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Analysis for 'Google TV'

  • For Tomorrow's TVs, User Experience is More Important Than Screen Size and Resolution

    In the lead-up to next week's CES, there has already been a lot of attention focused on "Ultra High-Definition" TVs, the industry's latest move toward ever-bigger TVs with ever-higher resolution. That's understandable given TV manufacturers' desire to extend the core appeal of HDTVs. But important as these attributes are, TV manufacturers should recognize that going forward, it's actually user experience that will be the critical differentiator.

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  • VideoNuze-TDG Podcast #156 - Google Fiber, Google TV, YouTube

    I'm pleased to present the 156th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon, senior analyst at The Diffusion Group. Google is all over the online video industry and today is an "all Google" podcast, as we focus on updates related to Google TV, Google Fiber and YouTube.

    First up is Google TV, and Colin discusses new features including voice-based search, the PrimeTime TV/movies app and updated YouTube app, as well as a new AirPlay-like app that allows users to watch video through their Google TV that was discovered on their Android devices. Colin views all of these as the continued evolution of Google TV, which long-term he believes will become an interesting device.

    Next up, the first installations of Google Fiber occurred this week in Kansas City. The much-hyped project promises to deliver 1 gig speeds for $70/month, though a profile of an early customer indicated actual speeds around 600-700 mbps. Still, that's a huge jump from typical broadband ISP service and Colin shares scenarios of what may happen when speeds and bandwidth caps are no longer constraints.

    We finish up with YouTube, which this week revealed that it will re-invest in 30-40% of the original channels it helped launch, meaning 60-70% won't get additional funds. Like TV networks, YouTube is learning what works and what doesn't, and re-upping accordingly. It's also worth noting that the YouTube app launched on Nintendo Wii this week, further spreading YouTube's reach into the living room.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (16 minutes, 39 seconds)




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  • Apple TV Sold Almost 500K Units in Q2, So Maybe There's Still Hope For Google TV?

    Last week Google TV got smacked around pretty hard, as Logitech, maker of the standalone Revue device, conceded that returns were running ahead of sales (which has now been updated to reflect returns from distributors, not consumers). The company took a $34 million writedown to cover the cost of reducing Revue's price from $249 to $99. And Logitech's CEO Gerald Quindlen, a big Google TV promoter, was shown the d
    oor in the process.

    It's tempting to conclude that Google TV is toast. However, a small bit of news that got little attention last week suggests that there may still be hope for Google TV: it turns out that Apple TV sold a very respectable 480K units in Q2, which was 70% higher than a year ago, according to Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. And with the holiday season just ahead, quarterly sales are likely to move still higher, making Apple TV a sleeper hit among connected devices.

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  • Online/Mobile Video's Top 10 of 2010

    2010 was another spectacular year of growth and innovation in online and mobile video, so it's no easy feat to choose the 10 most significant things that happened during the year. However, I've taken my best shot below, and offered explanations. No doubt I've forgotten a few things, but I think it's a pretty solid list. As much as happened in 2010 though, I expect even more next year, with plenty of surprises.

    My top 10 are as follows:

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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #81 - Dec. 10, 2010

    Daisy Whitney and I are back this week for the 81st edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for December 10, 2010.

    This week Daisy and I focus on Google's video efforts from two perspectives: first, whether it should pay CBS (and other networks) to allow Google TV to access their programs, and second, what are the implications of its acquisition of Widevine, announced last Friday.

    On the former point, as I argued in "Google to Pay CBS? Unlikely." I think it's a big stretch to believe that Google, which is a search engine, is going to start paying content providers like CBS, to direct traffic to them. Certainly that's not what it does online, and there's little reason to believe it will start doing so with Google TV.

    Meanwhile, the Widevine deal underscores how far Google has come in prioritizing copyright protection. It wasn't that long ago when YouTube was a rogue copyright infringer and yet that didn't deter Google from acquiring it. With Widevine and multiple other Google video initiatives, the company is extremely well-positioned to play a bigger role in the distribution and monetization of Hollywood content in 2011.

