Thursday, May 24, 2007

Generate's business plan

Generate, a management and production company founded in LA by Jordan Levin, Pete Aronson, Mike Karz, Kara Walker and Dave Rath, has a really great business plan. And as Miles Davis said, if anyone wants to keep creating they have to be about change.

Head dude, Jordan Levin, recently said, "We're in a transformative media age. We're seeing the vanishing of mass media. Mass media is being replaced by customized, targeted media...The old adage 'adapt or die' has never been more pressing."

Couldn't agree more - and thanks for all of those groovy charts!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

CNN, IBS and free Pipeline

In a major series of moves CNN announced a ownership interest in IBS, a content sharing deal with 70 TV station and the end of Pipeline as a paid service.

From Lost Remote:

"The site is expanding into local news with a deal with Internet Broadcasting to post stories from 70 of IB’s local TV websites, reports the WSJ. In exchange, CNN is taking a minority position in the company, and IB affiliates can post CNN stories. NBC-owned sites are not included in the deal, as they’re pursuing a similar track with (see our earlier story).

CNN says the arrangement is designed to drive up traffic for both partners. Also, this summer is planning on rolling out a redesigned site with all of its video available for free — a fundamental shift away from CNN Pipeline’s subscription model — and local video could be included."

From the comments:

" Big win..tons more content, bigger footprint for sales. Pulled a fast one on the little guys here, aided and abetted by IBS (my guess how this came together).

IBS: Winner…mainly due to bigger footprint for sales/chance to participate in larger network packages.

IBS’ Stations: Short-term…boost to traffic and revenue (albeit low-CPM). Long term, dumb…dumb, dumb, dumb. Feeding the beast - partnering/banding together for scale is not a bad idea, but CNN is the wrong partner. Access to national content for stations isn’t a bad thing, but national content is available from lots of sources to put on local sites, and in any event not really what local audiences are looking for on local TV sites. And if they can’t ultimately generate more money via local sales, they aren’t trying hard enough."

"Locals need to focus on creating local content, not on bringing in more content people can get elsewhere, especially from a big-name news site."

"Update: I just spoke to someone who knows the details of this deal. It is indeed a link-back-and-forth arrangement. Sort of a preferred aggregation approach.

This suddenly became a much better deal for the station sites."

From Lost Remote:

"Pipeline will be free beginning next month, and plans to repackage all of its video offerings (likely dumping the Pipeline brand) by July 1st.

To clarify the CNN-IB deal — which was the source of a lot of discussion earlier — a source tells Lost Remote that will link directly to IB local stories and vice-versa. In effect, it’s a preferred aggregation approach that’s designed to boost unique users for both partners. IB stories will be linked on on their merits, which will appear on’s home page and U.S. and weather sections.

IB will sell banner ad packages in select inventory and IB inventory, according to Joe Dugan, SVP CNN Digital Ad Sales. “Both companies will continue to work with our respective clients and we will work closely with IB to avoid sales conflicts when contacting new clients. We see this relationship as an extension of our sales team,” Dugan said."

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The WSJ is reporting (to subscribers only) that the writing is on the wall for

From NewTeeVee:

"During an investor conference call yesterday, Chief Executive August Busch IV said Bud.TV will “probably fade.” Data show the number of unique visitors to the site in March dropped 40% to 152,000 from the month earlier, according to comScore. Traffic to the site in April was so low it didn’t meet the threshold for measurability, the tracking service said.

NewTeeVeesters Jackson and Steve had previously issued only slightly premature eulogies for Bud.TV, saying the site was doomed by its age-verification registration process, poor design, and lack of embeds. They differed in their opinions of the site’s videos, with Jackson calling them “forcibly viral by committee” and Steve saying “some of the content is pretty good.”

Karina took a special interest in the original Bud.TV drama Afterworld, which has since changed its distribution strategy to be more around its own site and YouTube.

Bud.TV had debuted with a gigantic write-up in the New York Times Magazine, which called it “the most ambitious and costly effort to date of a marketer creating Web content tailored to its own specifications.” That was less than four months ago."


Coke on Admob

Coke is working with Admob to promote its Bottle Films.

