2010 DIGITAL NEWS
 
Dish TV App Provides Full TV Everywhere Coverage
Wayne Friedman, Dec 01, 2010 10:53 AM
Dish Network says it is now the first pay TV service to provide full "TV Everywhere" service -- all its channels and programming -- on the iPad. 

With a new iPad app, Dish Remote Access, its consumers can watch live -- and recorded TV -- on the Apple's tablet device, the iPad. (Existing Dish customers must have a broadband-connected Sling-enabled device to get recorded TV programming).

Where other pay-TV providers may have single programs or selected content (such as Hulu Plus), Dish says it is the only pay-TV service to supply complete access to all consumers' channel packages.

"Unlike mobile viewing from cable and telcos that limit access to select programs, our TV Everywhere services give consumers 24/7 access to all of live and recorded content included with their DISH Network programming subscription," says Ira Bahr, chief marketing officer of Dish Network.

In addition to TV viewing, the Dish Remote Access app also gives existing customers with compatible DVRs the ability to browse and search up to nine days of programming, schedule DVR recordings, manage conflicts, delete shows on multiple receivers and transform the iPad into a fully functioning TV remote control.

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Video Watching On Mobile Climbs
by Wayne Friedman, Thursday, December 9, 2010

Users of mobile video continue to grow -- as does the time spent watching video -- but it's still a small piece of the overall mobile phone user population. In the second quarter, Nielsen says there was a 43% increase in people who have watched video on mobile device -- some 22 million. This represents about 10% of all mobile phone users, which stood at 229.4 million in the second quarter of this year -- a number that has climbed 4% over a year ago.

Monthly time spent among mobile subscribers watching video was three hours thirty-seven minutes, a 11.3% gain over the year before. That amounts to 22 more minutes in the second quarter 2010 versus the same period the year before.

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GroupOn's Value ToGoogle Worth Billions

Google's reported $6 billion bid for the social-buying platform GroupOn is a reflection of the potential value it can rapidly generate buying into the exploding local mobile market. But GroupOn could command a much bigger premium in this nascent industry.

Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins and former creative chief at Electronic Arts, engineers a new $250 million "S Fund" to prime a social media market he expects to grow 25 times bigger in the next five years. Social, mobile interactivity gives every business potential upside, Gordon says.

The instruments of this change - connected mobile devices - are breaking all growth records and expectations.Apple has already sold more than 10 million iPads since its April launch, representing more than $7 billion in revenue that didn't exist a year ago and a massive segue into commerce, gaming, enterprise and paid content. The iPad and iPhone and the devices they inspire are fundamental to rewiring all business and leisure and the universal adoption of a digital infrastructure.

That will spawn a cache of wealth - not only from the shift of conventional advertising and marketing dollars, commerce and fees to mobile, interactive devices and platforms - but the creation of new real-time revenues streams and businesses.

Google's aggressive courtship of GroupOn, and Facebook before it, indicates it is no different than other established media giant, such as News Corp. and Time Warner. It's finding new arenas to supercharge its maturing advertising-driven search business. So far, Google has mostly tapped its $33 billion in cash reserves to defend rather than to expand its competitive position - signaling that these new players are ushering in a dramatically different competitive dynamic.

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Playboy releases 56 year archive of all magazines on a hard drive. Could this be a harbinger of things to come? Why not as mass storage gets cheaper.

 

While some publishers have experimented with digital archive access via their Web sites, Playboy has decided to release its entire 56-year archive—more than 650 issues—on a 250GB hard drive.  For about $300 customers get every issue from 1953 to December 2009. The hard drive is USB bus-powered, meaning it doesn't need a power cord, and "easily fits inside a briefcase or jacket pocket," according to the release.

 

The drive also comes with an additional 200GB of extra space to store other files. If you figure a 250GB external hard drive by itself costs somewhere around $50, you're getting the 650 issues for about $250, or about $0.40 an issue.

The drive is the result of an ongoing partnership with Bondi Digital Publishing. In 2009 Bondi and Playboy launched a free online archive of about 50 issues. Earlier, the two companies also released what was intended to be a series of DVD box sets of complete Playboy digital editions. A similar project was done with Rolling Stone.

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Cablevision plans to launch a service that can turn the iPad into a mobile TV screen at home. 

"You'll have our full cable television service on it in the home," COO Tom Rutledge said Thursday at an investor event. The launch could come toward the end of the first quarter next year, or early in the second, he said.

Comcast also said it will debut a service later this year allowing customers to watch some content on the iPad. Rutledge said Cablevision is actively pursuing rights to also allow out-of-home access, possibly using a pay-VOD model.

"We've put the infrastructure in place to do that ... depending on the rights structure, we'll be able to feed that content either to the [iPad in the] home as cable TV service, or we'll be able to feed it out of the home, [to] wherever the customer is, in whatever country they are," he said.

Cablevision already allows customers to control their DVRs from an iPad, and Rutledge says the devices have further potential as a kind of souped-up interactive program guide, particularly in relation to VOD.

"One of the values of Netflix is the fact that you can navigate it so easily and order a piece of VOD out of a huge menu," he said. "That is not easy to do on a television because of the nature of the remote and the set-top box. But if you can do that from an iPad and have it play on the TV, it makes our existing VOD assets a much more valuable transactional thing -- and just makes managing content easier."

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Pay TV Losses: Cord-Cutting Or Economy?
By Dave Morgan

 

The number of Americans subscribing to monthly pay TV provided by their cable, satellite and/or teleco service has dropped over the past two quarters, the first decline in decades. As reported by Varietythis morning, media research firm SNL Kagan announced that providers of pay television services in the U.S. lost 335,000 subscribers over the past two quarters.

 

Is it the economy? Or are Americans starting to "cut the cord" on paid TV services and to view their television programming over the Internet? This is the topic of a growing debate in media circles. Many in our industry believe that linear pay TV services are the next dinosaurs beginning to slide down the slope of inevitable Internet-driven extinction, facing fates not unlike those plaguing publishers of newspapers, magazines and music.

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Cable ditched for Internet TV?

NEW YORK — TV subscribers are ditching their cable companies at an ever faster rate in the past few months, and many of them aren't signing up with a satellite or phone competitor instead.

Their willingness to simply go without pay television could be a sign that Internet TV services such as Netflix and Hulu are finally starting to entice people to cancel cable, though company executives say the weak economy and housing market are to blame.

Third-quarter results reported this week by major cable and satellite TV companies show major losses but don't settle the question of what's causing them.

If “cord-cutting” in favor of Internet video is finally taking hold, that has wide-ranging implications. Consumers who use the Internet to get their movies and TV shows bypass not just the cable companies but the cable networks that produce the content. The move could have the same disruptive effect on the TV and movie industries as digital downloads have already had on music.

A few weeks ago, the CEO of phone company Verizon Communications Inc. likened cord-cutting to what started happening to local phone companies five or six years ago when people started giving up their landlines in favor of relying solely on their cell phones.

On Thursday, Time Warner Cable Inc.'s chief operating officer, Landel Hobbs said the company doesn't see evidence of people dropping cable in favor of the Internet. He said the biggest subscriber losses have been among people who don't have cable broadband services. High-speed Internet — from cable or a competitor — is key to watching video online.    associated Press  Nov 5

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Cable subscribers flee

NEW YORK (AP) -- Cable companies have been losing TV subscribers at an ever faster rate in the last few months, and satellite TV isn't picking up the slack. That could be a sign that Internet TV services such as Netflix and Hulu are finally starting to entice people to cancel cable.  Third-quarter results reported Thursday by major cable TV companies show major losses, but don't settle the question of what's causing them.

If "cord-cutting" in favor of Internet video is finally taking hold, that has wide-ranging implications. Consumers who use the Internet to get their movies and TV shows bypass not just the cable companies, but the cable networks that produce the content. The move could have the same disruptive effect on the TV and movie industries as digital downloads have already had on music.

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TiVo Issues Challenge To Advertisers

Looking to push its interactive TV business, TiVo is issuing advertisers a challenge: Trade-in one traditional 30-second TV spot for 30 days of interactive TV exposure on TiVo.

Calling it the "TiVo Challenge," the digital video recorder maker/ service wants advertisers to take the money from a 30-second spot and use it for an interactive media plan on TiVo.

Pitching this as a counter to the negative effects of DVR users fast-forwarding commercials, the company says it will evaluate clients' current media plans to "identify the most avoided spot" using its Stop||Watch ratings service.

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If you don't have a mobile strategy, you don't have a growth plan.

If that sounds extreme, consider some of the latest data framing the emerging global mobile paradigm that is reinventing consumer orientation for every business in every industry. For starters, the 3,339 texts per month (or six per hour) traded by U.S. teens (4,050 texts per month for girls) reported by Nielsen this week suggest that mobility is a way of life.

Young adults 18 to 24 text about half as much, or an average three texts per hour. Texting is the primary reason that young consumers say they have mobile devices; it is easier and faster than making phones calls. This is a clear sign of permanent behavior change hinged on an unprecedented level of interactivity.

But data and apps are the real rising stars of the more than 85% of mobile handsets expected to be Web-connect by next year, according to mobiThinking. The number of people accessing the Internet from mobile devices will outpace the PC within five years. For consumers, it's all about the power of convenient connections and information.  

Up to 50% of the world's mobile subscribers could be making payments by 2014

Global mobile commerce is predicted to reach $119 billion by 2015, with Japan and other Asian nations leading the way, mobiThinking reports. In the U.S. alone, consumers already have ordered more than $1 billion in products from Amazon in the past 12 months using mobile devices, the company says.

What better place to be than in consumers' hands and heads? With 85% of all American owning a cell phone, about one-third of which are expected to be smartphones in 2011, the mandate is clear. Until that new mobile mindset becomes a strategic and operating priority, companies' growth prospects will lag.

mediapost.com   0ct 2010

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AOL, Firms Explore an Offer for Yahoo

AOL Inc. and several private-equity firms are exploring making an offer to buy Yahoo Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, devising a bold plan to marry two big Internet brands facing steep challenges.

Silver Lake Partners and Blackstone Group LP are among the firms that have expressed interest in teaming up with AOL to buy Yahoo or trying to take it private on their own, these people said. They added that at least two or three other firms could be interested in participating if a formal buyout proposal is drawn up.

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It's a larger world for U.S. entertainment consumers: People are buying bigger TVs, more DVR machines, faster Wi-Fi services and newer mobile devices.

In its second-quarter home-technology report, The Nielsen Company says TV sets with screens 41 inches and larger continue to be big sellers. Sales of HDTV sets have grown 26.9% and LCD flat-screen TVs are up 48.2% in the second quarter this year versus two years ago.

Home Internet-broadband access is 3.8% higher in the second quarter of 2010 versus the first quarter of the year. Nielsen says 85.3% of Americans have some kind of Internet access. Wireless (Wi-Fi) home technology has grown by 24% in the last two years.   mediapost.com

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Facebook On YouTube's Tail

After a year of impressive growth as a video distribution powerhouse, Facebook takes is well-earned place as the number two video property by audience on the Web. According to the comScore Online Video Rankings for August, the social network (or do we have to call it "The Social Network" now?) had an audience of 58.6 million viewers piling up 243 million video sessions, What Facebook does not deliver, however, is a long hang time.

For the month the site serve 20.5 minutes of video to each user, compared to YouTube's massive 269.5 minutes (that is over 4 hours a month) of average viewing time per person. Eighty-five percent of U.S. Web users now view video online, and the average size of digital videos was 4.8 minutes.