    If you want to learn more about Google, and also other key online/mobile video trends and predictions for 2011, then join me for a complimentary webinar I'll be hosting with The Diffusion Group's Colin Dixon next Wed., Dec. 15th at 11am PT/2pm ET. We'll demystify 2011 and leave plenty of time for audience Q&A.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (12 minutes, 17 seconds)


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    The VideoNuze Report is available in iTunes...subscribe today!
     
  • Google To Pay CBS? Unlikely.

    CBS CEO Les Moonves said this week that Google TV is not going to get CBS programs for "zero dollars," suggesting that if the company were to unblock access for the device, it would only happen when Google is willing to pay. I've learned to never say never, but in this case I think the scenario where Google pays for CBS and other broadcast networks' programs similarly being blocked from Google TV is very unlikely.

    When Moonves says "I'm not sure what it is," (referring to Google TV) it makes me think he either doesn't understand the Internet, is being disingenuous, or both. As I originally argued a couple of months ago, in "Broadcast TV Networks Are Wrong to Block Google TV," the device is not hard to understand. It serves essentially the same purpose for content providers on TVs as the Google search engine does online and on mobile devices. A user wants to find a piece of content or an answer to a question or a product, he/she types a term into the search bar and a list of filtered results appears. Google has also enhanced Google TV's core search and discover functionality with a bunch of apps that help emulate the full Internet experience on TV; for now those are interesting, but not yet compelling or unique vs. other devices that do similar things. Over time they may be.

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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #80 - Nov. 19, 2010

    Daisy Whitney and I are back this week for the 80th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for November 19, 2010. Before getting started, congratulations to Daisy on the release of "The Mockingbirds," her first fiction book, for young adult readers. It debuted 2 weeks ago and is published by Little Brown. In addition to writing the book, Daisy has put together a clever social media campaign which has lifted the book's visibility. Congrats Daisy!

    This week Daisy and I discuss my post from yesterday, "Broadcast TV Networks Are Wrong to Block Google TV - Part 2" in which I laid out the case for why the networks are using a backwards-looking strategy in their decision to block their programs from access by Google TV and other browser-based connected devices.

    To their credit, the networks have actually been quite forward-looking in releasing many of their programs for free viewing on their web sites and on Hulu. But now, by creating an artificial distinction between computer-based and TV-based viewing of online-delivered content, they are violating one of the most basic rules of the Internet era: don't create friction between the product and the customer. While that may help them win retransmission consent deals in the short term, I believe that in the long term it will hurt them. Listen in to learn more.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (11 minutes, 43 seconds)


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    The VideoNuze Report is available in iTunes...subscribe today!
     
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  • Broadcast TV Networks Are Wrong to Block Google TV - Part 2

    When Fox decided last week to block access to its programs by Google TV, it was no big surprise since its broadcast brethren ABC, CBS, NBC and Hulu had already done so. By speaking in a unanimous voice, the broadcasters have sent a clear signal that viewing their programs on TV, for free, via online delivery, is not to be. While they're happy to make Hulu Plus subscriptions available via connected devices, if you want to watch for free, you'll be restricted to computer, or limited mobile device-based, viewing.

    A few weeks ago in the first part of "Broadcast Networks Are Wrong to Block Google TV," I speculated on what was motivating the broadcasters to block Google TV, boxee and other browser-based connected devices. In the case of Google TV, it's tempting to believe they are looking to extract payments from Google to distribute their programs. Another possible explanation is that programs aren't monetized as well in online as they are on-air (the "swapping analog dollars for digital pennies" argument). Yet another explanation is that measurement of online viewing is not yet fully mature, so they're worried that if their audience shifts to connected device-based viewing, it would hurt their ratings points, and consequently their ad revenues. But none of these are broadcasters' main motivation.

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  • Broadcast TV Networks Are Wrong to Block Google TV

    Since word broke late last week that ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking access by Google TV to their full-length programs, I've been scouring the web and  speaking to colleagues, attempting to get some insights about what's going on here. Though I've heard plenty of free-floating concerns raised, I've yet to really understand solid reasons for why broadcast networks are doing this that can't be addressed somehow. Therefore, as best I can tell, for now at least, I think the broadcast TV networks are wrong to block access.