From the press release:

"As noted in study recently released by Tribilis, having an effective mobile “landing page” is a critical link in any mobile advertising campaign. (Note: the “landing page” is the page of a site that a customer is directed to after they have clicked on a text or banner ad. For more about mobile landing pages, read the MobiAD article).

The new web- based tools from Admob will assist their clients to build an effective landing page where they can direct the responses to the ads that are shown. This project with Coke is a beta test of the tools, prior to a full scale launch scheduled for later this spring.

A consumer who responds by clicking on the ad is brought to a Coca Cola landing page (see example at left).

On the landing page they are offered the chance to view one of the “Bottle Film” short videos. These videos have been used previously in Coke’s online ads, and this is the first time they are available on mobile (some examples of “Bottle Films” can be seen below).

There is also have the possibility to download the video to their phone so they can watch it again later or show it to a friend without additional download time or charges.

Finally, the truly “viral” part is that they can also directly share the video with their friends by sending it via MMS."

From Mobile Entertainment:

"Coca-Cola Inc is using AdMob’s click-to-video mobile ad technology to reach subscribers in more than 160 countries.

The ads direct mobile web browsers to a Coke landing page where they can view a ‘Bottle Films’ short film. They include both graphical and text elements and use AdMob’s technology to target specific handsets with video capabilities.

“Coke is eager to reach its customers on the mobile phone as it is a highly personal device,” said Tom Daly, group manager of strategy and planning for Coca-Cola. “The AdMob Marketplace made it easy for us to engage our customers on carriers and handsets worldwide, using rich content from Coke’s Bottle Films.”

From Promo:

"Throughout Coke's history, we have seen people use the brand, its icons and heritage as a creative source," said Marc Mathieu, senior VP-global core brands, The Coca-Cola Co., in a statement. "In the 60's, it was Andy Warhol, today it's people all over the world on the internet developing their own interpretations of the brand. We believe the independent creative process is a vital part of our heritage. With this site we want to give a further opportunity for these imaginative minds to be part of our creative process."

"The site will differentiate Coca-Cola from traditional company sites in that it will consist primarily of user-generated content," said Tim Kopp, VP-global interactive marketing for the Coca-Cola Co. "The company plans to populate the site by users rather than by agencies."

From TGAS:

"The brief for these animated spots was 'Romance the product - show that Coke is happiness in a bottle.'"

TGAS also has links to the spots and the agencies that created them.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

IBM staffs Second Life

IBM is set to staff a sales center in Second Life.

From eightbar:

"Virtual worlds are about connecting people. Kevin has just posted a video about the IBM branch office in Second Life.

The key to this is that it is staffed. When customers need something they get patched into a member of the IBM team. More details to come, but for now this video is great (IMHO)"

From IT Business CA:

"The new virtual business centre would function as a gathering place, according to Lee Dierdorff, IBM's vice-president of Web strategy and enablement. “IBM salespeople, clients, and partners can meet, learn, and collaborate, and conduct business,” he said. “It would be staffed by real salespeople -- not kiosks or robots.”

The virtual business centre would feature some of these Second Life denizens. It will be managed and staffed by 30 to 40 on-call workers from within the sales and distribution unit, along with client reps, sales specialists, and business and technology support personnel. All would be volunteering in the centre on top of their day jobs; the centre would be fully staffed during North American, Latin American, and European time-zones.

Merely duplicating corporate headquarters in Second Life is insufficient, according to Dierdorff, who said that IBM thinks the “inherently social” aspect of Second Life is the key to a successful implementation of this new business centre."

Monday, May 21, 2007

Anshe Chung launches inter-world financial market

Lot's of financial news in the metaverses lately. And now, predictably, here comes a new service by virtual baroness, Anshe Chung.

From 3pointd:

"Virtual entrepreneur Anshe Chung will launch a virtual world-spanning financial market in early June, according to a news release on the Anshe Chung Studios site. The service will “allow direct capital flow and investment across virtual world boundaries,” and will link the markets of Second Life, Entropia Universe and IMVU. Anshe Chung Studios — which is run by German citizens Ailin and Guntram Graef — will provide “a virtual financial market, financial products and a set of services” linking the three worlds.

“We believe that allowing residents in a virtual world, no matter which one they have chosen to live in, to easily diversify their portfolio of virtual investments into other virtual worlds is going to lead to a paradigm shift,” the press release reads. “At ACS we are convinced that once capital is flowing freely, people, goods and services will follow and eventually we will see incentive and pressure for the emergence of open tools and standards. It is our vision that one day even traveling across virtual worlds and taking your belongings with you should become as easy as a mouseclick.”

