Joost.com has launched an ad-supported iPhone application (available for free through Apple’s App Store) that streams its entire library of 45,000-plus videos to users on WiFi networks. A large portion of the library will be available on 3G within a month.
Joost has big-name content partners like CBS, Viacon, Sony, Warner Music Group, Warner Brothers and Turner, so it has 1,200 shorts and movies (like Men in Black), 400 TV series (like The Daily Show) and around 18,000 music videos.
“Offering Joost on the iPhone and iPod touch is an important step for Joost as we endeavor to offer user premium entertainment, where they want it and when they want it”, said Mike Volpi, CEO of Joost.
Users can choose what to watch on Joost in a variety of ways: Browsing by category, Selecting Most Popular videos, Watching ‘Our Picks’, Searching for a specific video.
Small Video Publishers must take a different approach to make money
Advertising is the white hope of video market, but for small publishers could be hard to make money there. “It really doesn’t get interesting from a revenue perspective unless you can get to 20 or 30 million impressions a month,” says CEO of video solution company Fligz in Beet TV.
Therefore only large publishers with mainstream content, like CNN and Disney, should expect to make significant money from video ad revenue online.
Small publishers need to approach differently:
"What we try to do is help people focus on doing video in ways that drives key business initiatives as opposed to just video for the sake of video," he says.
Fliqz clients typically use video to help sell a product or service –like realtors creating video of the houses they’re showing –or to drive viral traffic to their site.
The conclusion is always the same: Publishers should focus on monetizing the entire page instead of focusing on in-video advertising as the sole remedy.
CDN firm BitGravity.com is testing a technology called Multiview that allows you to switch between multiple cameras without streaming delays.
BitGravity explains that Multiview delivers up to six different synchronized high definition video streams at once. The viewer sees the normal view and can click on any other view, putting himself in the producer’s chairs, and switching camera angles.
An obvious use is sporting events.
Analysts of Techcrunch.com consider that “this is a view into the future, where video breaks away from the bond of broadcast television. The Internet is interactive.”
See a Multiview test here. Also see this Diggnation episode.
Finally, Flash in the mobile phone
Check out this SkyFire.com new mobile web browser that has the ability to display the web in its fully desktop, including Flash 9, Quicktime and AJAX-heavy content.
To achieve this, web pages are processed are processed by the company’s own proxy servers before being served up on the phone.
We tried it on a Nokia e71, and it worked fine.
A bigger YouTube player
YouTube has officially switched to the 16 x 9 aspect ratio screen. In addition, YouTube is expanding the width of the page to 960 pixels.
People are not very happy with that decision, and they are asking YouTube to make the new player optional.
Radio companies suffer the crisis and the lack of ideas when seeking revenues
Radio’s revenue continues to fall (and that is the 18th consecutive month of declines), and companies are loaded with debt. CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting, CC Media Holdings/Clear Channel Communications, Cox Radio, Emmis Communication, Radio One… all of the are reporting revenue drops. In small markets stations are doing relatively well, with flat revenue.
Now, listeners are diverted by iPods and Internet and satellite radio. Advertisers are heading to television or the Web, and the ones that have continued to advertise on radio, like auto dealers and retailers, are being hit by the economic crisis.
The New York Times asks in a column if can radio save itself.
Problems in the radio industry have been piling up for years. Radio companies have been fighting for share and ad space, instead of being proactive and thinking of new ways to generate revenue.
The hope of radio executives is HD Radio, a technology that lets stations transmit on digital signals, allowing each FM station to broadcast on two to eight channels, theoretically making the medium competitive with satellite radio. Problem is that users have to buy a special radio to hear the digital stations, and only about 500,000 units were sold so far. About 1,900 stations now broadcast on a digital signal.
“Radio companies are taking other small steps into the future –several have created iPhone applications, for example, which are popular,” NYT writes.
President-elect Obama has announced an ambitious plan to build up the U.S.’ Internet infrastructure as part of his proposed economic stimulus package. A cornerstone of his agenda is promoting universal, affordable high-speed Internet. During his campaign, Obama spoke about the transformative power of the Internet to improve Americans’ quality of life. He mentioned that Internet could, among other things, reduce health care costs, create jobs and make it easier for citizens to participate in government decision-making.
“Upgrading the Internet is a particularly smart kind of stimulus, one that would spread knowledge, promote entrepreneurship and make this country more competitive globally,” New York Times says in an editorial.
The United States now ranks 15th in the world in access to high-speed Internet connections. Barack Obama, who had notable success with online fund-raising and voter turnout, aims to restore America’s role as world’s Internet leader. As NYT says, it could be an important part of Obama’s presidential legacy.
Switching to Videojournalists and cutting salaries
VJs, or videojournalists, can be recession-proof reporters. And being underpaid increase their survival chances. See what is doing Gannett’s WUSA-TV in Washington DC. They are replacing its crews with videojournalists, one-man-bands who will shoot, edit, write and report. And that’s not all: VJs will be paid 30 to 50 percent less than traditional reporters.
WUSA is the first network-affiliated major market station to make the switch.
This move will be watched very closely by the Media industry, which is under unprecedented financial pressure.
President of WUSA has expressed his belief that “this will raise both the quality and quantity of the product we are putting out on TV and on the Internet.”
In other cases, like KRON and WKRN, the VJ experiment weren’t success stories.
Warning: Transition into new digital infrastructures or die
Many analysts agree that Tribune’s downfall into bankruptcy is an industry warning: Undertaking a dramatic digital reinvention is the only solution. Media companies desperately need to transition into new infrastructures to survive.