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Verizon CEO: Internet TV Will Replace Cable

The party line from cable executives is that the "cord-cutting" phenomenon - consumers swapping cable subscriptions for Internet video - is a myth. Or, at best, greatly exaggerated. Not so, says Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg.

He told the crowd at Goldman's media conference this week that the cable bundle is going to go the way of the wireline telephone business. That is, the next generation of consumers won't have any interest in paying for it. "Young people are pretty smart. They're not going to pay for something they don't need," he said. "Over-the-top (OTT) is going to be a pretty big issue for cable."

But that's an issue for Verizon, too, right? Seidenberg's company sells its own version of the cable bundle, via its FiOS service, and it has 3.5 million customers. And Seidenberg noted that the TV bundle isn't going away immediately. But it will, he said. WallStreetJournal.com

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Content kings control the future of IPTV

Movie studios and TV broadcasters recognize that what customers want is to take their content with them on different devices. Young people aren't even watching TV the way their parents and grandparents did. In fact, a recent Nielsen study shows that audiences for broadcast networks like ABC, Fox, NBC, and CBS, which once dominated television programming, are getting older.  Twenty years ago, the median age for ABC viewers was 37; today it's 51. Fox's median age has also jumped, from 29 to 44. And NBC and CBS, which have always had older viewers, are also seeing the median age of their viewers rise. [CBS is the parent company of CNET.]

"There is a generational shift that needs to be acknowledged," said Andrew Kippen, vice president of marketing for Boxee, an over-the-top Internet TV provider. "Younger people get everything from the Internet. They're discovering music through MySpace and other social-networking sites. They're watching TV on Hulu.com. Their Internet connection is their lifeline."

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Computers set for quantum leap

By Clive Cookson in Birmingham

Published: September 16 2010 19:18 | Last updated: September 16 2010 19:18

A new photonic chip that works on light rather than electricity has been built by an international research team, paving the way for the production of ultra-fast quantum computers with capabilities far beyond today’s devices.

Future quantum computers will, for example, be able to pull important information out of the biggest databases almost instantaneously. As the amount of electronic data stored worldwide grows exponentially, the technology will make it easier for people to search with precision for what they want.

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Time-Shifted TV Viewing More Than Doubles
Reuters
Time-shifted TV viewing has more than doubled over the past year and over 40 percent of Americans now make plans to record their favorite shows and watch them later, according to a survey released on Tuesday, reports Reuters. More than two-thirds of viewers have watched prime-time television series through video on demand, digital video recorders and the Internet, the survey conducted for the No. 1 U.S. cable TV operator Comcast Corp found. 61% of those who responded said they were using time-shifting technologies more than one year ago. Last season, the Tuesday edition of "American Idol" was the most-time-shifted show on television, drawing an additional 5.6 million total viewers per episode.

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"I think the Internet is the most dangerous thing invented since the atomic bomb," he said. "It's destroyed the music business. It's going to destroy the movie business."   John Mellencamp

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MOBIL TV IS NOW

* Are you a Verizon FiOS subscriber (I am)? Good news for you. Verizon plans to launch an iPad app for that, based on the carrier’s existing cloud infrastructure. Seems like a pretty nifty way of getting my existing FiOS TV service on a mobile device. When the app launches, I’ll be there and let you know how it goes.

* Are you an HBO subscriber? Good news for you too. HBO will mobilize its existing streaming video service HBO Go, adding iPad and other mobile devices to its existing web-based streaming service. The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Wire are some of the content that we’ll be able to watch. HBO is giving this a shot in lieu of signing on with Netflix major mobile ambitions. Which leads us to….

* Are you a Netflix subscriber? Over 15 million people are. Netflix has made great strides in its streaming video app on the desktop as well as an iPhone/iPod touch app. Now the company is moving into making content available on many more devices, including iPad, BluRay players, PCs and TVs. This new app delivers content over WiFi or a 3G connection. Netflix also paid close to $1 billion ($900 million) for the digital distribution rights for movies from Paramount Pictures, MGM and Lions Gate Entertainment.

* How about AT&T U-Verse, the carrier’s IPTV-based TV service? If you’re a subscriber, you can get the free iPhone app to download and view content on the iPhone–not just program your DVR. The free app replaces AT&T’s existing Mobile Remote Access for iPhone app.

*  Dish Network? There’s an app for that too. The satellite network now offers free apps for viewing live TV on iPhone, BlackBerry and Android smartphones.

All this news is very encouraging for the future of watching a wide variety of content on mobile devices. AT&T and Verizon have been pushing (and “getting”) mobile video for a long time. Even Netflix–a relative newcomer in the Hollywood scene–understood early on the power of accessing content on multiple devices.  But when a content creator like HBO decides to take the plunge into making content available on multiple platforms and devices, there’s a sea change going on.

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Report: Video Usage Surges, Thanks Partly To Streaming Sites' Commitment To Infrastructure

Over the past year, the amount of time American audiences spent watching video for the major live video publishers has grown 648% to more than 1.4 billion minutes, according to comScore.  By comparison, the amount of time that American audiences spent watching YouTube and Hulu increased 68% and 75%, respectively, over the same time period.

"Live online video sites have not only been successful in building audience, but also in keeping that audience tuned in," says comScore Web video specialist Andres Palmiter. As Palmiter notes, the average live streamed video view is 7% longer than the average online video view. "If you narrow the audience to a specific demographic, though, live video really begins to prove its advertising value to media planners." Live video sites are 72% more likely to deliver the elusive demographic -- males age 18-34 -- than the average online video site.

Along with Justin.tv, other top live video publishers include USTREAM, Livestream, LiveVideo, and Stickam. In July, USTREAM reached over 3.2 million unique viewers, beating out Justin.tv's 2.6 million viewers, and Livestream's 2.4 million. As Palmiter notes, however, Livestream served more than 160 million videos, compared to roughly 130 million from Justin.tv and 20 million from USTREAM. "Those 20 million videos on USTREAM, however, were viewed eight minutes longer on average than videos on Justin.tv and 17 minutes more than those on Livestream." In terms of total minutes, viewers logged almost 900 million minutes watching Justin.tv in July -- outpacing the other two sites.

YouTube is also rumored to be seriously considering a live streaming video service. Google recently integrated its Moderator service -- which lets users vote on user-submitted ideas -- into YouTube. In the past, YouTube used the service for special events, and granted only select users access. Similarly, YouTube has sparingly employed live-streaming for presidential speeches, healthcare debates, cricket matches and a U2 concert.    mediapost.com  Sept 2010

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Apple (AAPL) failed to make a case Wednesday that Apple TV could replace cable TV. Instead, it did something smarter: It introduced an Apple TV that consumers will want alongside their cable boxes.

Which, for the first time, is a winning strategy to get Apple on the big family room screen. Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new Apple TV at the company’s press conference Wednesday, along with a new iPod Touch and a music-centered social network called Ping.

Apple TV No Revolution, But Fight for Living Room Launched
By Dave Morgan 

As expected, Apple yesterday announced its updated Apple TV appliance and its new streaming-video service, moving directly into competition with other home video rental businesses.

Nothing that Steve Jobs announced yesterday was revolutionary. We already have video-streaming services and devices.  However, most analysts believe that yesterday was only a precursor to Apple launching a smart TV (iTV) in the late fall, just in time for the holidays.

I believe that we are at the beginning of a monumental battle for control of home entertainment by dozens of big companies across the tech, teleco, hardware, content and distribution landscape. I have been waiting for this for 20 years -- the notion of the "digital home" and the "information superhighway" that inspired me to enter the "new media" industry back in 1991.

Where will the battles be fought? Who will be the key combatants? Here are my thoughts:

Consumer Electronics Hardware. Apple is going to launch a "smart" TV. They have to. As Steve Jobs readily admits, very few Americans are going to buy a stand-alone set-top box. We are too used to getting one for free as part of our pay-TV package. We are already seeing Samsung, Sony and LG adding intelligence and connectivity directly to their TVs. We are going to see set-top box companies like Microsoft, Google, TiVo, Cisco and Motorola integrate more into TVs. Intel is using its ubiquity to find a place at the table for the chipmaker. What's at stake? The access point for enjoying video at home, and control over how Americans spend more than four hours per day per person.

Video Rentals. Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster and now Apple are all now offering digital video-rental services. Existing premium pay-TV companies like HBO and Showtime are already making moves with "TV Everywhere"-type services to play here as well. Cable, satellite and teleco operators have been in the video-on-demand business for years. What's at stake? Tens of billions of dollars of annual video subscriptions and pay-per-view sales.

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The Justice Department's efforts, which are heating up, aren't likely to kill the deal, but they mark one of the first times that the government is seriously investigating—and could shape —a debate raging through the media business: Will online video providers emerge as direct competitors or complements to the $69.8 billion U.S. TV subscription market?

The regulators are considering the issue as the video market is undergoing its biggest transformation in decades. A range of companies—Netflix Inc., TiVo Inc. and Apple Inc. among them—are racing to provide access to video over the Internet, and a growing number of them are serving up content to Web-connected televisions as well as computers. That is further encroaching on the turf of cable and satellite companies, which are trying to co-opt the threat by launching Web-video services of their own.

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Mobile media will significantly outpace the Internet and other traditional media platforms -- especially in emerging and faster growth economies.

A new report from Nielsen Wire, with research from The Cambridge Group, says: "Defying classic economic models, the demand for communication (cell phones) leads traditional media growth, signifying a global, disruptive phenomenon." Growth for the Internet will continue -- but at more predictable growth patterns.

Strong mobile growth markets will be in those territories that have a rising financially strong middle class, so called BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China.

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Netflix Comes to the iPhone and iPod Touch

You can watch it on your computer or television. Now you can watch it on your iPhone too.  Netflix announced Thursday the release of a free Netflix application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that allows streaming of movies over Wi-Fi or a 3G cellphone connection.

The app, which had been expected since April, helps with Netflix’s attempt to become ubiquitous with its streaming offerings.

Netflix is available on a number of devices and screens, including gaming consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox, the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii — all of which hook up to a television for a lean-back streaming experience. The service is also available on the Apple iPad and through computers and laptops. Oh, and there are those DVDs they still send people in the mail. The app shows that Netflix wants to become omnipresent in mobile too.

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Blockbuster Inc. will file bankruptcy next month, people familiar with the matter have told the Los Angeles Times. In a report on the Times website, the sources said the pre-planned Chapter 11 filing would be used to restructure a debt load of nearly $1 billion. A planned bankruptcy allows the debtor to work with creditors about payment terms ahead of the filing.

Sources said the bankruptcy would take five months. During that time, the company would be able to shed some costly leases of its worst-performing stores. The source said Blockbuster would close 500 to 800 outlets.Movie studios, the Times reported, want the Dallas-based company to succeed so it can be a viable competitor to Netflix and Redbox.

Netflix's success already contributed to the downfall of video rental chain Movie Gallery, which filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time earlier this year. The company, which also owns Hollywood Video, is in the process of closing its remaining 1,050 stores.

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U.S. cable subscriptions fall in Q2 2010

The U.S. paid television industry experienced its worst quarter in history in the second quarter of 2010, losing 216,000 customers compared with a 378,000 gain in the same period last year, according to Monteray, CA-based research firm SNL Kagan.

