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Thursday, April 24, 2014

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  • Let's Get Real: TV Isn't Close to Dying and Here's a Great Slide Deck Proving It

    There is no doubt the TV industry is changing dramatically, largely due to the rise of online and mobile video viewing. But is it "dying," "imploding" or being "nuked" as some recent tech media headlines assert? No, not yet anyway. As a close observer of all things video, it's just mind-boggling sometimes to see how data is conflated to support distorted conclusions. If your company's product strategy were guided by today's headlines alone, you'd be on a course to disaster.

    To help set things straight, Piksel's Alan Wolk has put together a really good slide deck with data debunking 7 of the bigger myths floating around these days (1) cord-cutting is a mass movement, (2) kids ignore mainstream TV, (3) your pay-TV provider is the one forcing you to pay for 800 channels, (4) cutting the cord lets you stick it to the cable company, (5) second screen is all about social TV, (6) TV viewing has decreased and (7) in the future we'll be able to watch TV wherever, whenever and however we want.

    See slide deck

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  • Tastemade Capitalizes on 3 Technology Trends to Create Foodie Community for Digital Natives

    Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the biggest food holiday of the year. But for many people, food is a year-round personal obsession, which can now be amplified through mobile, social and video technologies. Operating at the intersection of these powerful trends is a startup called Tastemade, which is building a foodie community of digital natives through an innovative prosumer and user-generated video programming model. When I was in LA recently, I visited with Stephen Kydd, one of the 3 co-founders of Tastemade, who all worked together previously at Demand Media.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #199 - Lots of Potential for New Comcast-Twitter "See It" Tool

    I'm pleased to present the 199th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. In this week's edition we discuss the new "See It" tool announced in a partnership between Comcast/NBCU and Twitter.

    Beginning in November, certain tweets about TV shows will carry the "See It" button. When users click on it, they will be given choices to watch the program now on their mobile device, tune their Comcast X1 set-top to that channel to watch on TV, set their DVR or receive a reminder (more about how See It works here).

    Colin and I both like See It's potential to convert the "chatterfest" that now regularly occurs on Twitter around TV shows and live events (sports, award shows, etc.) into higher viewership. Tightly coupling social discovery and the opportunity to immediately watch is very compelling. If Twitter can show See It can actually driving viewership (note, still a big "if"), it would become a very important promotion tool for the TV industry.

    We also discuss how See It works with authentication/TV Everywhere, the critical role that Comcast's new IP-based X1 set-tops play in enabling See It, how the rest of the pay-TV industry might adopt See It, and the potential to spread See It to other social sites. See It's widespread adoption will require a lot of TV ecosystem support, but if its value is quickly proven, we believe that could happen.

    (Last - Colin and I will both be participating in BroadbandTV Con in Hollywood Nov. 4-6.  Come meet us! VideoNuze readers get $75 off conference registration using the code "VideoNuze." Colin will also be hosting a pre-conference workshop.)


    Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 19 seconds)




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    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

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  • LittleCast Launches Turnkey Video Commerce Platform For Facebook, Mobile Apps

    The Internet is awash in free videos to watch. For consumers, that's been great news as there are more choices available today than ever. For independent content creators, the Internet offers an unparalleled opportunity to build audience and visibility. The problem is that for these creators, actually making money online has remained a tough nut to crack.

    Now, a startup named LittleCast is giving content creators an easy way to sell their videos, via Facebook and in iOS and Android mobile apps. CEO Amra Tareen explained to me that the process is pretty straightforward - content creators just upload their videos to LittleCast and decide how much to charge. LittleCast transcodes the video into various formats and HD/SD resolutions and stores them in the cloud. They can then be published in LittleCast's media player on Facebook and in the mobile apps.

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  • Last Call: Social Media and Second-Screen TV Webinar is Tomorrow

    This is last call to register for tomorrow's complimentary webinar, "Social Media and Second-Screen TV Experiences." The webinar will feature Michael Greeson, founder of The Diffusion Group, who will share social insights from his firm's recent survey of 1,000 broadband users/TV viewers. TDG will also provide registrants with a complimentary copy of its accompanying report, a $1,500 value. Then Kevin Wyatt, director of business development for Rovi, will explain how the company's entertainment-related social media can be incorporated into TV apps. There will be plenty of time for Q&A.

    Register now!

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  • Nielsen: Social Dominates Video on Mobile Devices and Online Viewing is Up Strongly

    Periodically someone asks me how I think of the relative level of social networking use vs. video consumption. Of course they have both have been huge trends over the past 5 years, and they are very complimentary to each other. But, at least when it comes to mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) social dominates video in terms of time spent according to Nielsen's Q1 Cross-Platform Report, released late last week.

    Looking at app-only usage on smartphones, social networking notched 9 hours, 6 minutes per person per month, nearly 8x as much as the 1 hour, 15 minutes of video viewed per person per month. For iPads, the range is tighter, with app-only social networking racking up 3 hours, 41 minutes per person per month, just over twice as much as the 1 hour, 48 minutes of video viewed per person per month. This makes sense to me because the iPad is more of a "personal TV" and therefore prone to longer-form viewing.