    The most obvious reason is that they're creating a false and meaningless distinction between screens. Whereas you can "go online" and freely access plenty of ABC, CBS and NBC shows at their own web sites, (and at Hulu for ABC and NBC), the networks have decided that if you're trying to "go online" via your Google TV, that's unacceptable. In an age where computer screens are getting bigger all the time - looking more like TVs - why exactly should this distinction matter?

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  • 6 Items of Interest for the Week of Oct. 18th

    It was another busy week for online/mobile video, and so VideoNuze is continuing its Friday practice of curating 5-6 interesting industry news items that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

    Networks block Google TV to protect themselves
    Yesterday news started breaking that ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking access by Google TV. There are numerous concerns being cited - potential disruption of advertising, encouraging cord-cutting, incenting piracy, diminished branding, unsatisfactory ad splits with Google, and general worry about Google invading the living room. Each item on its own is probably not enough to motivate the blocking action, but taken together they are. Still, doesn't it feel a little foolish that broadcasters would differentiate between a computer screen and a TV screen like this? For Google, it's more evidence that nothing comes easy when trying to work with Hollywood. I'm trying to find out more about what's happening behind the scenes.

    TWC Lines Up For ESPN Online Kick
    An important milestone for TV Everywhere may come as early as next Monday, as #2 cable operator Time Warner is planning to make ESPN viewing available online to paying subscribers. Remote access is part of the recent and larger retransmission consent deal between Disney and TWC. TV Everywhere initiatives have been slow to roll out, amid cable programmers' reluctance.  Further proving that remote authenticated access works and that it's attractive with a big name like ESPN would increase TV Everywhere's momentum.

    Hulu Plus, Take Two: How's $4.95 a Month?
    Rumors are swirling that Hulu may cut the price of its nascent Hulu Plus subscription service in half, to $4.95/mo. That would be a tacit recognition of Hulu Plus's minimal value proposition, largely due to its skimpy content offering. As I initially reported in August, over 88% of Hulu Plus content is available for free on Hulu.com. More important, Netflix's streaming gains have really marginalized Hulu Plus. Netflix's far greater resources and subscriber base have enabled it to spend far bigger on content acquisition. Even at $4.95, I continue to see Hulu Plus as an underwhelming proposition in an increasingly noisy landscape.

    Viacom Hires Superstar Lawyer to Handle YouTube Appeal
    Viacom is showing no signs of giving up on its years-long copyright infringement litigation against Google and YouTube. This week the company retained Theodore Olson, a high-profile appellate and Supreme Court specialist to handle its appeal. While most of the world has moved on and is trying to figure out how to benefit from YouTube's massive scale, Viacom charges on in court.

    Verizon to sell Galaxy Tab starting November 11th for $599.99
    Verizon is determined to play its part in the tablet computer craze, this week announcing with Samsung that it will sell the latter's new "Tab" tablet for $600 beginning on November 11th. The move follows last week's announcement by Verizon that it will begin selling the iPad on Oct. 28th, which was widely interpreted as the first step toward Verizon offering the iPhone early next year. Apple currently owns the tablet market, and it remains to be seen whether newcomers like the Tab can break through. For his part, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said on Apple's earnings call this week that all other tablets are "dead on arrival." Note, if you want to see the "Tab" and learn more about how connected and mobile devices are transforming the video landscape, come to the VideoSchmooze breakfast at the Samsung Experience on Wed., Dec. 1st.

    One-Third of US Adults Skip Live TV: Report
    A fascinating new study from Say Media (the entity formed from the recent merger of VideoEgg and Six Apart), suggesting that 56 million, or one-third of adult Internet users, have reduced their live TV viewership. The research identified 2 categories: "Opt Outs" (22 million) who don't own a TV or haven't watched TV in the last week and stream more than 4 hours/week, and "On Demanders" (34 million) who also stream more than 4 hours/week and report watching less live TV than they did a year ago. Not surprisingly, relative to Internet users as a whole, both Opt Outs and On Demanders skew younger and higher educated, though only the latter had higher income than the average Internet user. This type of research is important because the size of both the ad-supported and paid markets for live, first-run TV is far larger than catalog viewing. To the extent its appeal is diminishing as this study suggests poses big problems for everyone in the video ecosystem.