The loss amounts to 0.2% of the overall number of subscribers to cable, satellite and telco video in the country, which now stands at 100.1 million. Cable took the biggest hit, losing 711,000 subscribers, with six of the eight top cable operators reporting their worst-ever quarterly losses. Satellite and Internet-based service subscriptions gained 81,000 and 414,000 subscriptions, respectively.

"Although it is tempting to point to over-the-top video as a potential culprit, we believe economic factors such as low housing formation and a high unemployment rate contributed to subscriber declines in the second quarter," SNL Kagan analyst Mariam Rondeli said in a statement. "We are also seeing churn resulting from the broadcast digital transition, which boosted video uptake early last year, as many have abandoned their paid subscriptions once initial promotional contracts expired."

The cable companies' share of combined video subscribers is down to 61% compared with 63.6% in the same period last year. Telecom companies continued to grow market share in online video business, up from 4.3% in the second quarter last year to 6.0% in the second quarter of 2010. The digital satellite industry's market share also went up but the gain was less than 1%.

realscreen.com

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According to July data from comScore, 178 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content during the month for an average of 14.7 hours per viewer. Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property with 143.2 million unique viewers, followed by Yahoo! Sites, with 55.1 million viewers. Facebook.com jumped one position to capture the #3 spot.

Google Sites had the highest number of overall viewing sessions with 1.9 billion and average time spent per viewer at 283 minutes, or 4.7 hours.

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Are Publishers Doomed to Fail in Age of Video Content?
by Ashkan Karbasfrooshan , Monday, August 23, 2010

Why did Blockbuster fail against Netflix?

Why did Barnes & Noble stumble while Amazon thrived?

Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen's focus on innovation in commercial enterprises led to his first book, "The Innovator's Dilemma," which articulated his theory of disruptive technology.  In the book, he argues that existing franchises are fundamentally frozen to adapt to new disruptive or emerging technologies because they're getting rich from existing systems.

Whereas Christensen's theories have been applied and analyzed in the context of technology firms, it's clear that media -- and specifically content -- companies are also faced with this phenomenon.  Take, for example newspapers: many failed to react and adapt to the onset of the Internet and World Wide Web in the late 1990s.  By the time some were forced to adjust, it was too late.  Mind you, even those who dove in to the revolution head-on suffered. 

Analogously, today you are seeing online media companies that have a text-centric DNA fail to adjust and adapt to online video, even though video clearly remains the fastest growing segment in the fastest growing medium that is online media.

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Blockbuster bets on digital strategy
Blockbuster's struggles don't signal the end for a chain that's felt the pain of a changed video landscape, the company's digital strategy chief Kevin Lewis told Fast Company. Success will lie in keeping the core mission in mind as Blockbuster expands its digital-delivery offerings, he said. "We're in it for the movies. We're not trying to get in the hardware business or sell you a different subscription -- what we want to give you is a really compelling movie service."

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Intel CEO: U.S. faces looming tech decline

Intel chief executive Paul Otellini offered a depressing set of observations about the economy and the Obama administration Monday evening, coupled with a dark commentary on the future of the technology industry if nothing changes.

Otellini's remarks during dinner at the Technology Policy Institute's Aspen Forum here amounted to a warning to the administration officials and assorted Capitol Hill aides in the audience: Unless government policies are altered, he predicted, "the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here."

The U.S. legal environment has become so hostile to business, Otellini said, that there is likely to be "an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth, much like we're seeing today in Europe--this is the bitter truth."

Not long ago, Otellini said, "our research centers were without peer. No country was more attractive for start-up capital... We seemed a generation ahead of the rest of the world in information technology. That simply is no longer the case."

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Pushing its own "TV Everywhere" effort, Dish Network has started up DishOnline.com, allowing its traditional satellite programming paying customers to watch TV shows and clips online. 

Some 150,000 movies, TV shows, clips and other content from cable networks -- including Food Network, Discovery Channel, MTV, EPIX, Starz and Encore -- will be offered on the new Web site. The site's search engine allows customers to grab content by title, network, actor or genre.

"DishOnline.com integrates Dish Network's expansive TV programming lineup with the vast amount of online video content, adding another dimension to our 'pay once, take your TV everywhere' product platform," stated Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming for Dish Network.

Other video programming service providers -- cable operators Time Warner and Comcast Corp., the companies that initiated the TV Everywhere concept, as well as Dish competitor, DirecTV -- have pledged similar TV Everywhere-like services.

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You can’t be dependent on somebody else to put your film into the marketplace.  “Empowered filmmaker” is the mantra for today’s indies. 

EDITORS NOTE: Last night in New York City, Tom Bernard delivered this speech at the first indieWIRE Filmmaker Toolkit Series event hosted by HSBC. In the coming days, indieWIRE will publish additional coverage of yesterday’s launch event, “Ask The Experts: Strategizing Film Fests & Distribution Today.”

If you look back in the late 70’s/early 80’s when the modern day independent film movement started, filmmakers like John Sayles, Allison Anders, Spike Lee, Michael Moore, Jim Jarmusch, Victor Nunez, Steven Soderbergh and Bob Young, etc., all had extensive knowledge of the business of film that went hand in hand with their filmmaking skills.  You can look today and see that all of these filmmakers still have very independent operations where they are very much a part of the distribution and business process for their movies. 

They established very early in the creative process what they wanted to happen with their films and then each plotted a course using to their advantage festivals, sales agents, producer’s reps, lawyers, critics, distributors, publicists, etc., as their tools to bring to fruition the goals they set for their film.

With so many distribution options available today you as a filmmaker are the one person that will be able to successfully control the destiny of your film.  I say this because of all the carpetbaggers that exist feeding off of the fruits of your labor have their own interests ahead of you.  Sure they will perform the services you have hired them to do, but without your direction they will weave your movie into the goals that serve their company.

http://www.indiewire.com/article/tom_bernard_empowerment/pem

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Connected TVs and set-top devices enabling consumers to view video from across the Internet on TVs could ultimately drive online video ads and marketing content budgets. The online video ad segment should grow at a 39% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) during the next five years, becoming a more than $5 billion market by 2014, estimates analyst firm Piper Jaffray, which released a series of reports Monday related to IPTV.

The slow shift of consumers spending more time with online video has already begun. The report explains some private video advertising networks admit to securing at least seven-figure budgets from major TV advertisers. Ad networks like Tremor, and those producing proprietary content like Adconion or BBE, could benefit from the transition. The bottom line, according to Piper Jaffray analysts, points to numerous Internet companies like Apple, Google and Yahoo, as well as Rovi, also capitalizing on this move.

 

YouTube Scores 101 Online Videos Per Viewer in May

New data from comScore shows that 183 million U.S. Internet users watched online video during the month of May. YouTube.com achieved record levels of viewing activity with an all-time high of 14.6 billion videos viewed and surpassing the threshold of 100 videos per viewer for the first time.

U.S. Internet users watched nearly 34 billion videos in May, with Google Sites ranking as the top video property with 14.6 billion videos, representing 43.1% of all videos viewed online. YouTube accounted for the vast majority of videos viewed at the property. Hulu ranked second, Microsoft Sites ranked third followed by Vevo and Viacom Digital.    comScore July 2010

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WASHINGTON — With pressure mounting on the federal government to find new revenues, Congress is considering legalizing, and taxing, an activity it banned just four years ago: Internet gambling. On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee approved a bill that would effectively legalize online poker and other nonsports betting, overturning a 2006 federal ban that critics say merely drove Web-based casinos offshore.

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Web-Enabled TV A Bigger Draw than 3-D

The TV industry has gotten behind 3-D in a big way this year. The electronics trade shows are brimming with high priced sets and goofy goggles. And in an otherwise dismal year for b2b press, my offhand conversations with trade publishers in the CE world suggests that the hardware manufacturers are pumping huge promotional budgets into 3-D. Their hope is that the promise of next gen technology will spark interest in the category and kickstart them out of the recession.

But consumers may have a different idea and may be aiming at a less expensive and more appealing next step for TV -- namely connectivity. According to iSuppli Corp global shipments of Internet Enabled TVs (IETV) will reach 27.7 million units in 2010 while only 4.2 million 3-D units will ship this year. iSuppli admits that in coming years 3-D will grow quickly but the hard sell among manufacturers and retailers for now addresses a very limited market of early adopters. But IETV makes sense to more people. 3-D is costly and suffers from very limited content. "IETV provides immediate benefits by allowing TV viewers to access a range of content readily available on the Internet," says Riddhi Patel, iSuppli Director and Principal Analyst for Television.

========================Get Premium Tickets at TicketsNow

Content Insider #148 – The iGen
 
Gen X, Gen Y … Creating Havoc for Marketers
 

“Whatever you've got to tell me, I'll find out through the natural course of time.”

Dr. Emmett Brown, Back to the Future (1985)

 
We hate kids…O.K., the word “hate” may be a little too strong.
We’re jealous of ‘em!!!
There, we said it…we’re glad…we’ve got two of our own!!!
We’re part of the Baby Boomer Generation--(there are two parts -- 1946 – 1964).
Then, there are the Gen Xers (‘65 – ‘78).
Then Gen Y (‘79 – ‘89).
Now, it’s the  iGen (1990 – 2009).

 

No, that isn’t the “i” Jobs would like. It’s the “i” as in instant, immediate, individual. They’re creating havoc with business because we simply cannot figure out how to monetize tomorrow’s hardware, software, service solutions.
 
We loved the old CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) chart of technology adoption:
-        PCs took 21 years for 50% household penetration
-        Color TV took 13 years
-        Cellphones took 12 years
-        Cordless phones took 15 years
 
Notice anything?
Yeah!  Mainstream adoption is taking less and less time.

READ MORE OF THE ARTICLE

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According to the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, internet connectivity has emerged as a key feature in TVs this year and the TV market is entering a new phase, as connected TVs hit the mainstream.  

The report, which surveyed 2010 product ranges from leading brands, notes that 55% of TV models available across Japan, North America, Europe, China and India have Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) capability. Overall, this is expected to translate to over 45 million connected TV sets, 19% of flat panel TV shipments in 2010. DisplaySearch forecasts the connected segment to reach 119 million units in 2014, accounting for 42% of all TVs shipped worldwide.

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Dell Streak 5-inch display Android smartphone to be available in the U.S. this month

The Dell Streak, an Android 1.6 powered smartphone with a large, 5-inch touchscreen display, is now showing up on the Dell USA website as being available for purchase in "late July." The Streak is already available in parts of Europe.

The Streak is an HSPA capable 3G device that is compatible with AT&T's network in the USA as well as with 2100MHz networks used in much of the rest of the world. Its over-sized display features 800 x 480 pixel resolution, and the phone comes equipped with a 5 megapixel autofocus main camera and a forward facing VGA resolution camera for video calling.

Measuring 152 x 78.8 x 10mm (6 x 3.1 x .4in) in size, the Streak is one of the largest mobile devices to be introduced this year, which has some people calling it a tablet rather than a smartphone. Full Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support are built into the phone, and storage expansion is handled with a hot-swappable microSD memory card slot. The Streak's 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor will help it make the most of the nearly 100,000 available applications in the Android Market.

No pricing information has been provided by Dell at this time. Those that sign up on the Dell website will be given an opportunity to purchase the Streak during a 24 hour pre-sale event, and will receive a free shipping upgrade and the option to purchase a Plantronics Bluetooth headset for $.99 with a promotion code.

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We have certainly entered into a new wave of how we consume content online and on TV, with a stronger appetite for accessing it in other places than network television.  It's hard to believe, but YouTube just celebrated its five-year anniversary. Look how we have moved away in such a short period of time from strictly watching our favorite content on our television sets.

