Beet.tv

November 20, 2006

I spent some of my weekend going through video interviews Andy Plesser does at Beet.tv. Have you checked out the video interviews Andy does? They are informative. Andy stays out of the way, letting the interview subject do the talking. The interviews are usually less than five minutes.

Here are a few I checked out:

Mike Arrington, TechCrunch

Mike Arrington, known for his critical views on traditional media which I agree with for the most part, has a few strong words in this interview that Andy did at the TechCrunch party. Heh. Watch through the end of the video. I guess I am a fan of Beet.tv. So is Mary Jo Foley. I like that kind of company!

Here’s what Mike had to say about traditional media:

“You know I think that there are a lot of things wrong with traditional media and they’re going to have to sort that out on their own time. I think there won’t be many of them left standing once it is sorted out. And you know it’s very cheap to run a blog these days and for certain types of journalism it’s very effective so I think blogs will continue to do well.”

Mike Hudack, founder, blip.tv

A few weeks back, Andy Plesser interviewed Mike Hudack, co-founder of blip.tv. Hudack is not as blunt as Arrington. But he makes the point, which is right on, that the laws of scarcity are over and abundance is now the working proposition.

He points out that all these great videoblogs and video files that people upload to the Internet are starting to get consumed on TV. People are hooking up boxes like Akimbo and watching online shows on their television sets just like they watch show from CBS or NBC. More so, the number of people who watch the Internet on their TV sets is morphing, growing at a rate faster than people adopted VCR’s and DVR’s.

Bambi Francisco, Marketwatch

Bambi says Brightcove is going after a lot of things all at the same time. No disagreement there. She makes the comparison between Brightcove and Google. She says much like Google, Brightcove is a destination site, an aggregator and a distributor. But then she starts talking about advertisers. Her  attempt to explain Brightcove’s advertising play is a bit complicated. I had to watch it a few times before I think I grasped what she is saying. If you do watch the video, I’d be curious in what you come away with after watching it.

She also talks about the potential problems ahead, as Brightcove’s business strategy looks so broad that it may end up serving as competitive to its partner interests. Beet.tv:

She thinks the new destination or public portal strategy is a good one — but she wonders if aggregating all that content to a Brightcove destination will alienate BrightCove’s many corporate publishing and broadcast clients.

Brian Havens, Forrester Research

Brian Havens discusses how their own research is showing that pre-roll adverising in online videos are annoying to consumers. They want a direct experience. Fifteen second ads are just too much for people when they are online. With TV, consumers really have little choice. They have to wait. But online, the interaction is provided in the experience, which entirely alters the viewing perspective. And you have the issue of rocket speed consumption. People do not seem to mind as much the ads going alongside the video. But it needs to be contextual.

Recentlty, advertisers have turned their focus to become the producers, actually making informative and humoruous spots. These are advertisments but packaged as spots people like to watch. This reminds me of my days in Paris when I’d go to the cinema. I went a lot. Paris is one of the great film centers of the world. In Paris, there are two start times for a film. The first time represents when the ads run. The second time is when the actual film begins. I’d try to get to the cinema early to watch those ads. They were often humorous, romantic or adventurous. They were ads. But they were stories, too. They were French. Ahhh…les jolies filles!

I expect this trend will continue where the advertisers will become storytellers, mixing their brand into short ads that are humorous, informative and in context. I’d far prefer this to pre-rolls. These ads should be part of the flow, the river of video that we watch.

We are smarter than we once were. TV ads don’t work online. There is so much to watch on the Internet. Compelling creations by advertisers are welcome because they are respected for the work that they are.

So many more videos to watch! Go check them out at Beet.tv!


Digital Media Companies Get The Emmy Nod

November 2, 2006

I wonder how mainstream media executives feel about seeing Revver getting nominated for an Emmy.

Is it an acknowldgement that the true innovation in media is coming from companies that are developing web-based applications for such offerings as video networks?

Jeremy Toeman writes that a whole group of new digital media companies are getting nominated this year in the technology category.