     
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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Oct. 11th

    Continuing VideoNuze's Friday feature of highlighting 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry stories that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you this weekend!

    JetBlue Unvails Ads Created By Mullen
    Take a moment to head over to YouTube today where JetBlue has bought out the top-of-page expanding banner for a hilarious new ad campaign, "You Above All," featuring a series of reality-style videos of New Yorkers in situations that mock the JetBlue competitors' service. The clever JetBlue campaign follows the head-turning Sylvester Stallone YouTube ad for "The Expendables" from a couple months ago and underscores the ascendance of YouTube as the #1 piece of online real estate for break-the-mold video campaigns for high-profile brands. Google is capitalizing on YouTube's appeal by featuring it prominently in its current "Watch This Space" ad campaign promoting the value of display advertising.

    Google TV Guns for Cable Deals
    And speaking of Google, with the recent introduction of Google TV, the company is reaching out to cable operators to ink integration deals similar to what it showcased with satellite operator Dish TV last week. Google TV offers tantalizing potential, particularly to smaller operators, to add Internet elements to their core video service, helping better compete with over-the-top entrants like Netflix. Conversely, as we saw this week with the funding/public launch of BNI Video (and in a series of separate product announcements coming next week), technology vendors are lining up to offer cable operators the ability to deliver their own Internet experiences. It's a very confusing time for cable operators, who must figure out whether to go it alone and invest heavily, or partner with a tech giant like Google.

    comScore Releases September 2010 U.S. Online Video Rankings
    comScore's video rankings for September yielded no big surprises, as Google/YouTube continued to be the dominant online video provider and Yahoo narrowly retook the #2 spot from Facebook. comScore changed the way it publicly reports its data this past June which has made it a little harder on independent analysts like me to show trending data as I used to do. Nonetheless, I'm hoping to have some new trending charts to share soon.

    Blip.tv Predicts Best Quarter Yet for Web Creators
    More encouraging news on the online video ad front, as video platform/distributor blip.tv said this week that Q4 '10 is on track to be its best quarter ever. Blip has been a very important player in bringing independent web series to market and its ability to monetize is a key driver of sustainability for many fledgling creators. Blip's news synchs with overall online video ad momentum in first half '10.

    Introducing the JW Player for Flash and HTML5
    Last month I wrote about how the open source JW Player is receiving 15K downloads per day. This week version 5.3 of the JW Player was released which integrates Flash and HTML5 into a single video player, using a unified JavaScript API. What that means is that anyone embedding the new player can seamlessly deliver either Flash or HTML5 video with the browser auto-detecting which playback mode to use. Since browsers and devices are still quite heterogeneous in what formats they support, initiatives like this help reduce friction in publishing and user experience.


     
  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #76 - Oct. 8, 2010

    Daisy Whitney and I are pleased to present the 76th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for October 8, 2010.

    Today we focus on Google TV and the new Logitech Revue which was introduced on Wed. First I explain some of its key features and benefits, which are detailed more fully in my post from Wed. Then we debate the product's appeal. Daisy is a major skeptic, arguing that it's overpriced, doesn't have a clear value proposition/call to action and most of what it enables can already be done online on a computer.

    The $300 price for Revue is admittedly a huge issue. However, if you took price out of the equation for a moment and considered the Revue relative to other connected device options, it is clearly superior. As Daisy suggests, and I agree, a lot of Revue's and Google TV's success will derive from effective marketing and promotion. That's why I've separately suggested that Google should offer the first 1 million Google TV buyers a $150 rebate in order to stimulate sales and stoke word-of-mouth promotion. It would be a financial drop in the bucket for Google and yet would be a significant investment in a highly strategic product.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (13 minutes, 58 seconds)


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  • Google Should Offer A $150 Rebate On The First 1 Million Google TVs Bought

    Following Logitech's launch of its Revue yesterday, the first Google TV product to hit the market, a consistent theme in many of the reviews has been that the $300 price point is too high. Indeed, I called this out as the first big "con" of the Revue in my review (no pun) yesterday. The price point is surely mandated by the bill of materials (i.e. the Intel Atom processor, 4 GB of memory, etc.) plus Logitech's margin expectations.

