retaining maximum programming flexibility and control over its channels."

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Mobile TV stats

From In-stat:

“Over the next 10 years, as more spectrum is made available, in many cases when analog TV signals are shut off, more mobile TV broadcast services will launch,” says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. “Another issue limiting the market today is the small number of mobile TV broadcast enabled handsets available in many markets.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
  • Mobile TV broadcast subscribers will reach 125 million worldwide in 2011.
  • Asia continued to have the greatest number of mobile TV broadcast subscribers through 2006.
  • Mobile TV broadcast standards are proliferating, with the most recent being those suggested for the ATSC standard."


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Local TV sites lagging

The WSJ covers a topic everyone already knows. Local TV sites are so far behind that they may not catch up, ever.

From the WSJ:

"While newspapers have had success building heavily trafficked Web sites, "people still don't automatically think to visit a TV-station Web site," says Brent Magid, chief executive officer of media consultancy Frank Magid Associates Inc. "Stations need to do something online to get noticed."

Most local broadcasters, though, are coming late to the party. One key measure of how far they are lagging on the Internet: Newspaper sales of local online video ads totaled $81 million in 2006, compared with a relatively paltry $32 million for TV stations, according to research firm Borrell Associates Inc.

But prompting station executives to shift to an "always on" mentality -- breaking news on the Web around the clock -- has been hard, says Jonathan Leess, president of CBS Stations Digital Media Group. "They needed to understand that this is a threat," he says. "If they continued with a holding-back approach it will severely limit their growth."

To get a feel for just how f*cked they are check out this gem from Magid Associates' "Internet Best Practices":

That's right folks, the guys that are leading the local TV online charge haven't done an "Internet Best Practices" update since Jan 2003. The broken image is icing on the cake.


Hearst partners with Brightcove

A big day for Brightcove.

From the press release:

"Video is a crucial piece to an online news and information presence today," said Lincoln Millstein, senior vice president & director of Digital Media for Hearst Newspapers. "We are excited to roll out Internet video channels and vlogs using Brightcove on our newspapers' Web sites and across the Web. The video will enhance offline content and will also build an entire experience and community around this new content."

"Hearst Newspapers includes some of the most respected and widely read publications in the news business today," said Jeremy Allaire, chairman and chief executive officer, Brightcove. "We are excited to be working with Hearst to engage readers with new video offerings and encourage community involvement. The Internet video channels will not only expand the reach of individual newspaper brands, but will also foster new revenue opportunities through online advertising."

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Steve Rubel: Open TV

From an interview on jemmille:

" Can you give the readers a taste of what is coming up next in the blogsphere? Are there any new trends or “must have” tech that you see on the blogging horizon?

Steve Rubel: The blogosphere is maturing. It’s out of beta. So, I am looking out on the horizon. One of the things I am most excited about is Open TV.

For years only the big media could afford to create content for television. The distribution costs were (and still largely are) too high. However, millions of people are going to add one or more set-top boxes.

These will pipe in content from off the Internet and not just from the pros. I am already watching 720p podcasts from off the Internet on my Apple TV. I also rent movies on on my Xbox 360. (Xbox is a client). Magical things will happen when people realize they can get on TV without going on American Idol. We need more users first, then the content will be there."

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Meredith launched today in the latest round of big media companies playing catch up.

From the press release:

"Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP), one of America's leading media and marketing companies, announced today the launch of, its first ever broadband network. offers viewers original video content and programming based on the assets from Meredith's extensive portfolio of magazines, television stations, books, websites, and live events, according to Meredith Publishing Group President Jack Griffin and Meredith Broadcasting Group President Paul Karpowicz.

"One of the great strengths of Meredith is our rich and diverse assets," says Griffin. "We reach over 75 million women through our media properties, and have a unique understanding of how to deliver service based information to them in a highly engaging way essential in today's fast paced 360° media environment." further strengthens Meredith's ability to expand its reach with younger women, according to Meredith President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Lacy.

"One of our key strategies is to find new ways to reach the next generation of Meredith consumers -- the daughters of Baby Boomer women," says Lacy. "The creation of -- paired with the re-launch of -- significantly increases our ability to connect younger women with our trusted brands. It also enables us to expand our digital assets and offerings to marketers eager to reach the wide band of women we serve."

From Lost Remote:

"The site is comprised of original programming — shot by Meredith’s production arm in the company’s own studios — featuring experts from the group’s magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal. video will also be incorporated into, which is relaunching later this month. And it’s all powered by Brightcove.