Beet.tv has a quote from Shelly Palmer, chairman, advanced media technology Emmy Awards. This is one to save:

“I am extremely pleased with the Advanced Media Technology Emmy Awards nominee class of 2006.  This is the year of online video, social networks, user generated content and citizen journalism and, once again, our nominees exemplify the very best work done in their respective fields. In a very real sense, all of the nominees are winners — their work has pushed the limits of technology and creativity, and given all of us in the media industry wonderful demonstrations of what is possible and, more importantly, a glimpse of things to come. Congratulations to all!”

Hmm…what will the Oscars bring?


Don’t Upload…or else.

October 30, 2006

Uploading the latest track from your favorite artist to your Myspace page looks like it will become problematic in the near future. And this news comes out just days after it was reported that their numbers were down.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – News Corp.’s MySpace.com on Monday said it had licensed a new technology to stop users from posting unauthorized copyrighted music on the social networking Web site and oust frequent violators of its policy.

Short of migrating to other social network sites that are a little less, shall we say, restrictive, what will the kids do? Do we really think they are going to stop sharing music?

Pete Cashmore at Mashable mentions in his post about MySpace tackling the copyright issue that they are sure to annoy their user base with these restrictions. And deleting their pages (and their friends) will will certainly not improve their recent decline in numbers. Seems like there is a compromise here. Some artists are working with the kids by providing some content for free… as well as making a statement.

Weird Al has a track on his latest album called Don’t Download This Song and he has made it available on his MySpace page as a download.

Jack Black has produced a satirical commentary on piracy and makes half of the Pick of Destiny movie available for free from iTunes.

Can’t we all just play nice and share… legally?


Brightcove Tries To Go Consumer

October 29, 2006

Techcrunch tonight announced the launch of the new Brightcove, their attempt to bring video syndication to the YouTube / MySpace generation. 

It will be interesting to see if Brightcove, which has been become associated with high-end, professional video only will be able to lose some their slickness to attract the polish-adverse amateur producers and web publishers. 

The important questions for Brightcove are A) do they have the ingredients to ignite viral adoption of their syndication program, B) will they really appeal to the edgy, creative indie / amateur producers. 

To me, they still feel very corporate and I think it will be hard for them to overcome that image.  Marshall at Techcrunch talks about their mega-experienced management team… that’s great, but I wonder if in some respects they’d be better off working out of a garage.

We obviously love the concept of what they’re trying to do — media syndication for everyone — and wish them the best of luck. 

We will be keeping a close eye on them as we launch SplashCast.


Security, Control, Trackability in Online Media Distribution

October 29, 2006

The Ze Frank vs. Rocketboom video blog popularity contest sparked a lot of chatter this past week on how to best measure the value of web-based media shows (podcasts / vlogs / vodcasts / whatever).  Is it possible that Ze Frank’s shows are worth more than Rocketboom’s, even though Rocketboom could have 10 times more viewers?  Techcrunch, Robert Scoble, and Haydn Shaughnessy, among many others, all weighed in and offered their insight.

This discussion ties directly into what we believe is the most critical discussion for the media world right now. 

As traditional print, radio, and television continue to spill onto the web, and as blogs, podcasts, and vodcasts begin their migration from the web back to traditional print, radio, and television (Rocketboom is now available on TiVo), producers and publishers have a real challenge in controlling and tracking content distribution — and its monetization — across all these intersecting channels. 

Further, the democratization of media distribution that is currently taking hold — anyone can broadcast any content to anyone else in the world — creates an amazing opportunity as well as a very stressful environment for both copyright owners and publishers. 

As Marshall at Techcrunch points out: “Ze Frank prominently asks his viewers to keep his videos out of sites like YouTube, presumably so he can track the numbers closely.”  Meanwhile, Rocketboom is syndicating its shows as far and wide as possible.

Is there a way for copyright owners and publishers to leverage viral distribution of media on the web in a secure, controlled, and trackable manner?  Is that media nirvana?