So what's next in terms of online content and television? Is there a fusion model out there where both can exist harmoniously? I am calling for a deeper adoption of widgets on connected devices, similar to how Yahoo is allowing you to view your personalized Internet content while watching TV. Launched last year at CES, Yahoo Connected TV has built a compelling offering to reach consumers in a way a network can't. Verizon Fios recently announced it is offering customers YouTube content on TV  -- and earlier this month, Google TV delivered an app-type experience into the browser.

As Forester Research mentioned in a recent report ( "The Future of Online Customer Experience"), the four attributes that will characterize the next phase of content development on the Internet will be content that is "customized by the end user, aggregated at the point of the use, relevant to the moment, and social as a rule, not an exception."

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Report: Short-Form Video Still King

Citing the success of Hulu and various efforts by YouTube, recent reports have heralded the dramatic rise of long-form video content. That said, consumers still far prefer watching short -- if not quite consumer-generated -- media, according to new research conducted by research/consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates on behalf of video site Metacafe.

Indeed, short "professional" videos now account for eight of the 10 most popular video genres, including music videos, movie previews, and TV show clips, according to the report.

Moreover, consumers overwhelmingly said watching short professional videos online is just as entertaining as watching full-length TV shows on television, while more than one in four respondents also said short-form online videos are more entertaining than full-length TV shows.     mediapost.com

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Hulu Gets Twice As Many Ad Views As YouTube

Hulu has an audience less than 20% the size of YouTube's but generates more than twice the amount of video ad views, according to new data from comScore. In introducing a new version of its Video Metrix service Thursday, the Web research firm said Hulu had 556 million video ad views in June compared to just over 200 million for Google Sites (principally YouTube.)

Video ad network Tremor Media ranked second, with 524 million ad views, followed by rival ad network BrightRoll (333.5 million), Microsoft sites (222 million), and SpotXchange (202 million). Hulu's 556 million views worked out to 24.2 ads per viewer. The next-closest was ESPN, with 12, followed by Microsoft sites, 9.2, and CBS Interactive, 6.9. YouTube had just 4.3 ads per viewer.

The comScore findings will likely be cited as further evidence that premium content offered through sites like Hulu is far easier to monetize than primarily user-generated material found on YouTube. Whether Hulu can continue to grow its audience and ad growth following the launch of its $9.99-a-month subscription plan last month is another question.    mediapost.com

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Google music store could launch this fall

With the iTunes' banner waving supremely over the digital music landscape, Google continues to build its own music service, CNET has learned. According to multiple music industry sources, Google could launch a music service that offers song downloads and streaming music as early as this fall.

Google has already signaled that it wishes to give users of phones equipped with Google's Android operating system a better music offering. At Google's I/O conference last month, the search engine offered attendees a demonstration of a Web-based iTunes competitor. Also TechCrunch reported two weeks ago that it discovered a "Google Music" logo hosted on Google's domain.

But Google's plans go beyond Android, say music sector insiders. CNET has learned that Google first stoked excitement among executives at some of the top four major labels during the Consumer Electronics Show in January. That's where they revealed some of the features that a Google music store might include, such as tying digital downloads and streaming music to Google's search results.

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 YOUTUBE LAUNCES CITIZENTUBE NEW FEED

Some ideas are so obvious that, when they suddenly emerge, you wonder why it took so long for them to develop in the first place. So it is with YouTube's CitizenTube news feed, which launched this week along with the help of students at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. This subsite of YouTube aggregates -- or should I say curates -- citizen news posted to YouTube on one site. (CitizenTube has been around as a channel and concept for awhile, but the news feed treatment takes the idea up a few notches.)

I use the word "curate" here because this site is more than a dump of footage shot on cell phones. As the official YouTube blog explains, "The news feed will provide a stream of breaking news videos on YouTube, with a focus on strong visuals, non-traditional sources and the very latest uploads." Your blurry video of a fender bender won't make the cut. As I write this, the site, which is built simply on Blogger, is featuring footage of:

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One-Third of Internet Users Watching Web TV

Web video isn't just for snacking anymore. A third of adult U.S. Internet users will watch full-length television shows online this year on a monthly basis, according to new data from market research firm eMarketer. That proportion is expected to grow to 39% next year as watching TV online increasingly becomes a mainstream activity.

That growth has been steady over the last few years, with a quarter of Internet users watching TV online in 2008 and nearly 30% in 2009. A major factor in expanding the audience for long-form content has obviously been Hulu, the joint venture of NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment and ABC Inc.

Hulu ranked second only to YouTube in overall streams viewed in April, according to comScore, and among the top 10 Web video properties with an audience of 38.7 million monthly unique visitors.

The increase in Internet-enabled TV sets and other viewing devices such as tablet computers should also boost the trend. In-Stat expects U.S. shipments of Web-capable devices that can run TV applications to increase from 14.6 million this year to 83.4 million by 2014.  mediapost.com  June 2010

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Apple Passes Microsoft as No. 1 in Tech

SAN FRANCISCO — Wall Street has called the end of an era and the beginning of the next one: The most important technology product no longer sits on your desk but rather fits in your hand.

The moment came Wednesday when Apple, the maker of iPods, iPhones and iPads, shot past Microsoft, the computer software giant, to become the world’s most valuable technology company.

This changing of the guard caps one of the most stunning turnarounds in business history for Apple, which had been given up for dead only a decade earlier, and its co-founder and visionary chief executive, Steven P. Jobs. The rapidly rising value attached to Apple by investors also heralds an important cultural shift: Consumer tastes have overtaken the needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.

Microsoft, with its Windows and Office software franchises, has dominated the relationship most people had with their computers for almost two decades, and that was reflected in its stock market capitalization. But the click-clack of the keyboard has ceded ground to the swipe of a finger across a smartphone’s touch screen.

And Apple is in the right place at the right time. Although it still sells computers, twice as much revenue is coming from hand-held devices and music. Over all, the technology industry sold about 172 million smartphones last year, compared with 306 million PCs, but smartphone sales grew at a pace five times faster.

================================

ARE BROADCAST NETS UP FOR SALE

With General Electric in the process of selling NBC Universal to Comcast, some Wall Street dealmakers predict Sumner Redstone and Disney will begin debating whether to put CBS and ABC, respectively, on the block, report the New York Post. "This is a good time to sell a network," said one Wall Street exec. "Retransmission makes it look more interesting. [CBS] has assets in radio but no long-term strategy in cable."  ABC's future isn't a lock, with Disney chief Bob Iger said to be taking a hard look at the network. "There are no guarantees," he said recently about ABC's future at Disney. In fact, this year may be broadcast TV's best hope for finding buyers.

While the audience tuning in to broadcast TV continues to erode, the Big Four networks -- ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC -- collectively are expected to pull in as much as 20% more in ad dollars at this year's upfront than in last year's dismal showing. Plus, the net are gaining ground with cable to get paid for their broadcast signal. Analyst Larry Gerbrandt forecasts that networks could each reap up to $400 million in the coming years, thanks to retransmission fees. CBS Corp. chief Les Moonves is open to the idea, says Television Broadcast. "We are a large-market organization in terms of our local assets, so we would look to continue to trim radio in the not-largest markets and even potentially a couple of television stations," Moonves said during the May 5 call.          mediapost.com

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Does Hulu Signal The Death of TV?

The latest TV threat could come from Hulu, the second-most-popular site for free online video. A reportedly planned change to the site's revenue model raises new questions about the outlook for television companies, says Smart Money. Today, Hulu offers a menu of free streaming TV episodes, movies and clips for free, but the site plans to start charging a monthly subscription fee of $9.95 to access its full archive of videos. The last few episodes of most shows would remain free.  Hulu also poses a danger to the networks because it could be changing audiences' expectations. Sites like Hulu are also "retraining the consumer that premium content is supposed to be free," says Laura Martin, a senior analyst covering entertainment, cable and media at Needham & Company.

 

IDC says the tablet market will increase sixfold in 4 years
A new report from IDC predicts that shipments of tablet PCs will eclipse 46 million units by 2014, which would be more than six times the 7 million that are expected to be sold this year. While Apple's iPad currently dominates the market, the IDC report said that computer makers such as Hewlett-Packard, Asus and Lenovo also want to get in on the tablet action.

============================

Google TV: Your TV and the Web, together again

The whole Web TV thing has been tried before ... just not very well, frankly. Now Google thinks it's hit on the right formula for letting couch potatoes easily switch back and forth between live TV and the Web, baking Google search results, Web and Android applications into HDTVs, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes for a "single, seamless experience."

It's called Google TV, and Google promises that the first Android-powered, Google-TV-enabled devices — including TVs and a Blu-ray player from Sony, as well as a "companion" set-top box from Logitech — will go on sale this fall. Supposedly, you'll be able to use Google TV with your existing DVR or cable box, althoug

=============================

According to TDG data, while the amount of time spent viewing TV has remained relatively stable, the amount of time consumers spent watching online video increased 84% between

2008 and 2009. When extrapolated across the entire TV-viewing population, the average time spent viewing online video in 2009 was 52% more than in 2008. TDG expects that this rate of growth will actually increase during the next 5-7 years due primarily to the increased use of the television as the platform of choice for web video viewing.

According to Colin Dixon, senior partner and co-author of TDG's new report, "The total amount of time spent watching video from all sources, including PayTV and Internet video, will hold constant during the next 10 years at around 32 hours a week. With online video usage accelerating we expect the amount of Internet video watched to eclipse the amount of live broadcast TV around 2020."

 

Though this forecast may appear shocking to some, Dixon says there is good reason

to believe that this estimate is realistic. "Keep in mind that during this period,

Internet and broadcast delivery of video content will become blended in such a way

that consumers will be unaware of which conduit serves which content. Because so

much of their audience will be consuming online, it is more important than ever

that cable and broadcast channels increase their presence online."

=============================

Yahoo! to Acquire Associated Content

Extending Leadership in Content With the Addition of 380,000 Contributors

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Associated Content Inc. This strategic move extends Yahoo's ability to provide high quality, personally relevant content for the benefit of more than 600 million users as well as tens of thousands of advertisers. As Yahoo! enhances its social, mobile, local, and media offerings, the acquisition of Associated Content reinforces the company's longstanding promise to offer the best of the Web -- by combining Associated Content's approximately 380,000 contributors who provide rich and varied content on a broad array of passion points, with Yahoo's leadership in partnering with established content brands and the award-winning team of editors and experts from Yahoo!.

==============================

YouTube Streams 2 Billion Videos A Day
TV networks take note: YouTube says it has exceeded 2 billion video views per day.The announcement from the Google-owned site comes as part of a larger initiative that the company is launching relay the history behind YouTube and its growth. Part of that campaign is the launch of "My YouTube Story" and the related YouTube 5 Year Channel. The site wants users to send videos about the impact YouTube has had on their lives. It will eventually be curated by Stephen Higgins, a documentary filmmaker, who will add a timeline and videos from celebrities discussing the achievement, according to MashableYouTube's explosive growth should be of interest to networks, which are looking for new platforms to air their shows. Nielsen just posted its report of Top Online Video Sites in the U.S. for April 2010, and YouTube had 97.1 million unique viewers for the month, a 1.1% month-over-month growth. Its closest competitor in the Neilsen rankings, Yahoo! video, had 27.6 million unique viewers for the month, so the size of YouTube's audience is staggeringly higher than the rest of the market, notes Beta News.