A smart move for Meredith, if you ask me, especially when you consider the distribution and revenue opportunities."

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Mobile Marketing $3Billon by Q1 '08: Do what?

3 billion by Q1 '08 seems like a stretch considering where mobile advertising is now.

From the press release:

"The world market for mobile marketing and advertising is expected to be worth about $3 billion by the end of 2007, according to a recent study from ABI Research. By 2011, the value of this market will reach $19 billion, including mobile search and video advertising. ABI Research also expects some of the highest levels of spending to come in the broadcast mobile video space. By 2011, it will surpass SMS as a source of mobile marketing spending, due in part to mobile broadcast networks' presence in all major markets. In 2011, ABI Research expects spending for broadcast mobile video advertising alone to reach $9 billion.

"Mobile advertising and marketing is a risky, albeit enticing business," says principal analyst Judith Rosall. "Unlike the PC, a mobile device offers a uniquely personalized communications channel. Carriers worldwide have quite a bit of information about their end-users: name, sex, age, geographical location. And depending on the handset and plan their users have purchased, the carriers probably also know something about their economic status and credit record. But they don't like to release this information to third parties because they want to protect and control their customers."


NAB Fastroad: Do what?

I am sensing a theme today. With the NAB just around the corner expect a number of whaa??? moments. Getting an early start David Rehr, NAB CEO and Dennis Wharton, NAB spokesman outline NAB Fastroad (Flexible Advanced Services for Television and Radio On All Devices).

From Mediaweek:

“As we move into the digital era, the most successful local broadcasters will be those who continue serving the core audience in their local community while aggressively embracing new technologies to expand the reach of their high-value content,” said David Rehr, president and CEO of the NAB.

“We want to make sure broadcasting is on every gadget and device that is out there,” said Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the NAB.

From Lost Remote:

"Nice sentiment, but a terribly wrongheaded use of resources. The market gets to decide demand - not the NAB.

The NAB should be focusing its efforts helping broadcasters adjust to the realities of the new media marketplace - not getting the new media marketplace to adjust to its old rules.

Convincing everyone who makes MP3 players to include the functionality that is in your interest to save is not going to happen.

This makes as little sense as insisting that cable boxes also come with over-the-air tuners. The NAB should be focusing its tech efforts on helping its constituents think forward - come up with clever new ways for stations to become creative local media outlets regardless of their platform. This plan will get applause at next week’s convention - and will result in little else."

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ATSC-M/H: Do what?

I read this yesterday but just couldn't believe it. But its still here today so I guess I will log it. The ATSC (Advance Television Systems Committee) announced it would come up with a standard for mobile TV signal distribution.

From the press release:

"The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has launched the process to develop a standard that will enable broadcasters to deliver television content and data to mobile and handheld devices via their DTV broadcast signal.

“The ATSC-M/H Standard will facilitate broadcasters’ use of their DTV broadcast channels to provide new services directly to small hand-held receivers, laptop computers and vehicles moving at a high rate of speed,” said ATSC President Mark Richer. “ATSC-M/H will be backwards compatible, allowing operation of existing ATSC services in the same RF channel without an adverse impact on existing receiving equipment.” Broadcasters will be able to allocate a portion of their 19.39 Mbps/8-VSB signal to mobile and handheld while continuing to transmit services such as HDTV."

If you are wondering who the ATSC is, they came up with the digital TV standard that has taken 20 years to almost make it to market.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Media Post reviews Joost

Joost is going to be so huge. Highlights from the article:

“We like to think of ourselves as an aggregator,” adds Yvette Alberdingk Thijm, executive vice president of content strategy and acquisition for Joost. “The business model is very simple. It provides [content owners] with another form of distribution.”

Joost’s Alberdingk Thijm offers only that future deals might be different for different companies. “The content owners have the final say,” she notes, adding that numerous combinations of advertising-based deals could be struck. “The content owners can sell the time and package it with their other media — or we can sell it. We have a global sales team in place.”

Joost “will be direct competition with cable and satellite,” says one network executive. “We have tremendous existing businesses with those companies — representing billions of dollars.”

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CNET reviews VCast

From the review:


The good: Verizon Wireless V Cast Mobile TV offers excellent video quality and near-instantaneous channel switching.

The bad: Verizon Wireless V Cast Mobile TV has limited network simulcast options.

The bottom line: Verizon Wireless brings mobile entertainment to a new level with its new V Cast Mobile TV, but more simulcast programming would make it a truly rich experience.