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Citysearch local video

More trouble for local broadcasters.

From the press release:

"Video on Citysearch is the first of many enhancements that our audience can expect to see from us this year," said Jay Herratti, President of Citysearch. "Leveraging our trusted content, we will continue to introduce new features designed to provide consumers with the best local experience on the web."

Video on Citysearch gives users the opportunity to experience the ambiance and meet the owners of businesses before visiting. Citysearch tapped Internet video company, TurnHere to create the videos.

"A great local experience is about providing consumers with the most relevant information," said Scott Morrow, Executive Vice President, Product and Marketing, Citysearch. "Whether they're searching for a restaurant, spa or boutique shop, Video on Citysearch, coupled with our trusted information, arms users with the ability to make more informed, confident decisions about where to spend their time and money."

From MediaPost:

According to a study by Borrell Associates, video is expected to dominate almost 35% of local online ad spending within five years.

With Video on Citysearch, a reported 13.9 million users will now find short clips featuring business owners, employees, and customer reviews alongside the traditional text-based listings."

From Lost Remote:

"CitySearch has unveiled a new set of designs across its network of city sites, and one of the new features should be of grave concern for local TV stations. In a deal with TurnHere, CitySearch will start posting video of local restaurants, spas, boutiques and other local businesses.

“Video on Citysearch, coupled with our trusted information, arms users with the ability to make more informed, confident decisions about where to spend their time and money,” said Scott Morrow, EVP at Citysearch.

Truthfully folks, local broadcasters should’ve already owned this space. Now we’re going to get beat."

From Terry Heaton:

"While we're busy arguing for the value of our news content, internet pureplays like Citysearch are growing revenue (at our expense), because they understand the local web better than we do.

This, for example, is why I've written for years that local media companies would be better off banding together to create local information portals (that each could monetize) rather than letting outsiders come in through the back door. We'll never do this, of course, but the point is that this is a very real threat to our business wellbeing.

In the end, it's all about money, local money."

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Joost raises $45M

Joost raised $45m from a select group of investors.


"We've got the product out there. Now it's all about accelerating and expanding the business," he said. "This funding round is all about accelerating everything."

Until now, Joost has been funded personally by its founders, who invested part of their proceeds from selling Skype to Ebay for $2.6bn in 2005. By the time of last week's launch, it had signed up "a few hundred thousand" people to test a beta version of the service, which was originally codenamed the Venice Project.

"The premise and the promise of Joost are very intriguing," said Roelof Botha, general partner at Sequoia. "It is rare to come across a business that has the potential to transform an industry in quite the way Joost has."

From GigaOM:

"While Index’s Danny Rimer and Joost co-founders go back a long way, aka Skype, CBS and Viacom are just ensuring that they get their pay-off both ways - from eventual sale of Joost and advertising on their content - for helping Joost get some traction. Ka-shing, is also an old friend - his Tom Online got Skype into China, helped grow the traffic and subscribers by millions, that led to eventual payoff pitch - sale to eBay.

What is even more interesting, Sequoia - the house that funded legendary companies like Cisco Systems, Yahoo and Google - being part of the syndicate that was “selected.” Did anyone else feel the earth move?"

From Index:

Danny Rimer, general partner of Index Ventures said, "We are excited to be working with Niklas and Janus once again as we see the same ground-breaking potential in Joost that we saw in Skype. By leveraging proven P2P architecture and assembling a world class management team, they have made a powerful idea simple and brought new services to market in record time. Our investment in Joost signals Index Ventures continued commitment to investing in impactful technologies."


Friday, May 04, 2007


Lost Remote points to the soft launch of by WCAU.

From Lost Remote:

"Kudos to NBCU for taking a fresh approach to attracting younger users who increasingly don’t watch local TV news or visit local TV websites. Also, kudos for burying the NBC brand on the site — you have to drill down into the terms of service or click on the weather link at the top of the site to figure out the WCAU association."

How's this for a non-TV station stuck in the late nineties design?