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Consumer-electronics spending is up 12%, CEA study finds
Competitive pricing on consumer-electronics products helped boost by 12% the amount the average U.S. household spent on CE devices in the past 12 months, according to a new study by the Consumer Electronics Association. The report went on to say that the average adult spent $794 on CE goods in the past year, with men outspending women $969 to $631

======================

Washington, D.C. — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), saying it was “in the public interest,” today approved a request by the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) to permit recent movies to be sent directly to American households over secure high definition transmission lines from their cable or satellite providers prior to their release on DVD or Blu-ray.

“This action is an important victory for consumers who will now have far greater access to see recent high definition movies in their homes. And it is a major step forward in the development of new business models by the motion picture industry to respond to growing consumer demand,” said Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the MPAA. “We deeply appreciate the recognition by the FCC that recently released movies need special protection against content theft when they are distributed to home televisions.”

Specifically, the issue before the FCC was a request by the MPAA for permission to use selectable output control (SOC), which would allow televisions with digitally secure interfaces to receive high- definition content from a cable, satellite or IPTV provider, before its release on DVD or Blue-ray. Using SOC protects content because during the broadcast it essentially disables non-secure, analog outputs to avoid illegal circumvention and distribution of copyrighted material.

Comment from Shelly Palmer:

There is absolutely no version of the world where plugging the analog hole is going to stop anyone from pirating or illegally downloading even one file. It’s 2010, every major movie is available online for free within hours of its first full screening.

The only thing this is going to accomplish the creation of a huge body of extremely confused, non-technical consumers who are going to contact their cable and satellite companies for service calls. This will also require several hundreds of thousands of consumers to rewire their systems: a lovely windfall for installers, hell on the consumer’s checkbooks. (I did notice some of the sales people at my local Radio Shack doing the Snoopy Dance! HDMI cables are really expensive at Radio Shack.)

Congrats to the MPAA … your solution will create a set of problems that will cost cable and satellite companies, and consumers a fortune and it will not reduce piracy by even one download. Well done.

=====================

Today, Blockbuster is struggling to keep its stock price above $1, a minimum threshold that's threatening to knock it off the New York Stock Exchange. It finds itself in an all-out fight for survival, warning investors earlier this year that bankruptcy is a possibility.     DallasNews.com   May 2010

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"Mobile Set-Top Box" Era Begins on June 4th with Sprint Evo Introduction

News this week from Sprint that it will release the much-anticipated HTC Evo 4G on June 4th means that the era of the "mobile set-top box" is about to officially get underway. For those of you not familiar with the Evo, it is the first smartphone capable of working on Sprint's ultra-fast 4G wireless network. The Evo, powered by the Android 2.1 OS also sports an HDMI output (the first that I've seen), which means that you can connect the device to a widescreen HDTV and watch 720p video in gorgeous quality on a widescreen HDTV (note, Sprint plans to charge a $10 incremental 4G fee, though data transfer will be unlimited). See video below showing Evo outputting to an 85-inch plasma HDTV and also a side-by-side Engadget did with the iPhone.

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Suburban Swagger: The Music Video             mediapost.com  5/10

Serialized viral video campaigns run the risk of overstaying their Web welcome. There is a tendency to drive a good idea into the ground when distribution and media costs are negligible. This is the down side of digital media technology no one wants to talk about. It is the home video effect. Digital video and photographic tools drop the barriers to entry and offer low/no-cost production and distribution to everyone. The result has been the end of editing and home video clips and personal slide shows that can go on till dawn. At least when film cost an arm and a leg to buy and process, there were some kinds of natural limits. I will leave it to some smarter cultural analyst to figure this one out. But it seems to me that we are at the moment when the technology and the culture share a common set of tendencies: uninhibited self-expression.

=======================

Tech CEOs try to predict who'll win tomorrow's tech race   usatoday.com  5/10

Most of the largest tech firms are hedging their bets by acquiring hot start-ups rather than developing technology internally. And many are pursuing up-and-comers in mobile, clou d computing (where data are stored remotely by someone else) and services. Last month, for example, HP dove into the $100 billion smartphone market with its $1.2 billion planned acquisition of Palm.

IBM has gobbled more than 100 software companies the past few years. Cisco and Oracle have gone on buying sprees, snapping up start-ups and rivals. HP has gotten serious about software companies. When Oracle closed its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun in January, Ellison proclaimed that his company would hew to IBM's earlier model of being the computing equivalent of a one-stop shop. He expects to squeeze a $1.5 billion profit from Sun over the next year.

"The future of computing is about providing customers solutions from one vendor," Ellison said in a phone interview.  Absent big acquisitions and market-shifting products, some companies are content to redefine themselves as narrow, scaled-down versions of what they used to be.

======================

The Global Mobile Internet Conference
According to a poll by the China Internet Network Information Centre, about 75% of China's 195 million Web users under the age of 25 -- roughly half of its world-leading online population -- accessed the Internet using a cell phone in 2009, up from 50% a year earlier. The poll offers further proof of the burgeoning market for mobile Internet in China, which has the world's largest number of mobile-phone subscribers, more than 765 million. To learn more about this growing market, plan to attend The Global Mobile Internet Conference 2010 (GMIC2010) and hear the perspectives of executives from Alibaba, Nokia, Opera, Sequoia, AdMob and PayPal and from CEA economist Shawn Dubravac. About 1,000 mobile-Internet executives from around the world are expected to attend the conference May 27 to 29 in Beijing

=======================

The Nielsen Company reported that viewing of video on television, Internet and mobile devices – the Three Screens – continues to increase and has reached new heights. In its fourth quarter “A2/M2 Three Screen Report”, Nielsen reported that the average American watches more than 151 hours of TV per month, an all-time high. Meanwhile, Americans who watch video over the Internet consume another 3 hours of online video per month and those who use mobile video watch nearly 4 hours per month on mobile phones and other devices.

Nielsen also reported that digital video recorded (DVR) and other timeshifted television is watched at double the pace as video online at 7 hours, 11 minutes per month. Yet in a potential indicator of how audiences could timeshift in the future, young adults (age 18-24) watch video on the Internet and on a DVR at the same rate -- about 5 hours per month.       Nielsen

==========================

... Yet Without Information, We Are Nothing
A new study, conducted by the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA) and students at the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, "24 Hours: Unplugged," asked 200 students at the College Park campus to give up all media for 24 hours. After their 24 hours of abstinence, the students were then asked to blog on private class websites about their experiences, to report their successes and admit to any failures. The 200 students wrote more than 110,000 words, about the same number of words as a 400-page novel.

Susan D. Moeller, a journalism professor at the University of Maryland and the director of the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda which conducted the study, noted that "We were surprised by how many students admitted that they were 'incredibly addicted' to media... but we noticed that what they wrote at length about was how they hated losing their personal connections. Going without media meant, in their world, going without their friends and family."

The absence of information, the feeling of not being connected to the world, was among the things that caused the most anxiety in students as they sought to learn about the role of media in their lives by completing an assignment that asked them to spend a day without using media.

======================

Google to start selling e-books this summer

Google plans to begin selling e-books this summer over a platform that would allow readers to load the books onto multiple electronic devices, the company said Tuesday.

The Mountain View search giant outlined the plan at a panel discussion in New York that was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The service is called Google Editions and will allow users to buy e-books directly from the company, as well as through other retailers.

======================

What's next for the home video market?

By Jeffrey Korchek  HollywoodReporter.com  4/22

Oh DVD, you used to be so big. You arrived in 1997, with your roots in the optical videodisc system, DiscoVision, first developed by the former corporate parent of Universal Studios, MCA. In no time you bested VHS, which itself had not only transformed the movie business by providing both a new revenue stream and a convenient way to watch movies at home whenever people wanted, wearing whatever, but had also created an entirely new business: the video store.

You and your bonus features -- Commentary! Outtakes! Alternate endings! We never knew there was so much to "Cabin Boy"! -- eventually became more than 50% of a motion picture's revenue. And, you even had your own release day: Tuesday.

Even better, the studios got to make 80% of the revenue from your sales totally disappear from participation and guild residual statements because everybody accepted the concept of a 20% royalty. Genius. More so because the actual cost to make you was less than $1, and your wholesale price is now around $15 (though don't get all grand on us about that because your revenue is just part of the calculus of green lighting a picture).

But then the economy tanked; your sales dropped 30% from your peak; Wal-Mart, representing over 40% of domestic DVD sales, decided it wanted a clean store and that you were cluttering it up -- not to mention that it sold you below cost anyway. And the new you, Blu-ray, which was going to cause everyone to buy the same movies all over again at a higher cost has yet to live up to expectations.
 

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Sonny has announced it will stop selling floppy disks because of falling sales. Demand has dropped off as consumers turned to CDs, USB sticks and other devices that hold more data.

Those three-and-a half-inch disk we used in the 1990s to store information are, believe or not, still in production. Sony did make a few million last year. But demand for floppies has dropped off as consumers turned to CDs, USB sticks and other devices that hold more data. So, Sony just announced that, early next year, it will stop making floppy disks altogether.

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NBC and the producers of "America's Got Talent" are partnering with YouTube to put the show's audition process online.  LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter)

Starting Monday, acts can upload their videos onto a special page on the video-sharing site to be in consideration for the summer show. From the submitted videos, producers from FremantleMedia North America will select 40 to be posted on a "Got Talent" YouTube channel for users to vote on. A total of 12 acts from YouTube submissions will perform live on the NBC show.

"Got Talent" videos have frequently become viral sensations on YouTube after airing, from last season's winner Kevin Skinner to the U.K. version's Susan Boyle. This arrangement gives NBC another portal to finding talent and helps generate buzz for the show, which returns June 1 with Howie Mandel joining the judges' table. The submission site is www.youtube.com/americasgottalent.

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CREATIVE DESTRUCTION IS ARRIVING AT UNUSUAL PLACES: SCHOOLS ARE NOW, BECAUSE OF THE ACCELERATING SPEED OF CHANGE, AND ARE STILL TEACHING DISCIPLINES WHOSE "JOBS" WILL BE OBSOLETE FIVE YEARS AFTER GRADUATION. OR PERHAPS EARLIER.  AS THE INTERNET PUSHES THOSE WITH MORE ACCELERATING MINDS MOVE TO SAVE MONEY, VIA DROP-OUT AND SPEND MORE TIME IN THE "CORRIDORS OF INTERNET POWER" AND AS THEY FIND IT "FUN", MOVES THE DESTRUCTION "BEAM" TO ACCELERATING CONVERTING STUDENT RESIDENCES INTO WELCOME HOMES FOR THE ELDERLY! SELL-OUT UNIVERSITIES IS JUST HAPPENING. BUILDERS ARE NOW OFFERING MORE MONEY THAN UNIVERSITIES CAN COMMAND FOR USE AS A UNIVERSITY.  NO UNIVERSITIES, WHEN THAT STRIKES HOME, CAN SURVIVE.     Frank Ogden, Dr. Tomorrow

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After years showing great promise but disappointing growth, mobile marketing is poised for explosive growth over the next four years, according to a new report from Borrell Associates titled "Local Mobile Advertising & Promotions Forecast."

This huge growth -- equaling the high double-digit percentage increases in the early days of the Internet -- will be driven largely by local mobile coupons, Borrell predicts. However, mobile advertising will also play a big role.

Part one of the four-part Borrell series, titled "Mobile Coupons Set to Cash In," sees mobile coupons growing from $2.7 billion in 2009 to $57 billion in 2014, for a cumulative annualized growth rate of 84% per year.

