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  • Tiffany Demonstrates Online Video Works For Luxury Retailers Too

    This week I somehow found my way to an interesting article in "Luxury Daily" about how high-end retailer Tiffany & Co. has developed a multi-platform video campaign this holiday season. Tiffany has created a series of video vignettes that the article says it has "weaved into its web site branding, social media offerings and a rich media expandable banner ad campaign on the homepage of the New York Times web site." I didn't see it there, but was able to catch it on YouTube.  The minute and a half video does a terrific job of evoking the holiday spirit through the Tiffany brand.

    What's important about the video to me is that it's further proof of how all kinds of brands can use video to break out of the box of traditional TV advertising. Tiffany likely would have had a hard time finding exactly the upscale audience it is targeting with a TV campaign, and of course running a minute and a half ad on TV would be completely uneconomical. With the Internet those constrictions are thrown out, and instead Tiffany can execute exactly the creative it wants and then find multiple ways to distribute it and target particular audiences.

  • Taboola Is Providing Video Recommendations For

    Taboola's EngageRank video recommendation technology has been officially adopted by the, following a successful 8-month trial. has implemented Taboola's recommendations in a section called "Other Videos You May Like" as thumbnails below the main player window and when the video ends. Taboola's CEO and founder Adam Singolda told me that based on A/B testing vs. other recommendations technologies, Taboola was found to drive 250% higher video views. Last week I met up with Adam and Lior Golan, who runs product and technology at the company and was in from Israel where he's based.

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  • Hulu to Stream Tonight's Presidential Debate; Reaction to Coverage?

    There are reports today that Hulu intends to stream tonight's second presidential debate along with the third debate planned for Oct. 15th. VideoNuze readers will recall that I observed two weeks ago that streamed the first debate on its home page. I regarded this as a noteworthy incursion of a print publisher onto broadcast/cable's traditional turf and asserted that the debates give the NYTimes a plum opportunity to use video to expand its audience appeal and ad revenue potential.

    Cause and effect that Hulu, backed by two broadcasters Fox and NBC, is now planning to stream the remaining debates? Hard to say. But no question, if Hulu hadn't done this, it would have been leaving the door open, again, for NYTimes to be a prime destination for live streaming of the debate. For broadcasters fighting for every eyeball out there, that would have been a mistake. More evidence of how broadband is creating competition between previously disparate media worlds.

  • Presidential Debate Video on is Classic Broadband Disruption

    Here's a classic example of how broadband is causing traditionally distinct worlds to collide: on Friday night the opened up a dedicated streaming video window on their home page, where the presidential debate played for the full hour and a half. I watched the first half of the debate there, before switching on the TV and watching it on CNN HD. While HD was obviously superior, the's video was more than adequate (though disappointing there was no full screen option).

    Saturday morning and is offering the video on demand, with an accompanying full written transcript. You can search (try typing "wrong" to see), to get how many times each candidate used that term, and then jump to the points in the video when it was used (alas, it would be great if the Times gave the ability to clip that specific segment and virally distribute it). The Times does offer a "check point" feature, where it fact checks the candidate's assertions. Note that other sites like and have the debate on demand today as well, but not the interactive features that has.


    Stop and consider how significant all of this is - a print publisher using broadband to offer a clear alternative to broadcasters and cable networks in carrying high-quality video. It's a great value proposition just for people without access to TVs at the moment of the live event, but more important, it provides a glimpse of some very interesting additional opportunities for

    For example, the site could host its own post-debate punditry show, assembling its all-star lineup of daily Times columnists. Dedicated Times readers would no doubt love to see a roundtable with Frank Rich, Tom Friedman, William Kristol, Maureen Dowd and others dissect the candidates' performances, rather than waiting for their thoughts to come in columns over the next several days. Also think about how this type of show would scoop Sunday talk shows like NBC's "Meet the Press" or ABC's "This Week with George S." in bringing serious punditry to political junkies who can't wait.

    In fact, the could even offer viewers the ability to interact with their columnists, building on the wildly popular commenting feature already available with each daily piece in the paper itself. This type of immediacy and interactivity would be very compelling. The site could also offer the live debate video stream with a companion chat area that would enable viewer engagement during the debate itself (see Paltalk for an example of how this could work).

    And last but not least, could offer a single premium sponsorship slot to underwrite its whole debate coverage. Think Mercedes, Four Seasons, Cartier or other upscale brands might be interested?

    As I've said many times, broadband blurs previously siloed worlds, bringing more competition to traditional players like broadcast and cable networks. They now need to deliver more to stay competitive. For video entrants like NYTimes, broadband creates enormous new opportunities to both leverage core assets/talent and pioneer new and different ways to create value. Another reminder why broadband is so disruptive for so many.

    What do you think? Post a comment.

  • New York Times Highlights Clinton Video on Page One

    Catching a train to NYC this morning to moderate at the Advertising 2.0 conference, I picked up a New York Times, something I rarely do anymore, having moved to the online version a long time ago. In a sign of the times (no pun) there on page one, under a huge picture of Barack Obama the caption identified him outside the Capitol yesterday, and continued, "A video looks at his party's long and grueling primary battle:"

    It's pretty cool to think that this is where things have progressed to: a major newspaper prominently highlighting a video it has fully produced as part of its news coverage. Talk about a blurring of the lines between different media segments. Going online I found the video, shot in documentary style with narration to be every bit as professional as something one would find on the networks.