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  • Complimentary Webinar: Social Media and Second-Screen TV - June 19th

    Next Wednesday, June 19th, I'll be hosting a complimentary webinar focused on the impact of social media and second-screens on TV experiences. By now, anyone involved in the TV industry is well aware that the content itself is one part of the overall viewing experience;  for a growing group of viewers the social aspect that surrounds it has become equally important. Still, social is a relatively new phenomenon for TV and much is not yet understood.

    In this webinar, Michael Greeson, founder of The Diffusion Group, will share social insights from his firm's recent survey of 1,000 broadband users/TV viewers. TDG will also provide registrants with a complimentary copy of its accompanying report, a $1,500 value. Then, Kevin Wyatt, director of business development for Rovi, will explain how the company's entertainment-related social media can be incorporated into TV apps. There will be plenty of time for Q&A.

    Register now!

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  • Complimentary Webinar: Social Media and Second-Screen TV - June 19th

    Please join me for a complimentary webinar on the impact of social media and second-screens on TV experiences. In this webinar, which I'll moderate, Michael Greeson, founder of The Diffusion Group, will share detailed findings from his firm's recent survey of 1,000 broadband users/TV viewers. TDG will also provide registrants with a complimentary copy of the accompanying report, a $1,500 value.

    In addition, Kevin Wyatt, director of business development for Rovi, will explain how it enables entertainment-related social media to be seamlessly incorporated into apps, with supporting examples. There will be ample time for Q&A.

    Register now!

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  • CNN BuzzFeed Channel to Capitalize on Short-Form Video and Syndication Trends

    CNN and BuzzFeed are partnering to create a new YouTube channel called "CNN BuzzFeed" to break original news online. The channel will feature current and archived CNN video and like all BuzzFeed content, is targeted to a younger, social media savvy audience.

    CNN BuzzFeed will capitalize on two of the most important attributes of today's online video landscape: short-form and syndication. Last week, data from ad manager FreeWheel showed that "Digital Pure-Play" content providers grew their video views by 47% year-over-year (with 84% of their views coming via syndication to 3rd-party sites), while views from long-form "Linear + Digital" providers (e.g. broadcast and cable networks) decreased by 8%.

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  • Social Recommendations: No Surprises There

    Today I'm pleased to share a contributed post from Alan Wolk. Alan is Global Lead Analyst at KIT digital. He frequently speaks about the television industry in general and second screen interactions in particular, both at conferences and to anyone who'll listen. Recently named as one of the "Top 20 Thinkers In Social TV and Second Screen" Wolk is one of the main architects behind the award-winning KIT Social Program Guide and writes about the television industry at the Toad Stool blog. You can find him on Twitter at @awolk

    If you are interested in contributing to VideoNuze, please contact me!

    Social Recommendations: No Surprises There
    by Alan Wolk

    There’s a firmly held belief in the world of social TV and social media that our social graphs-- the people we are friends with on Facebook and Twitter and other social networks-- are the best source of recommendations for anything from restaurants to movies to TV shows. (Witness this week’s Facebook Graph Search announcement.)

    I’m here to suggest that may not be the case, particularly in regards to television.

    Let’s take Facebook, the most personal of the social networks. While it is considered good form by many on Twitter and LinkedIin to connect with relative strangers, our Facebook friends are generally people we know in real life.

    Or knew.

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  • VideoNuze-TDG Report Podcast #149 - zeebox Comes to the U.S.; Connected TVs Now Top Screen for Streaming

    Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group and I are back for the 149th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG Report podcast. This week Colin kicks things off discussing zeebox's entry into the U.S. market, plus its new partnerships with Comcast, NBCU and HBO. Colin has used zeebox in the U.K. (where it has over 1.5 million users) and has been very impressed. zeebox falls into the general category of "second screen apps" but Colin notes its current focus on live TV was likely the hook for its new partners. With a sizable segment of viewers having shifted their viewing to on-demand, an app that helps drive some back to live would have lots of positives for TV networks.

    We then shift to discuss new research released by NPD Group this week that 45% of consumers reported the TV as the main screen for viewing online video, up from 33% a year ago. Those identifying the PC as the main screen dropped from 48% to 31%. As I explain, this is noteworthy because it shows how online video is in fact moving to the living room, becoming a more mainstream behavior. As online video finds itself on more of an even footing with traditional TV, it raises the stakes for cord-cutting and shaving, along with shifting ad dollars from TV to online video.

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 31 seconds)




    Click here for previous podcasts

    The VideoNuze-TDG Report podcast is available in iTunes...subscribe today!

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  • US Open Tennis Scores With Google Hangouts

    These days you can pick any sport and you're guaranteed to find examples of how online video is improving the fan experience. Beyond improved access, through live streaming to multiple devices, and post-event catch-up through highlight clips, another dimension of online video's value is now also emerging - fan engagement and interaction. A perfect example of this is the US Open tennis tournament's first-time use of Google Hangouts during its men's and women's finals matches.