    However, if Google is seriously committed to Google TV, it should put its money where its mouth is to drive initial adoption. One compelling way to do so would be to offer a $150 rebate on the first 1 million Google TVs purchased, effectively reducing the price of the Revue to $149 (Sony's prices are still not known for sure). A $149 price point is in the ballpark of other connected devices like Roku, Apple TV, boxee, etc and would immediately draw attention.

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  • Initial Pros and Cons of Logitech Revue, The First Google TV Product

    Logitech debuted its Revue connected device, offering an up-close look at the first implementation of Google TV to hit the market. I attended the press briefing in NYC; here are some of the key highlights, followed by pros and cons as I initially see them:

    HIGHLIGHTS:

    - Logitech Revue will retail for $299.99, which includes the box itself and a "keyboard controller" which is a lightweight combination QWERTY keyboard with a touchpad and left/right/up/down arrow controller
    - Revue is available for pre-order at Amazon, BestBuy.com and Logitech.com. Delivery is expected by end of October.
    - Optional accessories include an additional keyboard controller ($99.99), a "mini controller" ($129.99) which offers all the same features in a smaller clamshell form factor and a Logitech TV cam, which is a 720p HD webcam that works with Revue ($149.99).
    - Apps for iPhone and Android are available free and effectively turn these devices into a third controller for the Revue.
    - A one-touch search bar allows discovery across broadcast TV and online sources, both free and paid (a Google spokesperson said a new optimized content "corpus" with just relevant video is searched, not the entire web; this means you don't have to wade through a lot of typical Google results for any term you enter into the search bar).
    - Search will also tap into your DVR recordings for pay-TV operator optimized set-top boxes. The only operator on board so far is Dish Network, which has a short-term exclusive deal to only work with Logitech. Dish will also retail the Revue box and the accessories.
    - In addition to search, you can also navigate via menus for websites, channels, apps, most visited, and "Spotlight" which allows surfing. A "queue" feature lets you explore podcasts.
    - When using the apps, voice control navigation is also enabled. We saw a neat example of searching for "The Price is Right" simply by speaking the words. You can also share a video discovered on your phone to the Revue device with a couple of clicks. Both very Jetsons-like.
    - "Dual view" is a picture in picture mode that allows you to watch video in one window while searching or doing other things in the larger background.
    - Flash 10.1 video is supported.
    - Netflix has created an app for Google TV that looks a lot like the first version of the Roku app I'm very familiar with. Note that browsing the Watch Instantly catalog isn't yet possible, and also that Revue's search doesn't crawl the Netflix catalog to expose results for searches conducted. This type of true universal search is already available in the TiVo Premiere for example and is really valuable.
    - Other apps preloaded include CNBC, Chrome, Napster, NBA Game Time and Pandora, though none of these were demo's. No social media app was demo'd either, though Twitter was mentioned earlier.
    - There's a Logitech media player that allows you to access and play media files from other devices on the network
    - 720p HD-quality video calling is enabled with the new webcam using the Vid HD app. This can work Revue to Revue, or Revue to PC/Mac. Less than 1 megabit is needed upstream for video calling.
    - Revue uses "Harmony Link" with RF connections so that all devices currently recognized by Harmony remotes will be recognized immediately

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  • Netflix, HBO, Others Coming to Google TV

    Google released further details on Google TV this morning, unveiling a slew of content services and apps that will be available at launch. Chief among them are Netflix and HBO Go (both for subscribers), Amazon VOD and Pandora, plus new apps from NBA ("NBA Game Time"), NBCU ("CNBC Real-Time"), and "optimized" content from Turner Broadcasting, NY Times, USA Today, VEVO, Napster, Twitter and blip.TV. Google didn't specify what optimized means, but I suspect it means appropriate metadata so that programs can be exposed in Google TV searches. Of course, "Leanback," YouTube's 10-foot interface, will also be featured.