Check out this non-TV website navigation:


Mobile applications will generate $66B in revenue

And you thought online games were on fire. Mobile applications will generate $66B in carrier revenue over the next five years.

From Daily Wireless:

"Mobile enterprise applications will generate more than $66 billion in carrier revenue over the next five years, according to the latest report of Insight Research Group titled “The Mobile Workforce and Enterprise Applications 2007-2012“.

By the end of 2007, service revenues generated by mobile applications traversing wired and wireless networks in the US will reach just over $9 billion; by 2012, the value of services revenue supporting those applications is forecast to grow to nearly $13 billion, according to the study."


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Online game market $13B by 2011

DFC Intelligence has release a report stating that the online game market will reach $13B by 2011.

From the press release:

"According to a new report from DFC Intelligence the worldwide online game market is forecasted to grow from $3.4 billion in 2005 to over $13 billion in 2011. This increase is being driven by the increase in broadband households, higher PC penetration and more connected console video game systems.

This is leading to a growing number of consumer subscription services, the emergence of online digital distribution and increasing acceptance of games as an advertising mechanism. During this time period North America is expected to challenge current market leader Asia as the leading region for online games.

The report forecasts that digital distribution will become a very big part of online connectivity. This is more of a retail model with a focus on paying for, not necessarily playing, games online. Furthermore, it can work with the existing retail structure via such mechanisms as consumers buying retail cards that allow for online digital distribution.

“Digital distribution and virtual item sales have started to do very well in certain Asian markets and these distribution models are expected to start having increased success on an international basis,” says DFC analyst Alexis Madrigal."


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

NBA in Second Life

From the press release:

"Bringing the NBA to the virtual world provides us with a new and innovative platform to reach our fans and the millions of residents in Second Life,” said Stern. “The NBA Headquarters creates an interactive worldwide community where fans can come together, engage with our game, and most importantly, share in their passion for the NBA.”

"The NBA is a sports innovator, being the first professional sports league to unveil a comprehensive headquarters in a virtual world,” said Sibley Verbeck, CEO, The Electric Sheep Company. “The NBA is engaging its fan community at a whole new level, and bringing fans together from around the world.”

The NBA Headquarters will feature branding by existing NBA partners T-Mobile, Toyota and Cisco, along with commercials highlighted in the broadband content from television partners ABC, ESPN and TNT."

From MediaWeek:

"The NBA has launched an elaborate series of interactive milieus in the popular online virtual world Second Life, including a 3D NBA store, a mock NBA arena and even a press center where Web users can roam and play using video-game-like avatars.

In addition, fans can visit the T-Mobile Arena, where they can watch highlights of classic NBA playoff games and receive up to the minute stats on this year’s contests. They can also visit a secondary virtual court to play games like horse and the Toyota Crash the Boards challenge – a dunking contest.

NBA Commissioner David Stern acknowledged that the NBA’s Second Life presence was but a early attempt to tap into a medium is still new for mainstream brands. “We’d like to really have a place that people can have a little fun,” he said. “We plan to look to our users and fans to tell us what they would like this to be. We’ll be listening very carefully.”

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Prom Queen numbers

From Reel Pop:

" About halfway through its 80-day run, Eisner's Prom Queen, which is showing on MySpace, is getting about 200,000 views per day, and more than 5.2 million views overall.

That's about the equivalent of a low-rated cable show."

From Media Week:

"Veoh, which hosts a Prom Queen channel, has generated the second largest number of views (854,653), followed by YouTube (232,382) and Other sites streaming the soap are and, as well as Verizon’s V Cast platform. (Mobile streaming figures are not included in these numbers.)"

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Joost adds Turner

Building up to the full commercial launch, Joost adds Turner to its content mix.

From the AP business wire:

"Joost, a company attempting to broadcast television via the Internet, said Tuesday it had signed several new content distribution agreements, including one with Turner Broadcasting System Inc. to show CNN news and interview programs.

In Tuesday's deal, Joost said it will air episodes of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" and "Robot Chicken" from Turner's Adult Swim network, while it would air "Larry King Live," among other news and interview programs from Turner's CNN, which is owned by Time Warner Inc.

Joost also announced several other content deals Tuesday: Sony will run episodes of several old TV series including "Charlie's Angels" and "Starsky & Hutch" on Joost; Sports Illustrated will run photo shoots and programs about its swimsuit issue; the National Hockey League will broadcast vintage games and game highlights; and Hasbro will run old episodes of "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe."