One of Mobile TV's big draws is that it delivers live TV broadcasts rather than streaming video. That means true 30-frames-per-second transmission (EV-DO streaming services cap out at 15fps) and fantastic, crystal-clear video quality that rivals regular broadcast TV. We saw no lag between audio and video, and the video itself was crisp and vibrant."

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Friday, April 06, 2007

The death and rebirth of television

Wired has a multi-part story on television's history and potential future.

From "The TV is Dead. Long live the TV:"

"Traditional TV won't be here in seven to 10 years," says Kim Moses, co-producer of CBS' popular Ghost Whisperer, who has just launched a short-form version of her own show online. "It's changing so fast that I don't know if it's even going to be that long."

"What's really happened is the disintegration of the traditional programming supply chain," says Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for the NPD Group. "TV has become more of a portal into a wide range of video sources than an integrated device and service."

"We have more choice now, and more creative outlets," says Jeff Jarvis, a former critic for TV Guide and creator of Entertainment Weekly magazine, who now writes the influential new media blog Buzz Machine. "That yields better TV."

"The cost of producing a good show has come down so far that someone can produce a good sitcom out of a living room, or a good drama out of the garage," says Dina Kaplan, chief operating officer of, which hosts independent video programming. "The gatekeepers of an NBC or CBS will have a lot less power in five years than they have now."

"Judging our new television based on what is here today is foolhardy," says Jarvis. "In five years it will be populated by many more niches, be much more open, and be far more interactive. We'll see a vast, wonderful explosion of talent."

From "Living Room Entertainment - in the Car:"

"BMW is taking the TV out of the living room and onto the road with a new multimedia entertainment system that combines all the elements of a TiVo crossed with an Apple TV, a satellite box and a multimedia cell phone.

Equipped with a 20-GB hard drive mounted behind the dashboard, the entertainment system can sync movies and TV shows from a home computer while the car is parked in the garage.

On the road, content can be downloaded or recorded for later viewing (or listening) via a satellite link or a cell-phone network, just like a mobile TiVo, or a phone that can buy songs or ringtones wirelessly.

"We said, 'Let's think about a telematics component that extends the entertainment experience,'" said Hans-Jörg Vögel, who heads the BMW research team for the project.

Vögel said BMW plans to roll out new multimedia options incrementally: This year it's iPod connectivity; next year it might be Wi-Fi synchronization with a home computer.

"We don't want to reinvent any podcasting models, but could give you access to the podcasts in a flexible and easy way inside the car with your existing subscriptions," Vögel said. "You car wakes up at 5 a.m., goes online for 10 to 15 minutes and then synchronizes all of the content you would ever need for that day of driving."

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Eric Kintz's 10 problems with Second LIfe

Eric is a big time marketing guy at HP. He makes some good points about Second Life.

From the post:

"I really believe that Second Life is another example of a web 2.0 property that marketers should explore and understand. It opens up a window into the future of 3D web, but I still need to be convinced about broader marketing activities and here is why:
  1. The technology is still too complex
  2. The model is not yet scaleable
  3. The subscriber statistics are misleading
  4. The model’s scaleability is further threatened by a corporate IT backlash.
  5. The content is primarily adult oriented
  6. Brands are underestimating the investments required
  7. Brands are not staying true to the Second Life values
  8. Second Life experiences are not integrated with the overall brand experience
  9. Potential revenues and profits are limited
  10. I barely have time for my first life……"
From the comments: Prokofy

"#7. Brands are not staying true to the Second Life values. Some companies have really flat-footed it and disrupted the labour force, the events calendar, the media coverage and indeed that has backlashed on them.

I agree that some brands' *presentation* would be utterly inappropriate; nobody can drink Coke in a virtual world, you can't drink. That doesn't mean Coke couldn't sponsor hockey games, ballet, clubs, live music, architecture just as it does in RL.

The companies need to support the environment and the experience so that avatars begin to associate the brand with their virtual experience, not be literalist about pushing a discrete product into their little avatar hands."


State of the Live Web: Technorati

Technorati has its newly named report out.

