Next Tues, Feb 16th at 10am PT / 1pm ET, Microsoft Enterprise Search (a VideoNuze sponsor) will be presenting a complimentary webinar, "Media and the Money Trail: Connecting with the New Digital Consumer" with Greg Clayman, MTV's EVP of Digital Distribution and Jennifer Kavanagh, Oxygen's VP of Digital & New Media.
Greg and Jennifer will be sharing a deep-dive look into how their companies are re-thinking their business models, experimenting with new ways to engage their audiences and assessing new technologies. The webinar promises an excellent opportunity for industry professionals to learn from two companies on the leading edge of the digital revolution.
Yesterday VideoNuze and The Diffusion Group hosted "Demystifying Net Neutrality," the first in our 2010 webinar series. Our guests, Barbara Esbin, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Communications and Competition Policy, Progress & Freedom Foundation (against) and Chris Riley, Policy Counsel for Free Press (for) did an outstanding job advocating their positions. Net neutrality is extremely complex and we had a flood of questions, which our guests did a great job of addressing.
Though Chris made his points well, personally I'm still not persuaded that net neutrality regulations are needed now. As I wrote last fall, my core concern is that no sustained pattern of broadband ISP behavior has been proven. Colin and Chris argue that "corporations can't be trusted" and that inevitable biases will arise for the biggest broadband ISPs who are also the biggest video service providers. All of that may be true. But until it's proven, it's dangerous business to start tinkering with the well-functioning Internet. The FCC should stay vigilant, but not pursue net neutrality regulation now.
What do you think? Post a comment now (no sign-in required).
Please join me for the complimentary "Demystifying Net Neutrality" webinar tomorrow, Thurs, Feb. 4th at 11am PT / 2pm ET. This is the first of six webinars VideoNuze is presenting in 2010, in partnership with The Diffusion Group, one of the leading digital media research firms. The webinars are sponsored exclusively by ActiveVideo Networks
TDG's Colin Dixon and I will host the webinar, and we will have 2 expert guests with us who are on opposite sides of the net neutrality debate: Barbara Esbin, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Communications and Competition Policy, Progress & Freedom Foundation (against) and Chris Riley, Policy Counsel for Free Press (for). Barbara and Chris will advocate their positions and then Colin and I will question each of them before opening it up to audience Q&A.
The webinar promises to be a deep-dive educational session examining all of net neutrality's pros and cons. For anyone with a stake in broadband/online content delivery and over-the-top video specifically, it will be a must attend session.
With the new Apple iPad receiving wall-to-wall coverage this week, it was easy to overlook other significant news. Here are 4 items worth noting for the January 25th week:
1. Netflix Q4 earnings increase my bullishness - On Wednesday, Netflix reported blowout results for Q4 '09, adding almost 3 million subscribers during the year (and a million just in Q4), bringing their YE '09 subscriber count to 12.3 million. Netflix also forecasted to end this year with between 15.5 million and 16.3 million subscribers, implying subscriber growth will be in the range of 26% to 33%. Importantly, Netflix also said that 48% of its subscribers used the company's streaming feature to watch a movie or TV show in Q4, up from 41% in Q3 and 28% a year ago. Wall Street reacted with glee, sending the stock up $12 yesterday to a new high of $63.04.
VideoNuze readers know I've been bullish on Netflix for some time now, and the Q4 results make me more so. A key concern I've had has been around their ability to gain further premium content for streaming. On the earnings call, CEO Reed Hastings and CFO Barry McCarthy addressed this issue, offering up additional details of their content strategy and how the recent Warner Bros. 28-day DVD window deal will work. On Monday I'm planning a deep dive post based on what I heard. As a preview, I'm now convinced that Netflix is the #1 cord-cutting threat. Cable, satellite and telco operators need to be watching Netflix very closely.
2. Nielsen announces combined TV/online ratings plan, but still falls short - This week brought news that Nielsen intends to unveil a "combined national television rating" in September that merges traditional Nielsen TV ratings with certain online viewing data. This is data that TV networks have been hungering for as online viewing has surged, potentially siphoning off TV audiences. I pointed out recently that the lack of such a measurement could seriously retard the growth of TV Everywhere, as cable networks hesitate to risk shifting TV audiences to unmeasurable online viewing.
Nielsen's move is welcome, but still doesn't go far enough. As reported, it seems the new merged ratings will only count online views that had the same ads and ad load as on-air. That immediately rules out Hulu, which of course carries far fewer ads than on-air, and sometimes uses custom creative as well. Obviously if the new Nielsen ratings don't truly capture online viewership they'll be worth little in the market. Ratings are a story with many future chapters to come.