That's compared to a CAGR of 13% for online marketing in general, which Borrell pegs at about $80 billion in 2014. Mobile advertising will grow from a mere $285 million in 2009 to $11.3 billion by 2014 -- increasing from about a tenth of total mobile spending to about a fifth.

This will be enabled by the high penetration of mobile technology, with about 80% of the U.S. population owning a mobile device, including 31% who own a smartphone.     yahoo.com news

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According to a newly published study from TDG - the nation's leading new media research consultancy - almost two-thirds of Netflix users that subscribe to a home broadband service are now viewing the 'Watch Instantly'

streaming video service. One-third of broadband-enabled Netflix subscribers view this streaming video exclusively only on their PCs, 8% view the content exclusively on their TVs, and 24% use both their PCs and TVs.

"Netflix is now the archetype for over-the-top (OTT) streaming video services,"

notes Michael Greeson, TDG founding partner and director of research. "Not only has Netflix eclipsed its immediate competitors in terms of online DVD rental, but it has quickly become the 'gold standard' for new OTT streaming services."

The implication of TDG's research is significant: one-half of broadband-enabled 'Watch Instantly' users now view streaming video on their TVs, a phenomenon unimaginable just a few years ago. As Greeson points out, this speaks volumes about the maturation of streaming video technologies that, until recently, had delivered an inconsistent experience that left regular TV viewers wanting.

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NETWORK EVENING NEWS DOWN -14% IN YEAR; AUDIENCE VANISH

===================

Netflix’s hallowed business strategy of offering monthly DVD subscriptions and streaming could soon get a major competitor: Redbox.

Citing discussions with Coinstar management, Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Eric Wold April 7 said Redbox is surveying its more active customers about a pre-paid monthly subscription option that would combine DVD rentals and digital streaming.

Specifically, select subscribers would be offered a plan for $3.99 per month and receive four DVD rentals and unlimited streaming (presumably through Redbox’s Web site).

Netflix offers a $4.99 monthly plan for two DVD rentals per month and two hours of streaming. A more popular $8.99 plan offers one DVD out at a time, in addition to unlimited streaming.

“At this point, it is unclear if the streaming option would include new releases and/or catalog titles — although we believe it would likely lean more toward catalog titles that are cheaper to provide to consumers,” Wold wrote in a note.

The analyst said he believes the streaming option would be supported by Sonic Solutions, which markets the popular Roxio CinemaNow downloading technology, also used by Blockbuster On Demand.

 

===================

While there are going to be many evolving uses for the iPad,  one of the communities that is watching the sale and consumer reaction most closely is the publishing world.  While book publishers have been seeing new markets emerge with the Kindle,  the nature of the text  only black-and-white screen has made it less than optimal for glossy magazine publishers.

Today - magazines are watching their multi-media offering take a giant step forward with the launch of Apple's new portable,  full motion,  full color tablet device.   While many publishers have been committed to flash-based players,   the early implementation winners can be seen in magazines that embraced the HTML5 format and search friendly metadata and page layout that  come from that format.   Magnify.net

===================

About five years ago Chris Anderson wrote a Wired Magazine article entitled The Long Tail. Basically it concluded that the Internet's ability to provide a nearly infinite supply of Digital Media would shift consumer interest and spending toward less popular content merely because it makes such content more accessible.  For example, when out-of-print books are hard to find the very fact that they are scarce tends to make them less popular. If we cannot find a copy we cannot inspect it. Moreover, we might not even be aware the title exists.

However, when all books are available as Digital Media, there is never a shortage. Similarly, titles are searchable via Google. This enables readers to discover previously rare books they might never otherwise had an opportunity to examine.

Correspondingly, the nearly infinite supply of videos at websites like YouTube are enabling consumers to discover, and repeatedly enjoy, content  that might only rarely be available on television. Some of it might never be found on TV. One inspiring example was first revealed at the 2007 TED (Technology-Entertainment-Design) Conference.

Specifically, Venezuela has more children playing musical instruments than playing soccer. One British expert stated without qualification "there is no more important work being done in music now than in Venezuela". It is a remarkable assessment for a country with a per-capita income about one-third of the United States. Venezuela is only about the size of Texas and New Mexico combined in terms of geography and population. Yet even the casual observer can see from this video of the nation's high school orchestra that something remarkable is happening in there.   
insidedigitalmedia.com

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Facebook becomes bigger hit than Google

Social networking website Facebook has capped a year of phenomenal growth by overtaking Google’s popularity among US internet users, with industry data showing it has scored more visits on its home page than the search engine.

In a sign that the web is becoming more sociable than searchable, research firm Hitwise said that the two sites accounted for 14 per cent of all US internet visits last week. Facebook’s home page recorded 7.07 per cent of traffic and Google’s 7.03 per cent.

Google has responded to the ascendancy of the social networking site with its own Buzz service last month. Buzz allows users to add status updates, friends, pictures, videos, location information, comments and links to other networking sites. Buzz, though, has struggled with privacy concerns just as Facebook has been criticised for encouraging members to reveal personal data to search engines.    ft.com  3/10

========================

Reports of Death Not Exaggerated: Most Americans Envision Newspapers' Demise

As if the newspaper business didn't have enough bad news to deal with, roughly half of Americans over the age of 12 believe that the medium of print newspapers will cease to exist altogether at some point.  While the survey didn't ask for a predicted date of demise for print newspapers, leaving the time frame somewhat open-ended, 49% of respondents agreed with this statement: "In the future, there will be no more newspapers because everyone will be getting their news over the Internet."

Regardless of when this is supposed to occur, the belief reflects the widespread perception (among at least half the population) of a medium in decline.

What's more, the 49% figure is a big increase over just three years ago, when 27% agreed with the same statement. Arbitron Senior Vice President of marketing Bill Rose summed up the findings: "The average consumer's expectation that newspapers will 'always be there' has eroded dramatically since we began tracking this question in 2007."

According to the most recent figures from the Newspaper Association of America, total print newspaper revenues have declined a vertiginous 47%, from $46.6 billion in 2006 to just $24.8 billion in 2009.      mediapost.com  April 2010

=========================

In the digital age, of course, every musician is free to make and sell music without gaining a gatekeeper’s approval. But if the Beatles had a profile page on MySpace today, they’d be only one in a million — no, one in about 13 million. This is the boggling number of music profiles now on the site worldwide, according to a MySpace spokeswoman.

When millions of musicians clamber upon one very crowded stage, it’s hard to stand out. Even the Beatles might be swallowed up by the chaos of choices.

The Beatles, of course, enjoyed the marketing muscle of the label. And so do signed artists today: the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry released a report last month that said record companies invest around $5 billion a year in musical talent. The sum spent on a new artist or group is typically $1 million, including an advance of $200,000, a package of three videos that cost an additional $200,000, and $300,000 in promotion and marketing.

The report did not point out that the approximately 4,000 lucky artists who are on the rosters of the major record companies represent 0.3 percent of the artists found on MySpace.

=======================

The trend of living room PCs is still growing, and here are some numbers to back this up:

  • In Deloitte’s, "State of the Media Democracy Survey Fourth Edition," December 2009, the firm found that 65% of US Internet users would like to connect their televisions to the Internet, a figure that jumped to 74% among Millennials (ages 14-26).
  • In Forrester Research’s report, "How Consumers Get Online Video to The TV," June 9, 2009, the firm estimates that nearly 9M homes in the US watch at least some online video on a TV set in a typical month.
  • According to Pew Research’s, "The Audience for Online Video-Sharing Sites Shoots Up," July 2009, 23% of those who watch online video have connected their computer to a TV (29% of males who watch online video vs. 16% of females who watch online video).

But we’ve long known of the inherent problems in making the jump from the activity of "lean-forward computing" to the "lean back" activity of viewing entertainment (can you say "WebTV?"). Connectivity was once the biggest issue, but now most any DTV with HDMI these days (even an old one) will display a PC image pretty well, and most laptops come with that same HDMI slot. These are the basic hardware keys to break out of the "walled garden" and onto the world of the full Internet in the living room.   dailydisplay.com  March 2010

=========================

There is such a log jam coming to the nation’s several thousand but not nearly enough 3D movie screens this weekend and next that you are going to be hard pressed to see your choice of new films in their preferred medium.

How to Train Your Dragon opens Friday, but Alice in Wonderland made over $30 million last weekend. How many 3D screens will theaters want to give up for Par/Dreamworks’ latest toon?  And Clash of the Titans comes the weekend after that.

With Avatar winding down, Alice in Wonderland much earlier in the winding down phase, and two new 3D pictures, the studios are going to finally suffer the consequences of their reluctance to help theater chains finance their $100,000 per screen conversion to digital 3D. Movies are going to under-perform because there are simply not enough screens to show all the 3D product.

Maybe Sony guy should have been talking about that instead of theater snacks. I mean, his company is now doing a 3D Popeye. You’d think he’d be concerned and trying to help. Two years since the studios learned that 3D pays off, big-tiime, and there are still only 2,500 digital screens.  Dragon is opening on over 3,000 screens.

There are only 2400-2500 3D screens in North America. Even if Avatar is gone from all of them and Alice loses many, there’s going to be trouble.    blogs.orlandosentinel.com

 

========================

Cameras in cell phones are just getting more capable -- and giving us one fewer item to tote.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The term "quantum leap" has a double meaning for technology that promises to overhaul cell phone cameras.

InVisage Technologies, a company based in Menlo Park, California, says its new camera tech could improve mobile phone photo quality fourfold, allowing higher megapixel counts and better low-light images, The New York Times reports. The technology is still in the lab stage, but InVisage wants to build its own sensors and sell them to cell phone makers within the next 18 months.

The CMOS image sensors in most of today's cell phone cameras have a major limitation: Their underlying silicon chips can only capture roughly one quarter of the light that enters through the camera lens. InVisage's QuantumFilm technology consists of "quantum dots," semiconductor particles that could capture 90 percent to 95 percent of incoming light, according to VentureBeat. InVisage wants to spread those dots in a film across traditional silicon chips to boost their efficiency.

 

========================

Microsoft makes search-engine inroads against Google, Yahoo!
Microsoft's promotion of its Bing search engine appears to be working as it takes market share away from Yahoo! and Google. Microsoft bolstered its share of search traffic in the U.S. from 10.7% in January to 11.5% in February, according to comScore figures. Over the same period, Yahoo!'s numbers inched down from 17% to 16.8%

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Half of U.S. Advertisers Missing Trillion Dollar Hispanic Market
 
According to a new Hispanic marketing trends survey, commissioned by the Hispanic advertising agency Orcí, the 2010 U.S. Census is expected to find that Hispanics number more than 50 million in the United States, and command $1 trillion in buying power. Yet half of U.S. advertisers, says the report, who acknowledge the cultural impact of Latinos, do not include Hispanics in their marketing efforts.

Latinos comprise more than 15% of the U.S. population, and are predicted to rise to 50 million in the 2010 Census, an increase of 42% since the last Census in 2000. In the 2000 report, the Hispanic growth rate of 24.3% was more than three times the growth rate of the total U.S. population, which was 6.1%.

Yet the research showed that 82% of respondents have no plans to begin or increase existing efforts aimed at American Hispanics in the next 12 months. This despite the fact that the great majority of respondents agreed that Latinos will impact U.S. companies' product and service offerings in the next five years, particularly in food tastes, fashion and technology.