    Recently, I caught up with the two US Tennis Association executives responsible for the hangouts, Phil Green, senior director, advanced media and Peter Dopkin, director, strategic and business development, advanced media, to learn more. Listening to the strategy behind the hangouts, and how they were executed, what struck me is that in the digital age, forward-thinking sports executives are able to bring the fan, analyst and game together as never before.

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  • TV Everywhere Authentication Improves Again as Synacor Enables Social Logins

    The process of authenticating users for TV Everywhere content access is improving yet again, as Synacor announced this morning that users will be able to log in via their Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts. The use of social IDs has become widely deployed by web services providers, but had not yet been made available in the TV Everywhere world. With the feature, users will be able to tie their pay-TV accounts to their social media accounts which means they'll no longer have to remember pay-TV specific login credentials to gain access to TV Everywhere content. This will reduce friction and should drive higher TV Everywhere adoption.

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  • mPortal Enhances TV Everywhere With Social TV APIs

    mPortal, whose SPRINGBROARD Media platform allows pay-TV operators and content providers to create cloud-based TV Everywhere apps, is being enhanced with a new set of social TV APIs to build second screen companion apps for connected devices.

    While the number of social TV startups abound, mPortal's VP, Products Fady Lamaa told me that mPortal believes its social TV APIs are the first to be integrated fully with TV Everywhere app building tools, meaning that pay-TV operators and content providers can present unified, branded TV Everywhere/social experience to their users. mPortal is seeking to capitalize on two of the biggest video trends today: connected device viewing and social.

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  • Mogreet's moShare Powers Mobile Video Distribution via Texting

    Following its success helping leading marketers distribute video and other rich media messages to mobile devices, Mogreet is now looking to do the same for individuals, with its recently launched moShare service. moShare distinguishes itself from other social platforms in that the video or rich media being shared is sent via a text message to the recipient's mobile device, with content formatted specifically for viewing or playback on it. 

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  • Twitvid Launches Social Video Network

    Twitvid is broadening its mission today, from being a way to share mobile videos to Twitter, to becoming an "open social video network" that allows users to subscribe to particular channels or video feeds that interest them. The channels could be based on topics, people or brands, and consist of videos sourced from YouTube, Vimeo and Twitvid itself initially, with others to follow. Twitvid's CEO Mo Adham explained to me last week that because users are prone to view video from multiple sources, the new initiative helps simplify the overall video experience. When selecting a particular channel, all the new videos that have been added to it auto-play. Channels can be private or public and shared via social networks with friends and followers.

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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #112 - Facebook's Video Opportunities

    I'm pleased to be joined by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 112th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for Dec. 2, 2011. Today Colin and I discuss how Facebook has become a leader in online video and the range of opportunities it has ahead. Earlier this week I reported how Facebook was ranked as the #2 video site in October by comScore, with nearly 60 million viewers. Though YouTube is still by far the biggest online video site, Facebook has made huge progress over the past year. Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (16 minutes, 25 seconds)



    Click here for previous podcasts

    The VideoNuze Report is available in iTunes...subscribe today!
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  • Facebook Surges to Number 2 Video Site in October: comScore

    Social media juggernaut Facebook surged into the number 2 position for unique video viewers on comScore's U.S. online video ranking for October, 2011. This is the highest rank Facebook has achieved, and its 59.8 million viewers nudged it past VEVO at 57 million, which was down just slightly from September. Facebook's unique viewers jumped approximately 10 million from its September total of approximately 50 million viewers. The big October bump comes after a relatively flat past 12 months of viewers, though a doubling of monthly video views (see charts below). In October alone, Facebook's total video views increased to 346 million, 37% higher than September.

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  • Q&A with Bismarck Lepe, president of products at Ooyala - 11/2/11

    1. How important is video to a social media strategy and vice versa?

    Social media is about sharing and discovering. We login to Facebook or Twitter or FourSquare because we want to share our latest pictures, videos, ideas, or items of interest, such as an article, video or song. We also login to find out what our friends and acquaintances are up to, or discover what they’re reading and watching. Adding social dimensions to video is an effective way to facilitate content discovery. Said another way, it’s an effective way to let your audience become your marketers.

    At the same time, watching TV, movies and other video content is an inherently social experience. We go to the movies with friends, sit around the TV with family, and discuss the latest hit show with co-workers. By combining video with social media elements, a publisher can recreate in a digital setting the ways we already engage with content in the offline world. That creates a more engaging and “sticky” social media experience.

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  • Ooyala Gets Social With Facebook Integration

    Online video platform Ooyala is announcing Ooyala Social this morning, including a deep integration with Facebook that enhances the popular social network's opportunity to become a meaningful video distribution platform by leveraging "social graph" information. The first content provider to use some components of Ooyala Social is film studio Miramax, which several weeks ago began offering 20 movies for rental on Facebook through its Miramax eXperience app. Ooyala CEO Jay Fulcher gave me a rundown of Ooyala Social last week and group marketing manager Nick Edwards walked me through the how Miramax is using Ooyala Social so far.

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