    My only gripe is that the video is woefully under-monetized. No pre-roll, post-roll or mid-rolls in a 10+ minute video. And even the accompanying display ad is a house ad for the Times's career columnist. If the Times is going to invest in creating great video, it should at least make money at it! Hopefully next time...
  • 3 Broadband Video Snippets to End the Week

    Closing out another busy week, here are 3 diverse broadband video snippets that hit my radar in the past few days:

    1. YouTube Drives the Political Newscycle

    Back in December, in 6 Predictions for 2008, I suggested that "2008 is the year of the broadband presidential election." This seems to become more evident with each passing week. I find that particularly when watching cable news, YouTube's influence just keeps on growing.

    For example, I'm a fan of "AC360" on CNN, which I try to catch at 10pm each night. This week the show was constantly replaying the YouTube videos of Rev. Jeremiah Wright that have dogged the Obama campaign. Conversely, a few weeks ago, Obama got a great tailwind from the massive attention paid to the viral "Yes We Can" music video sensation by That of course was on top of the earlier "Obama Girl" phenomenon. Separately, the McCain campaign just yesterday fired a campaign worker for posting a controversial video on YouTube about Obama and race. This too was covered on AC360 last night. Then of course there were the YouTube co-sponsored debates, offering video-based questions that were constantly replayed afterward.

    The point of all this is that broadband video has turned election coverage upside down, making it incredibly hard for candidates to control the political newscycle. The "democratizing" effect of YouTube means that on any given day, at any given moment, something may get posted which diverts the campaign's attention. And with major media outlets paying such close attention to YouTube, everything is immediately amplified. Not since the early 1960s when TV began influencing presidential politics have we seen a new medium have such a profound impact on an election. And we still have 8 months to go until November...who knows what's yet to come!

    2. SI Vault is Addictive

    On to something more fun, if you haven't yet checked out Sports Illustrated's new "SI Vault" site just launched this week, I suggest you do. It's a highly addictive trip down memory lane. SI has digitized all of its assets and also made available non-SI content, all in one easy-to-use location powered by Truveo. Focusing on video, I found Franco Harris's "Immaculate Reception" from the 1972 Steelers-Raiders playoff game and also Doug Flutie's famous "Hail Mary" pass to beat Miami in 1984. I could have spent hours at the site, although it's not perfect. I tried finding Tom Watson's 1982 U.S. Open chip-in at Pebble Beach to beat Jack Nicklaus, but alas no results were found. Obviously all this stuff is available elsewhere online, but SI Vault creates a great context for sports fans to enjoy themselves, wrapping SI and non-SI content together in one nice package.


    3. Apple's Roadblocks are Baaaack

    And for even more fun, I encourage you to check out and today. Apple is "roadblocking" the home pages of both again with a new Mac vs. PC ad, as they did back on Jan. 17th. This means that Apple has bought out all the home page leaderboard inventory on these 2 sites, so every time a visitor comes today, they see the same Apple ad. With all the talk about broadband video advertising, pre-rolls, overlays, etc, Apple again shows with its roadblocks how a little bit of creativity with rich media ad units can go a really long way. The ads are a great mix of interruption and opt-in and are no doubt highly effective branding units for Apple. Have a look and enjoy.
  • Google's Android: Striving for Broadband's Openness

    Google's announcement on Monday of its "Android" mobile operating platform is another example of open platforms' appeal and underscores why broadband video has grown so quickly and is so compelling.

    For those who missed the news, on Monday Google announced its Android mobile platform and the Open Handset Alliance, with 33 other companies, aiming to accelerate innovation and application development for mobile devices. In essence the goal is to develop a widely-deployed open platform, comparable to the Internet itself. Mobile video would certainly be a key beneficiary if Android succeeds.

    This push to openness in mobile can be seen as an attempt to emulate what's unfolded in the broadband video industry over the last 5 years. The result of broadband's openness has been nothing short of staggering, Whether it's video found at YouTube, iTunes, Hulu,,, or countless others, the torrent of video that's been unleashed, the shift in consumer behavior that's ensued and the capital that's been invested in this sector are all the direct result of broadband's open pipe.

    In fact, as I have said innumerable times, the reason why broadband video delivery is the single most disruptive influence on the traditional video industry is precisely BECAUSE it offers an open platform for producers to send video directly to their target audiences. As such, it eliminates the requirement for video producers to land a deal with a traditional gatekeeper to the home such as a broadcast or cable TV network, or a cable TV, satellite or telco service provider.

    In short, the ability for producers to connect directly with their audiences strikes at the heart of the traditional video distribution value chain, threatening a permanent re-ordering of the economics of the video business. It enables all kinds of players who have been shut out of the video game to now jump in.

    And while broadband video is admittedly still in its embryonic stage from a revenue standpoint, its long-term appeal portends vulnerability for those who cling too long to the traditional closed, walled-garden model. The Internet has shown us all the power of open over closed models, of interoperability over proprietary approaches, and of often chaotic, but user-centric growth over top-down control.

    Broadband's ecosystem is experiencing a rapid "layer-cake" effect where new technologies and applications are being built on top of preceding ones. The result is a vibrant, entrepreneurial culture in the broadband sector. If Android succeeds the same will be true in the mobile video sector as well.

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