 

===============================

Cisco made headlines today announcing a next generation router that will revolutionize the internet by increasing downloads to unheard of speeds.  The Cisco press release makes the following claims

about the CRS-3 router:

 

It enables the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress to be downloaded in just over one second; every man, woman and child in China to make a video call, simultaneously; and every motion picture ever created to be streamed in less than four minutes.

Tech Ticker interviewed Kelly Ahuja, Cisco Senior Vice President and General Manager Service Provider Routing Technology Group about the new product this afternoon. 

Cisco today announced a new version of its key routing system, which the networking giant said has a dozen times the traffic capacity of competitors and three times as much as the company’s previous version. Cisco’s CEO John Chambers said the CRS-3 Carrier Routing System is aimed at the huge growth in video on the Internet, a trend that has also caused slowdowns.

Pankaj Patel, SVP and GM for the service provider business, claimed the system could in just a few minutes deliver all the movies ever made or allow everyone in China to make a video phone call at once. It had better. The consumption of video online is growing like crazy and a constant bottleneck is likely without some relief.

Cisco has gotten deep into the video business of late, both in pushing its networking gear and in acquiring a video device maker like Pure Digital, the company behind my beloved Flip digital camera. “Video brings the Internet to life,” said Chambers. “You are moving from a messaging platform to a video platform.”

It is also working on innovative holographic and television-based home telepresence technologies.

-------------------------------------------

I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying."

--Michael Jordan,
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MADRID-- Europe's digital cinema makeover has taken off rapidly, overtaking theater conversions in the U.S.

That was one conclusion of an EU-Spain conference, The Independent Exhibition Sector and the Challenges of Digitization, held March 5-6 in Barcelona   Europe's first D-Cinema switchover summit served as a wake-up call.

"More than anything else, it created awareness of digitization issues, plus communication between the different sectors involved," says Ignasi Guardans, head of Spain's ICAA film institute. The forum also flagged the dramatic scale and rate of conversion.  Digital screens increased 196% in Europe in 2009, 3D installations by 506%, according to conference panelist David Hancock, at Screen Digest.

According to Hancock, out of 30,000 screens across Europe, 22,600 (plus a proportion of Sony's target screens), now have in place virtual print fee deals -- where distributors pony up most conversion costs working through digital-deployment integrators such as XDC, Arts Alliance and Ymagis.

-----------------------------------------------
 
ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Media companies longing to bring a paid-for culture to the Internet might just get what they want if they pay more attention to the smartphone revolution that is changing the way people access the Web.

Huge numbers now use mobile phones instead of desktop computers to get online -- a development that has spawned whole new business models in China, the world's biggest Internet market.

Paying to read content on the Web, an outlandish idea as recently as a year ago, is slowly but surely establishing itself as the next business model in the Western media mainstream, spearheaded by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp <NWSA.O>.

But meantime, sales of smartphones -- part of a telecoms economy very different from the PC Web -- are set to outpace sales of desktop computers by 2012, IT research firm Gartner said this week. Some believe it could be as early as this year.

And in China -- which has more Internet users than any other nation -- paid content is a non-starter, says Kai-Fu Lee, a former head of Microsoft's <MSFT.O> and then Google's <GOOG.O> China operations who recently quit to run his own company.

"Chinese consumers have a stronger conviction that things should be free, so efforts to charge for premium content have basically completely failed," Lee said at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit this week.

-------------------------------------------------

TOKYO—Panasonic Corp. said it will team up with Best Buy Co., America's leading electronics retailer, to place special displays promoting its new 3-D television sets at the retailer's U.S. stores, and will discount the prices of those models by close to 50%, as part of the Japanese company's push to drive adoption of the technology.

Launching on Wednesday in the U.S., Panasonic's 3-D television sets are a critical part of the Japanese electronics giant's strategy to reverse losses at its TV operation, which was in the red last year and is forecast to incur a loss for its current fiscal year ending March 31. The company also hopes to revive demand for its plasma displays with its 3-D models.

Plasma, which is better suited for 3-D because of its faster response, has lost ground in recent years to the more popular liquid crystal displays.

Panasonic said it aims to sell one million 3-D television sets in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, with half of the sales being targeted for the U.S. market.    Thewallstreejournal.com

=============================

Disney's Alice In Wonderland is a monster hit despite blowing past its budget and bringing back mediocre reviews. It clearly becomes the biggest 3D bow ever and the best March release ever and the highest grossing movie of 2010 with $41 million on Friday and $44.3 million on Saturday. Remember, those higher priced 3D tickets make all the difference. Even so, the Tim Burton-directed, Johnny Depp-starring fantasy flick had the biggest 3D release of all time. Of its 3,728 North American locations this weekend, its total domestic 3D count is 2,063, plus 180 Imax 3D engagements. That helped the pic post a $116.3M opening weekend with numbers  blowing away Avatar's first Fri-Sat-Sun. IMAX on Friday had the biggest day in their history with $4.3M for Alice. The IMAX weekend take of $11+M also is a record for the big screen company. Overseas, Alice shot to #1 almost everywhere after opening day and date in 40 territories beginning Wednesday. Disney narrowly avoided a boycott overseas when UK and other exhibitors were angered by the studio's plans to shorten the theatrical-to-DVD window from 16 weeks to just 12 weeks.

As for foreign grosses, Alice debuted to $94 million in 40+ markets representing only 60% of the international marketplace. That means the worldwide box office was $210.3M. That's only 2nd to Avatar's $242M global bow, but Wonderland's domestic total blew past Avatar's.

==============================

Frisco, TX (February 17, 2010) - According to a newly published study from TDG - the nation's leading new media research consultancy - almost two-thirds of Netflix users that subscribe to a home broadband service are now viewing the 'Watch Instantly' streaming video service. One-third of broadband-enabled Netflix subscribers view this streaming video exclusively only on their PCs, 8% view the content exclusively on their TVs, and 24% use both their PCs and TVs. "Netflix is now the archetype for over-the-top streaming video services,"  notes Michael Greeson, TDG founding partner and director of research. "Not only has Netflix eclipsed its immediate competitors in terms of online DVD rental, but it has quickly become the 'gold standard' for new OTT streaming services."

The implication of TDG's research is significant: one-half of broadband-enabled 'Watch Instantly' users now view streaming video on their TVs, a phenomenon unimaginable just a few years ago. As Greeson points out, this speaks volumes about the maturation of streaming video technologies that, until recently, had delivered an inconsistent experience that left regular TV viewers wanting.    yahoo.com

-------------------------------------

Apple, Amazon, Google Wage Content Wars

As tech titans build incompatible ecosystems, marketers must rely on an array of devices—not just the Web—to deliver their digital messages

You may not know it, but your gadgets have a hidden agenda. Think about the electronics you own. No doubt there's a digital music player such as an Apple  iPod or a Microsoft  Zune. Then there's a smartphone—perhaps an iPhone or a Droid that sports the Google-inspired Android operating system . For games, your family may have an Xbox 360, Sony  PlayStation 3, or Nintendo Wii. For books, there's the Kindle from Amazon , among others. When the iPad hits stores on Apr. 3, you'll want that, too.

Each device contains its own widening universe of services and applications, many delivered via the Internet. They are designed to keep you wedded to a particular company's ecosystem and set of products.   businessweek.com

-------------------------------

Nearly 178 million U.S. Internet users watched 33.2 billion online videos during December 2009, according to the latest data from comScore Vedio Metrix.
This means Americans watched an average of 187 videos per viewer during the month. 

Here are some other related stats from comScore's announcement:

  • 86.5 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video in December.
  • 134.4 million viewers watched more than 13 billion videos on YouTube.com -- 97.1 videos per viewer.
  • 44.9 million viewers watched 423.3 million videos on MySpace Sites -- 9.4 videos per viewer.
  • The average Hulu viewer watched 22.9 videos, totaling 2.2 hours of videos per viewer.
  • The duration of the average online video was 4.1 minutes.

------------------------------------

Digital Age or Digital Revolution, we live in EXPONENTIAL TIMES...the paradigm shifts, while

the digital paradigm is shifting.  Paul Valéry once remarked, "The future is not what it used to be.

We cannot truly control, invent or even predict the future. However, we can hold a vision for it in order

to inspire our efforts and actions.  The future is not what it used to be, nor is it when it used to be.

Negroponte concludes his book by stating that the future is here, now.  Indeed, the future is here, now

and the technological change is ongoing in what could be described as a non-linear continuum."

 

"Media is being consumed across an increasing number of platforms, including TV, the Internet, mobile,

and DVR," said NBC Universal Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman. "The next generation of

media will be defined by the players who can capitalize on those trends and deliver integrated,

compelling content across all platforms."

-------------------------------------

CEA forecasts that 1.05 million 3-D TV sets will be sold in 2010, and that $2.05 billion in revenue will be generated by all those sales. The sales figure is lower than earlier CEA forecasts, which projected more than 4 million 3-D TVs, because the association now is using a more precise definition or what constitutes a 3-D TV.

======================================

No technology in history has grown as quickly as the Internet. Backbone bandwidth demand has been doubling, not every 18 months as with Moore's law but every 3.5 months. That's a 10X growth or 1,000% a year. The increased bandwidth is also fostering social media as well as video technology and applications to expand almost as quickly.

-------------------------------------------------------

With it has come a complete change in who we communicate with, the way we communicate with them.  It has also changed how we work and how long we work. While life in Silicon Valley is akin to working at the edge of disaster, we like to believe that the rest of the country – in fact the globe – is in much the same state of chaos.

Dynamics of Business

To understand how quickly life has changed and continues to change for us consider a study regarding e-mail conducted by Forrester Research and John Carroll University:

-  6 trillion email messages sent annually worldwide

-  8 billion messages sent worldwide daily

-  900 million users sending messages daily

-  1,600+ million corporate e-mail addresses

-  2,500 million personal email addresses

-  average cost of e-mail per user per year-- $750

-  average value of email per user per year in terms of productivity -- $4,500

-  average cost of company to send 20 messages -- $1.05

-  average time spent daily reading e-mail – 50 minutes

-  average time spent responding to email – 60 minutes

 

According to an article in BusinessWeek, every day 10,000 +/- new Web sites are added to the Internet. New social media locations open up on the iNet daily struggling for your personal and business attention. 

No one can say what technology platforms will dominate this century or what lies beyond the Web and enterprise resource planning.  Individuals, corporations and educational institutions are adapting their training goals and programs to prepare for unseen changes.

Experts who track technically-based career development and training see some trends emerging including:

Business skills are becoming as important as technical skills in defining the success of professionals

New technologies such as Web-based learning and video-on-demand coursework are rapidly supplanting classroom training

Technical professionals must view education as a continuing and self-directed process

Local TV for Devices on the Move Taste the most popular wines

Who has time to sit on the couch and watch TV anymore? In the last 10 years, broadcasters have lost 25 percent of their audience. So to win back some viewers, the industry has a plan to grab their attention while they are on the move.

Beginning in April, eight television stations in Washington, D.C., will broadcast a signal for a new class of devices that can show programming, even in a car at high speed. In all, 30 stations in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington have installed the necessary equipment, at a cost of $75,000 to $150,000.

“Younger generations want programming on the go,” said Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters. “To access TV on a cellphone, on a laptop or in the car is a game changer for local broadcasters. It will provide a renaissance for over-the-air broadcast TV.”