3. AOL acquires StudioNow in bid for to ramp up video content - Also not to be overlooked this week was AOL's acquisition of StudioNow for $36.5 million in cash. StudioNow operates a distributed network of 3,000 video producers, creating cost-effective video for small and large companies alike. I'm very familiar with StudioNow, having spoken with their CEO and founder David Mason a number of times.
AOL is clearly looking to leverage the StudioNow network to generate a mountain of new video content, complementing its Seed.com "content farm." In addition, AOL picks up StudioNow's recently-launched Video Asset Management & Syndication Platform (AMS) which gives it video management capabilities as well. For AOL the deal suggests the company is finally waking up to video's vast potential. But with the rise of online video syndication, it's still a question mark whether creating a whole lot of new video is the right strategy, or whether AOL would have been better served by just partnering with a syndicator like 5Min.
Meanwhile, AOL isn't the only portal realizing video is the place to be. In Yahoo's earnings call this week, CEO Carol Bartz said "Frankly, our competition is television" and as Liz wrote, Bartz also said "that makes video really important." Yahoo just partnered with Ben Silverman's new Electus indie video shop, and it sounds like more action is coming. Geez, the prospect of AOL and Yahoo competing on acquisitions? It would be like the old days again.
4. Net Neutrality webinar next Thursday is going to be awesome - A reminder that next Thurs, Feb. 4th at 11am PT/2pm ET The Diffusion Group and VideoNuze will present a complimentary webinar "Demystifying Net Neutrality." The webinar is the first in a series of 6 throughout 2010, exclusively sponsored by ActiveVideo Networks. Colin Dixon from TDG and I will be hosting and we have 2 fabulous guests, who are on opposing sides of the net neutrality debate: Barbara Esbin, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Communications and Competition Policy at the Progress and Freedom Foundation and Chris Riley, Policy Counsel for Free Press.
Net neutrality is a critically important part of the landscape for over-the-top video services, and yet it is widely misunderstood. Join us for this one-hour session which promises to be educational and impactful.
Enjoy your weekend!
I'm excited to announce that VideoNuze has partnered with The Diffusion Group, one of the leading digital media research firms, to host a series of 6 complimentary webinars in 2010. The webinars are sponsored exclusively by ActiveVideo Networks. Each webinar will focus on one specific topic key to the evolving online video/digital media landscape (suggestions are welcome btw!). Colin Dixon from TDG and I will host the webinars and we will also have 1-2 expert guests joining us each time to provide diverse perspectives and insight.
The first webinar in the series will be "Demystifying Net Neutrality" on Thursday, February 4th at 11am PT / 2pm ET. If you're in the digital media industry, it's been hard to miss the intense recent debate over net neutrality, sparked by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's speech last September, which called for the FCC to impose unprecedented new Internet regulations. However, earlier this month, the DC Court of Appeals indicated it may invalidate the FCC's 2008 order punishing Comcast for blocking BitTorrent traffic, suggesting the FCC may not even have proper authority to regulate the Internet after all. Meanwhile, large and small media and technology companies have continued to heavily lobby the FCC, providing data and arguments on both sides of the issue.
Net neutrality is so important, the argument goes, because as new over-the-top players (e.g. Netflix, Xbox, Roku, Boxee, etc.) seek to bring video services into the home, they need to be assured their services won't be impaired by broadband ISPs like cable operators Comcast and Time Warner Cable or telcos like Verizon and AT&T, who also happen to be the largest incumbent video providers themselves. Opponents essentially argue that net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem, and that the Internet has thrived until now due to the government keeping its hands off, and it should stay that way.
On the webinar, Colin and I will untangle all of this, with the assistance of Chris Riley, Policy Counsel for Free Press, a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media, which is a leading proponent of net neutrality and another guest, TBD who is opposed to net neutrality. The webinar promises to be a deep-dive educational session examining all of net neutrality's pros and cons. For anyone with a stake in broadband/online content delivery, it will be a must attend session.
Next Wednesday, June 24th at 1:30pm EDT / 10:30am PDT, I'll be presenting in a free webinar, "Demystifying Online Video Syndication." Video syndication continues to be one of the key trends in the online video market. I'll be sharing thoughts on where syndication is heading and where the main opportunities and challenges lie.
I've been writing about the emergence of the "syndicated video economy" for over a year now and during this time syndication has continued to grow in importance for all video content producers and technology providers.
The webinar is sponsored by Grab Networks, whose co-president Marcien Jenckes will present information about its grabMediaOS solution that enables a "Create Once, Publish Anywhere" business model. Grab works with hundreds of content providers and is one of the primary players in driving the video syndication market.
We have 260+ people registered for the webinar already, but there's plenty of room left. If you're trying to understand the syndication opportunity and identify the right solutions to fit your needs, this webinar is for you!