From the post:

"In summary:
  • 70 million weblogs
  • About 120,000 new weblogs each day, or...
  • 1.4 new blogs every second
  • 3000-7000 new splogs (fake, or spam blogs) created every day
  • Peak of 11,000 splogs per day last December
  • 1.5 million posts per day, or...
  • 17 posts per second
  • Growing from 35 to 75 million blogs took 320 days
  • 22 blogs among the top 100 blogs among the top 100 sources linked to in Q4 2006 - up from 12 in the prior quarter
  • Japanese the #1 blogging language at 37%
  • English second at 33%
  • Chinese third at 8%
  • Italian fourth at 3%
  • Farsi a newcomer in the top 10 at 1%
  • English the most even in postings around-the-clock
  • Tracking 230 million posts with tags or categories
  • 35% of all February 2007 posts used tags
  • 2.5 million blogs posted at least one tagged post in February"
Steve Rubel notes:

"The Technorati data provides all the usual. However, this nugget is key: blog posts per day, the most critical measure as it relates to blogging, slid. Clearly people are publishing in other places and it's taking their time away from blogs. The overall impact of Web 2.0 is healthy, but blogging has matured and it's peaked - just as we and others have suspected."


Why marketing in Second Life doesn't work (right now)

James at GigaOm has a great article about the lack of interest Second Life residence have for marketing in world.

From the post:

"Teleporting is to SL Advertising What the Channel Clicker is to TV Ads

The standard means of travel in SL is point-to-point teleportation, near-instantaneous transit from one x,y,z location to another. (Though it gets more press, Superman-esque flying is mostly used in short, localized bursts to get around obstacles.) P2P teleporting renders billboards and most other location-based advertising useless, and in any case, most SL marketers buy and develop on private virtual islands, where they can fully control the branding experience.

Death by Green Dots (or lack thereof)

Any noticeable clump of green dots (people on the map: ed) attracts more dots, and as those grow, more follow– a feedback loop colloquially known as “the green dot effect”. Second Life’s most successful entrepreneurs (who’ve proven far more agile and inventive then most of their real world counterparts) sustain this flurry of dots by holding constant events, giveaways, and games, and even go so far to pay Residents to visit. Amazingly, corporate marketers have been slow to replicate these homegrown strategies. (Surely several interns can host regular activities at their company’s SL site? Has to beat photocopying and bagel runs.)

A Failure of Imagination

Fashion companies have it even harder. A thriving homegrown industry of avatar clothing design (free of production costs and overseas mass production) already exists, largely ruled by housewives with astounding talent and copious amounts of time, and since the designers are popular personalities in Second Life (whose avatars become their brand), they enjoy– and frankly deserve– the home team advantage."

And the big take-a-way:

"Faced with such talented competition, smart marketers should concede defeat, and hire these college kids and housewives to create concept designs and prototypes that re-imagine their brands merged to existing SL-based brands which have already proved themselves in a world of infinite possibility."


Geek Squad in Second Life

From Yahoo News:

"Best Buy Co. Inc. plans to open Geek Squad Island, a spot in "Second Life" where its Geek Squad technical support workers will offer free computer advice.

The virtual world will have regular office hours (6 p.m. to 3 a.m. EDT, seven days a week). The online characters will wear white, short-sleeve button-down shirts, black pants and, of course, a badge.

Best Buy said many of its Geek Squad agents already were a part of "Second Life," a virtual 3-D world where people can gather and interact."

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Virtual World Highlights

James at GigaGames has some highlights from the Virtual World Conference last week.

From the post:

"It’s 1995 all over again. The conference attracted a capacity crowd of business executives, but judging by a scabrous report from longtime metaverse gadfly Peter Ludlow, a lot of them showed up out of sheer panic that their company was in danger of being left behind by what’s supposed to be The Next Big Thing in Web 2.0.

“You can feel the poplin-filtered sweat of middle-aged anxiety. You know, that anxiety you feel when you get the vague sense that the kidz are passing you by – that you won’t catch this wave and you’ll be left bobbing offshore…” Reminds me of what happened after Netscape’s IPO."

From Urizenus Sklar:

"I run into Jerry again, who has already figured out that the future is not taking place in the auditorium but in the back room deal cutting and gossip sessions. He clues me in to the coffee room. This saves my life. I can be here and not actually go to any talks.

I grab a seat next to Clickable Culture’s Tony Walsh. He is busy blogging for the 10 Canadians that read his blog. Given the gravity of that responsibility he has no time to talk to me.

But then I notice that Millions of Us Dear Leader Reuben (ex-Linden) Steiger is sitting next to me staring vacantly at the video feed of the conference.

Reuben: “Much more of this and I’m going to slit my throat.”

Uri: “Can I help?"


LG & Harris: Mobile TV platform

An interesting development from MocoNews today:

"LG Electronics and Harris Corporation announced that they are launching a new in-band DTV technology called MPH, which stands for Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld. It is intended to allow broadcasters to send high definition signals to fixed devices and standard signals to smaller handheld receivers, and involves an upgrade to the broadcast towers of between $100,000 to $500,000 per tower.