 

------------------------------

Facebook surpasses Yahoo to become second most-popular website

February 18, 2010 

The social network has surpassed Yahoo to become the second most-visited website in the United States, reports Web analytics firm Compete. Only Google stands in its way of becoming the country's most popular site.

Facebook attracted nearly 134 million unique visitors in January alone. Yahoo's traffic declined in January to 132 million unique visitors. Google had over 147 million unique visitors in January.

Compete also found that Facebook users are extremely engaged. The company reported that Web users spent 11.6% of all their Internet time in January on Facebook.com. Compare that to 4.25% of their time on Yahoo and 4.1% of their time on Google.

 

-----------------------------------

Survey says consumers are ready for more 3-D experiences
Half of the participants in a new study about 3-D TV said they were interested in watching 3-D at home. The study, from Quixel Research, also found that almost 80% already have watched content in 3-D, that most would be willing to switch their content provider to get more 3-D programming and that a majority of consumers are willing to pay for 3-D glasses.

===========================

Sources: JP Morgan raises financing to pay for rollout of digital cinema

February 2010
Lifting a roadblock to the rollout of 3-D in theaters, investment firm JP Morgan has raised nearly $700 million to finance the digital conversion of thousands of screens around the country, three people familiar with the matter said Friday.

The funding, delayed for longer than a year due to the credit crunch, would pay for the installation of digital projectors for about 12,000 screens, easing a bottleneck caused by an abundance of 3-D movies competing for not enough screens. There are currently only about 3,500 digital 3-D screens in the country.

The shortage of screens has created tensions between studios as they muscle each other to get their 3-D pictures into theaters. Warner Bros.' "Clash of the Titans," for example, is set open a week after DreamWorks Animation Studios releases its next animated movie, "How to Train Your Dragon" on March 26. Those movies also will compete for screens with Disney's "Alice in Wonderland," which premieres March 5.

The funding, expected to be formally announced in the next two weeks after studios sign off on the deal,  comes nearly three years after the nation's largest exhibitors -- AMC, Cinemark and Regal -- formed a consortium know as Digital Cinema Implementation Partners to pay for the digital conversion of theaters.

==============================

 

JP Morgan Raises Financing for Digital Theaters

 

JP Morgan has raised some $700 million to finance the digital conversion of thousands of screens around the country, reports the LAT. This will boost 3-D exhibition on some 12,000 screens around the country, which everyone wants, post-Avatar, which has broken worldwide records thanks to 3-D premium ticket prices. Studios are fighting over about 3500 current 3-D screens.

 

Murdoch, the daughter of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, warned that what the industry has to come to terms with is that "no matter when the rain clouds clear, we are not going to find ourselves back in Kansas; there is no way home from Oz."

 

Her message was not a total downer. Although the days of five companies controlling what gets made and how people see it are gone, "we mustn't miss the forest for the trees." The key to the future, she said, is following the viewers.  "We in the television business have to catch up with what our audience is doing," she said. That means not running from social networking but embracing it as a way to drive viewers and revenue.

 

"Social networks are a tool with which we can tell our stories -- and like moving pictures was to radio, you can decide not to embrace social media -- but I predict that before the end of this decade to do so would be akin to resisting Technicolor." Fans, she added, "remain the best salesmen for our content."

There is money in this too, she promised.

 

"'The Biggest Loser' now exists as a thriving business that lives well beyond broadcast itself," she said, citing 500,000 Wii games sold around the world and subscription clubs tied to the show as well.  "We

must end our traditional, one-dimensional attitude. ... We are at the start of something exciting -- a model that can lead to a new kind of commerce."

 

Now their priorities have expanded. Amid a brutally tough landscape for indie films, festivals and their execs are increasingly becoming a part of the distribution flow, helping to put films in front of audiences well beyond their events.    From Indiewire.com  Feb 2010

=========================================Taste the most popular wines

LAS VEGAS -- There's an end-of-an-era feeling to this year's NATPE confab

The annual gathering of TV station buyers and programming execs has been in a transitional mode for more than a decade as industry consolidation and a changing business landscape have upended the traditional syndie sales biz that fueled the market and confab mounted by the National Assn. of Television Program Executives.

But the plan to move the gathering next year to Miami's Fontainebleau Hotel has many longtime attendees feeling that NATPE '10 is the bookend on an era that began in the mid-1980s with the explosion of the firstrun syndie biz. The move to Miami -- which is plastered all over the NATPE signage at the Mandalay Bay hotel -- is a recognition that the confab's best hope for growth is in international sectors, particularly Latin America.The tradeshow floor of this year's confab has already been much downsized, having been moved to ballrooms rather than the Mandalay Bay convention center space. As the show takes on an increasingly international tilt, the Korean Pavilion is tellingly situated prominently in the center of the floor space.

==============================

Today, our industry estimates there are about 4.6 billion mobile subscriptions among the planet’s 6.8 billion people. We’re nearing the day when we’ll be able to declare the entire world connected. Of course, the rapid spread of this technology in the developing world has occurred in a fundamentally different way, compared with the West. Modern western telecommunications began with the telegraph and then telephone lines strung across the continent. Access to the Web spread first though PCs over phone lines, then via broadband cable, and now wirelessly.

 

But across the rest of the world, where there is less of this legacy infrastructure, many people are going wireless first.

Think about it: There’s an entire generation of people growing up today who are connected to the rest of the world solely though their mobile device. for the majority of the world’s people, their first and only access to the Internet will be through a mobile device – not a PC. And this access is spreading very, very fast. In China, every month more than 7 million people gain access to the Internet for the first time, and mostly on mobile devices. And that’s an important point.

 

While entry phones play a critical role in these markets, the high-growth economies of China and India in particular are seeing rapid growth in sales of smartphones as well.

 

4.6 billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world today, there are only about 1.6 billion bank accounts. Which means much of the world still has very limited access to basic financial services. So there’s tremendous potential in mobile banking, for literally billions of people.            Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo CEO of Nokia

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Mobile-device shipments expected to nearly double in 5 years
Mobile devices such as cellular handsets, netbooks and cellular modems will continue to boom for the next five years, according to a study by ABI Research. The report said that the mobile-device market, estimated to total 1.2 billion units this year, would hit 2.25 billion by 2014.      yahoonews 

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LiveCast and Motorola Official Providers of the 52nd Annual Grammy® Awards Live Mobile Phone Video Streaming

LiveCast’s award-winning live mobile video solution enables streaming from the DROID by Motorola, allowing GRAMMY video bloggers to broadcast behind-the-scene experience live

Los Angeles, Calif. (PRWEB) January 29, 2010 -- LiveCast® (www.livecast.com), the leader in live mobile video solutions for enterprise, and Motorola, Inc today proudly announced their official technology sponsorship of live mobile video solutions for this year's GRAMMY® Live!, around–the-clock, live video coverage of the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards Weekend, roaming camera crews outfitted with LiveCast-enabled DROIDS by Motorola will stream LIVE footage of behind-the-scenes on the red carpet, up-close-and-personal moments with celebrities, and pre-telecast GRAMMY ceremonies.

Backstage, LiveCast’s low-latency video switching application with SDI output will enable GRAMMY Live! producers to monitor all the live mobile feeds simultaneously, and switch between the streams to create a high quality master feed with no delays.

“We are justly honored to be asked to provide our live mobile video solution to help power the prestigious GRAMMY Live! experience, and thankful to our exclusive handset partner, Motorola, to be using the award-winning DROID by Motorola mobile devices smartphone to ensure the highest quality video possible,” said William Mutual, LiveCast CEO. “These are the same solutions implemented by many of the largest TV broadcasters who demand reliability and high quality video when covering breaking news from the field—and that’s exactly what we will be providing for the GRAMMYs.”

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IRANIAN fanatics launched a hack attack on Twitter in REVENGE for the website's role in anti-government protests, experts warned last night.

The trendy micro-blogging site - used by dozens of celebs - was broken into by a group calling itself the "Iranian cyber army". Twitter users trying to log on were directed instead to a page of political slogans. They were unable to post their messages, or Tweets, for hours.

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U.S. Ad Market Continues To Recede: Internet, Only Media To Grow

To me, most importantly it's a tool for filmmakers, it's a way to enhance their ability to tell their stories. If you look over the last 30 years or so, filmmakers that have embraced and utilized new technology as it has come along, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Bob Zemeckis, Jim Cameron, Peter Jackson, Michael Bay...they are the filmmakers who've seen technology as an asset.  They have seen over the horizon.    Jeffery Katzenberg

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IMS Research's Market opportunities for Internet video to the TV study found that nearly 55 percent of all TV households in the Americas will have access to Internet video by the end of 2010, with 25 percent of these capable of displaying Internet video on the TV set.

"Now that retailers are actively marketing Internet-enabled devices, we can expect to see mass market adoption. As Blu-ray players have begun to offer price points that fall below $199, this price reduction will create a domino effect on other CE device prices. This has already been observed by actions taken by the game console market in Q3 09," said Rebecca Kurlak, an IMS Research consumer electronics analyst. "We currently estimate that by the end of 2010, 35 percent of TV shipments in the Americas will have Internet connectivity built-in. It will take about five years for the gap to close between connected TVs and other devices. Consumers continue to select devices that offer ease of use, and it just makes it easier for the consumer to seamlessly search for content on one device. Plus, there is no additional set up involved, which continues to be a hurdle for many of the devices on the market."

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As the economy recovers and advertising budgets start to increase in 2010, the ad industry will continue to see a shift in dollars spent from offline traditional advertising on to online, such as display, search and rich media.

While that alone might not shake the earth under your feet, Jeremy Liew, managing director at Lightspeed Venture Partners, a Menlo Park, Calif. venture capital firm, believes the increase will create a "double uplift" for online advertising. "It's time we saw that uplift take effect," he says.

That uplift comes from companies increasing their share of online advertising in 2009, although overall budgets remained low. That will change in 2010. Then in 2011 and 2012, the trend will continue with overall budgets increasing, but more of it will go to online.

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SEOUL (Reuters) - LG Electronics Inc, the world's No. 2 TV brand by revenue, set an aggressive sales target for 3D televisions, aiming to build a leadership position in an emerging market where competition is expected to heat up.

Digital 3D TVs, which use double layered images and special glasses to trick viewers into seeing 3D, are set to become the next battlefield for top TV makers, including Samsung Electronics, LG and Japanese rivals Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp.

LG aimed to sell 400,000 3D TVs in 2010 and 3.4 million in 2011, the South Korean company said at a news conference on Tuesday.

It plans to unveil a full line-up of 3D TV models with new technology improvement in the second half of next year, targeting retail consumers. LG currently offers one 47-inch 3D TV, which is sold mostly to businesses due to a high price tag.

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Nielsen Tuesday announced a decision and a plan to formally integrate viewing of online video content into its national TV ratings, effectively making the Internet a new television platform as far as the TV advertising marketplace is concerned. Calling the concept "extended screen" measurement, the move is akin to the expansion of the TV universe that occurred when Nielsen first began measuring other TV viewing platforms such as cable TV in the 1980s, or national syndicated television, unwired TV networks and Hispanic television as part of a single national TV ratings sample, and the reports that emanate from it.

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Comcast Makes NBC Universal Deal

As predicted, now that Vivendi has agreed to sell its 20% stake in NBC Universal for $5.8 billion, the deal for cable corp. Comcast to acquire NBC Universal from GE has gone through. Comcast would be the sixth owner of Universal over the past two decades.  Comcast will pay $13.75 billion for a majority stake in a combined entertainment entity to be run by NBCU chief Jeff Zucker. 

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