From the press release (via Lost Remote):

"Dennis Quinn, executive vice president of business development for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. said, “With Joost, we have the unique opportunity to reach and engage new and existing fans of Turner programming through an innovative platform. Online distribution is extremely important to Turner, and with Joost we are confident that our programming is secure and distributed in the high-quality format that is true to our brands.”

Janus Friis, co-founder of Joost, said, “The ability to make Joost a viable business, versus just a cool technology or viewer experience lies in our ability to bring together advertisers, content owners and viewers. Our business model was developed with the interests of our viewers and partners at the core. It’s exciting for us to enter this phase and truly begin executing on our vision.”

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Joost goes live (with Ad model updates)

Joost is live: as seen on Digg. Beta testers have unlimited peer invites.

More on the ad model from Adverblog:

"One of the Leiden crew's top priorities is a backend ad engine that can pinpoint viewers by location, time of day, viewing habits, and opt-in profile information to serve up a perfect ad. Developed by open source geeks in privacy-centric Europe, the central database doesn't store any identifying data. Personal information is stored only on the user's own PC. Clark, the ad sales chief, is happy to blue-sky the possibilities: "Buy all the Desperate Housewives viewers in a zip code. Or the first thing a given viewer watches on a given day."

In theory, that kind of control will make the network much more valuable to advertisers. "We offer targeting they've never dreamed about in the TV world," says Werdelin. "And a deeper relationship with customers. Not just deeper than TV, but deeper than most of what you get on the Net. I don't think anyone really knows what those things are worth."


Clear Channel's social networks

From Billboard:

"Radio giant Clear Channel is getting into the social networking business. The company's online music and radio division is introducing a dozen station-branded social networks in the coming months. Each social network will function essentially as mini-MySpace, but will be focused on the local community served by the station running it.

The initiative starts today with the launch of social networks for seven contemporary hit radio stations across the country. KYLD-FM (WILD) San Francisco bows The Wild Space, WKSC-FM (Kiss) Chicago introduces The Mob, WHTZ-FM (Z100) New York has the Z-Zone, WIHT-FM (Hot 99.5) Washington D.C. has the Hot Spot, KDWB-FM (103.1 KDWB) Minneapolis is launching Connect, KHKS-FM (Kiss) Dallas bows Kiss Nation and WLDI-FM (WILD) West Palm Beach also is introducing a network called The Wild Space."


CBs to use Silverlight for user submitteed video

CBS partners with Microsoft for that "Always on" goodness.

From the press release:

“Central to our ‘Always On’ strategy has been the desire to create an interactive environment where our audiences can participate in the local broadcast process,” said Jonathan Leess, President and General Manager of CBS Television Stations Digital Media Group. “This project, using Microsoft Silverlight technology, allows us to empower the massive long tail of untapped local media content which is waiting to converge with the broadband and broadcast mediums.”

The new local initiative will allow users of the CBS-owned stations’ sites to view, upload, share, rate, comment, sort and search video, images, audio and text submissions. A key component of the application is its full integration into the existing content publishing workflow of the CBS
Television Stations’ digital media groups. It allows the community-generated content to be managed alongside the station’s professional content in a single workflow.

“We are excited about working with an industry leader such as CBS Television Stations,” said S. Somasegar, Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division at Microsoft Corporation. “CBS has demonstrated a commitment to unique digital media experiences and a drive to develop
platforms that incorporate the voice of the community, while also delivering the highest quality experiences.”

“Broadcasting is no longer a one-way directional medium,” Leess said. “Audiences and advertisers are looking for compelling local content that speaks to them, to their families, to their neighbors. This project allows us to help foster that connection.”

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Techcrunch has an in-depth review of Silverlight.

From the post:

"Silverlight is excellent technology and those asking why developers and application providers won’t just stick to flash only need to look at XAML, the runtime speed and size and the flexible options with programming languages combined with very strong multimedia support to start to see the answer.

My personal opinion is that Silverlight is great and that Microsoft have done very well to bring .NET to the browser (almost all browsers). What will be interesting to follow will be designer adoption of Expression Studio (as Adobe is heavily entrenched here) and then consumer adoption of Silverlight."

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