Jay Adrick, vice president of broadcast technology at Harris Corporation, got back to me to clarify this. "The MPH system will be directed to a wide variety of devices such as mobile auto receivers, PDA’s, lap top computers, dedicated receiving devices and cell phones," he said. "The station’s business model will determine their focus on devices."

From Daily Wireless:

"It would theoretically allow DTV broadcasters to beam signals to set-top-boxes in the home and mobile devices simultaneously from the same transmitting antenna (just like in Europe). Cellphone users would get vanilla SD content without a new transmitter (unlike Qualcomm’s MediaFLO). Backward compatibility with the existing ATSC 8-VSB transmission and receiving equipment would also keep those ATSC royalties coming to LG (Zenith).

Samsung has another approach to mobile television, called A-VSB (Advanced-Vestigial Side-Band). A-VSB, like DVB-H and Qualcomm’s MediaFLO uses time division multiplexing to allow the receiver to turn on, grab a big chunk of data, and then go to sleep. It is a hardened, but largely duplicative of the existing 8-VSB modulated digital broadcast."

From Business Week:

"Two companies from Korea, land of the wireless future, are bringing technology to the U.S. that will allow television stations to bypass wireless carriers altogether and deliver programs directly to mobile phones. The latest development on this front came on Apr. 3 when LG Electronics, in partnership with Harris Corp. (HRS), unveiled new, inexpensive technology that allows stations to zip local news and other video content to phones, portable video players, and in-car entertainment systems within a 45-mile radius.

"We believe that mobile TV is really the next killer application for broadcasters," says Brandon Burgess, president and CEO of ION Media Networks, which is participating in the negotiations. "There are a lot of broadcasters that are of the same mind."

With MPH technology, each TV station will be able to broadcast either three high-definition or six standard-definition mobile-TV channels, says Adrick. A typical U.S. city has five or six stations operating in it. So if each of the stations carries six mobile-TV channels, locals will be able to choose among as many as 36 channels total. In comparison, MediaFlo offers two dozen channels. Adrick says the MPH technology could also, in a few years, incorporate video-on-demand functionality."

From Harris:

"The MPH system is a multiple-stream approach, with the main service stream for existing DTV and HDTV services, and the MPH stream for one or more mobile, pedestrian and/or handheld services. Key attributes of the MPH system include:
  • Backward compatibility with the existing ATSC 8-VSB transmission and receiving equipment;
  • Capability to receive broadcast signals at high (mobile) speed with a single antenna;
  • Use of practical, small handheld receivers without the need for multiple antennas;
  • Power savings in handheld receivers;
  • Flexibility in both data rates and robustness;
  • Data-rate efficiency, and;
  • Use of advanced video and audio coding in the MPH™ stream.
The MPH system has the additional advantage for broadcasters of involving neither outside service providers nor spectrum-pooling arrangements."

From Reuters:

"The companies will demonstrate the technology for the first time at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas later this month.

LG expects to have chips available later this year, Taylor said. Device makers would also need to agree to support the technology, but the type of devices used would depend on broadcasters' plans he said."

From RCR Wireless:

"It’s too soon to say whether this will affect the wireless industry’s recent foray into broadcast mobile television. MPHT enables local broadcasters to expand on the capability of their existing facilities for broadcasting TV signals by delivering that same signal to handheld devices, such as battery-operated TV sets or TV screens installed in the headrests of vehicles.

John Taylor, vice president of public affairs at LG Electronics Co. Ltd., said the new technology is “totally unrelated to anything cellphone” and is “not a mobile phone cellular solution.”

Taylor said “this is a new area for broadcasters” who are “looking for ways to reach more eyeballs with their signals.” He said the mobile solution for broadcasters has been a glaring missing piece of the puzzle. “We need this different kind of transmission technology,” he said. “This is really local, this is the ability to deliver local weather reports, local news.”

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I don't even know...locking up...

From the post:

“KEWL delivers compelling visuals and editorial and is the first music-focused magazine geared specifically to tweens,” commented Mike Bundlie, the executive director of KEWL and the head of interactive at DIC.

“KEWL will be an ideal platform for advertisers seeking to reach this unique audience, and we are thrilled with the enthusiastic reception it has received from advertisers such as Bonne Bell, Skechers and Proactiv, and from promotional partners like ABC, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros.”

I mean, you're kidding right? April fools?