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  • Intel's CEO is Bullish on Google TV, Less So on Apple TV

    Intel CEO Paul Otellini is plenty bullish on Google TV. In a short video interview with CNNMoney.com's Poppy Harlow, he praises Google TV's vision, saying that "we're just at the beginning of the smart TV revolution" and that "the holy grail here is a seamless proactive integration of this content." Of course, Otellini has a vested stake in Google TV's success as Intel is supplying its Atom chip to power Google TV.

    Otellini is decidedly more bullish on Google TV than he is on Apple TV, though he's cautious in noting that Apple is an Intel customer too. He says that Apple TV is "a streaming device for protected content, and there's a market for that," but quickly adds, "I think there's a bigger market for a deeper integration of the Internet into content." I think he's right on both accounts. It depends on what the user values - an open Internet experience on their TV, or a closed, but easy-to-use way of accessing a high-quality library (not to mention the price for each). There isn't one right answer, yet anyway. See "For Connected Devices, To Browse or Not to Browse - That is the Question" for a deeper discussion.




     
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  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Sept. 13th

    It's Friday and that means once again VideoNuze is featuring 5-6 interesting online/mobile video industry stories that we weren't able to cover this week. Read them now or take them with you for the weekend. Enjoy!

    Meet YouTube's Most In-Demand Brand Stars
    A fascinating look at how major brands are hiring amateurs who have gained large followings on YouTube to pitch their products. The concept of "celebrity spokesperson" is getting redefined in the online video era.

    Logitech Revue with Google TV Coming 9/29 for $299, Dish Network Offering Discounts?
    We may be less than 2 weeks away from Logitech's "Revue," the first implementation of Google TV, hitting the market, with Dish Network subscribers possibly getting a deeply discounted $179 offer. The connected device space is increasingly crowded and there's high anticipation to see how Google TV stacks up.

    Pre-order a Boxee Box Now
    Speaking of connected devices, Boxee announced this week that pre-ordering is available from Amazon for its Boxee Box connected device, manufactured by D-Link. Like Google TV, but unlike Apple TV or Roku, Boxee offers the prospect of browsing the full Internet for video, not just what's been integrated with the device.

    Samsung Reveals Tablet Launch Plans
    Meanwhile the strongest potential competitor to the iPad, Samsung's "Tab" will begin shipping in just a few weeks, with availability from all 4 major U.S. wireless carriers. The Tab is very focused on mobile video, running Android 2.2 which supports Flash 10.1. That means Hulu and all other Flash-based video should work, significantly expanding the universe of choices beyond what is available on the iPad. No pricing yet, but the Tab looks like a meaningful iPad alternative.

    Ivi Seeks to Become an Online Cable System
    Can an online service retransmit network TV through the Internet, and charge for it without having any underlying agreements in place with the networks themselves? That's what Ivi, which unveiled its software this week, is attempting to do, pointing to U.S. copyright law as making its offer legit. We'll see; with TV networks gaining no new revenue coming in plus the risk of cannibalization we should expect them to raise vigorous legal challenges.

     
  • 5 Items of Interest for the Week of Sept. 6th

    Though it was a short week due to the Labor Day holiday, there was no shortage of online video industry happenings this week. As I've been doing each of the last few Fridays, following are 5-6 noteworthy industry stories for your weekend reading pleasure.

    Ooyala Raises $22 Million to Accelerate Global Expansion
    Online video platform Ooyala's new $22 million round is a bright spot in what's been a pretty slow quarter for online video industry private financings. Ooyala's new funds will help the company grow in the Asia-Pacific region. Ooyala said it is serving 550 customers, double the level of a year ago.

    Google TV to Roll Out World-Wide Next Year
    Even though the first Google TV-enabled devices have yet to be deployed, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said this week that he envisions a global rollout next year. The connected device landscape is becoming more competitive for Google TV given the growing number of inexpensive connected device options.

    Business Groups Question Net Neutrality Rules
    Three pro-business trade groups urged the FCC to drop its net neutrality initiative, citing the "flourishing" broadband market and concerns that regulations will curtail new investments and hurt the economy. It seems like everyone has a different opinion about net neutrality, so the consensus needed to move regulation forward is still down the road.

    ESPN, YouTube Link Up for Promo Campaign
    This week ESPN and YouTube kicked off their "Your Highlight" campaign, enticing ESPN viewers to upload their own sports clips, with the best ones to be shown on SportsCenter. Then the best of the best will win a trip to ESPN's studios to watch a SportsCenter taping. It's a great promotional concept, using online video to further invest ESPN viewers in the brand. Whoever thought it up deserves a shout-out.

    Life Without a TV Set? Not impossible
    Another interesting data point to tuck into your back pocket: according to a 2010 Pew study, just 42% of Americans feel a TV set is a "necessity," down from 64% in 2006. Pew interprets this as a loss of status for the TV, as other devices like computers and phones have become video capable. The perception of convergence is taking root.


     
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  • 5 News Items of Interest for the Week of Aug 30th

    In a week dominated by Apple's new products, there actually was some other interesting online/mobile video industry news this week. Continuing VideoNuze's new Friday feature of highlighting 5-6 stories that we didn't cover this week, below are a collection of items for your weekend reading pleasure.

    YouTube Ads Turn Videos Into Revenue
    The 800-pound gorilla of the online video industry is reportedly closing in on profitability, based partly on ads running against user-uploaded copyrighted material. By detecting these uploads and offering the underlying rights owners the choice to have their video taken down or leave it up and generate revenue, many are choosing the latter. YouTube continues to evolve from its UGC roots.
     
    Samsung, Toshiba Unveil Google-Based iPad Rivals
    The battle line between Apple's "i" devices and those running Google's Android will ramp up, with mobile video set to follow, as Samsung and Toshiba plan to sell tablet computers in the coming months. Though the iPad is of to a strong start, it looks like it won't enjoy the same market dominance as the iPhone did as competitors jump into the tablet market quickly.

    Google TV: Up to $300 Price Premium?
    The components to enable Google TV could add $300 to the retail price of a television. If accurate this would put Google TV at a big competitive disadvantage given the trend toward lower-priced connected devices such as this week's $99 Apple TV and Roku's price cuts.

    A Look Back: Lessons Learned From TV Everywhere a Year After Deployment
    Marty Roberts, VP of Sales and Marketing for thePlatform, which has powered a number of TV Everywhere rollouts, offers insights based on the company's experience. Topics include authentication, content ingest, parental controls, discovery and content security. TV Everywhere is still in a nascent stage, but pay-TV providers should be following early lessons and moving quickly.

    ShowUHow Scores $3 Million Series A Backing for Video Instruction Guides
    A startup site that offers video instruction guides for various types of products that need to be assembled illustrates how valuable video can be for how-to video applications.

     
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  • Pondering the (Potential) Impact of Apple's New iTV Device

    Once again it's the silly season, when rumors and pronouncements about still-shrouded-in-secrecy Apple products start flying around the Internet, often forecasting a future radically changed by another wave of Steve Jobs' magic wand. The latest Apple product in the speculative crosshairs has been dubbed "iTV," and was originally described back in May by Engadget as an "iPhone without a screen" (and a phone for that matter), that would bring the world of Apple's App Store to the big screen and would also be capable of playing some flavor of HD video. It would also carry a surprisingly low (for Apple products anyway) $99 price tag.

    It's easy to see an iTV device being a volume success for Apple, though given its low price point, profit margins could be a different story. The groundwork for iTV's success has been laid by the massive success of Apple's App Store and iTunes, which would now would be inexpensively connected to the TV. The concept "apps on TV' is getting a lot of attention lately, with Samsung making a big push, and of course Google TV being primed to deliver apps from the Android Market.

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