Otherwise the path might be clear: file for bankruptcy, sell of the assets and a small group of the newspaper’s best former employees regroup in a startup, designed from the ground up a low-cost digital operation with a small print extension.
In other words, create new multiplatform content businesses that set those properties apart from their competitors or die.
(On December 8 Tribune filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They explained they did so to restructure its debt.
“Over the last year, we have made significant progress internally on transitioning Tribune into an entrepreneurial company that pursues innovation and stronger ways of serving our customers,” they said.)
Brightcove.com has notified thousand of users its decision of turning off access to free Brightcove Network account as of December 17.
Now if you want to continue this service you must pay at least $6,000 a year. For that money, they give you a basic account that includes 120,000 annual streams (clips of content encoded at 500 kbps and averaging 2 minutes in length) that would take about 1 TB of bandwidth to deliver. Then, if you need additional bandwidth, the price per GB is $1.50.
An entry point Pro account generally costs on the order of $2,500 - $3,000 / month and typically includes 600,000 views for a year and between 4 and 8 TB of bandwidth. The Enterprise package is for largest clients and costs well into the 5 figures / month.
Brightcove.tv shuts down
In addition, the Brightcove video showcase, or Brigthcove.tv, has been shut down. All feeds, widgets and Brightcove takeout have stop working. Brightcove has not given any explanation about the shutting down. In its blog there is no any explanation either.
Brightcove Network, when it was launched in 2006, thought to sell advertising and provide content syndication services to users to uploaded videos to Brightcove, but the company failed to gain traction in ad-sales.
Once Brightcove has pulled pug on its consumer product, YouTube stays as the main outlet for amateur videographers looking to generate ad revenue from online videos.
Joost’s failure now is official: they cancel their P2P software
Another failure. Joost.com has informed its users via email that it has discontinued the support of its desktop client and instead completely it will concentrate on its new webs site.
This is the email text we received:
“In October, we introduced our new website – Joost.com. With our new website, you're able to watch all of our videos – TV shows, music videos, and films – right in your web browser.
At this point, we have decided to discontinue our original Joost software application. As of Friday, Dec. 19th, you will no longer be able to watch videos in the Joost software application – but you will be able to find all of our videos, and more, on Joost.com.”
This is a big step for a company that once aimed to revolutionize online video with P2P technology. Is this the death of P2P video streaming too?
JumpCut does not accept more video uploads
A third victim. JumpCut, the online video editing service acquired by Yahoo in 2006, is no longer accepting video uploads to its service.
“We will be keeping the Jumpcut site up and running for the foreseeable future so you‘ll still be able to play, remix and share your existing movies – you just won’t be able to upload anything new.
If you’re looking for a place to upload and share your video, we recommend that you head over to Flickr: http://flickr.com/explore/video”
People prefer streaming over downloading
New data from Ipsos MediaCT shows that people are more interested in streaming longer-form content like movies and TV shows than downloading it. (Good news for Hulu and Netfilx).
Users mention concerns over storage and high prices. The ability to own downloaded content and move it between devices seems to be less important.
“YouTube for business” sector is getting crowded
Video for Business sector is getting crowded. Wistia.com is one the latest entry start-up. They provide secure video hosting and sharing services that allow other companies to communicate and work together via web video.
Wistia sees its biggest opportunities in training, marketing and collaboration. Cost for the service varies but can go as low as hundreds of dollars per month. They have 25 customers including Cushman & Wakefield, Nestle Nutrition and Sonus Networks.
In the same “YouTube for business” space, there are players like Veodia and IVTWeb.com that offer webcasting, and has built up a roster of clients including Cisco, IBM and Ernst & Young.
The biggest player in the video sharing for businesses is Google. Google Apps customers pay $50 per user per year for Gmail, Google Talk, Google Docs, and also an internal corporate video sharing service. Paid users can upload videos of up to 300 MB, for a total of 3GB per account and unlimited video views.
Google isn’t including for now live broadcasting or video conferencing –the most obvious and best-used video tools at most enterprises. It is only offering on-demand streaming and downloads of clips.
Users can upload videos to what looks like the Google Video player, and team members can tag, star and comment on them. There are also new features designed for long-form video, such as thumbnails of key parts of a video so viewers can skip around. Each video will also be available as an embed, part of a Google gadget and as an MPEG-4 download.
Google thinks there’s an opportunity for easy video sharing between team members for applications such as ad hoc training, product demos, and team building, with access restricted to specific employees.
Finally other existing enterprise video delivery vendors mainly focused on top-down communication and training, are Kontiki, Cisco (with its Enterprise TV solution) and Thomson.
Print publishers (magazines and newspapers) are starting to understand the opportunity to expand into broadband video. They bring recognized brands, editorial expertise and advertising to their video initiatives.
“But they have plenty of learning to do about how to create compelling yet inexpensive video that serves their audience’s needs,” Will Richmond says.
Video ad spending will increase 45 % in 2009 to $850 million, or just over 3 % of the $25.7 million total projected in online ad spending, according to eMarketer.
Following this trend there are publishers like Forbes, Conde Nast, the New York Times and TheStreet.com. They relaunched their video platforms this fall with plans for further grows in 2009. And in the meantime they are cutting staff. Media Post has an interesting article about that.
What follows are its main conclusions:
- CondeNet has relaunched video operation on the back of Brightcove’s latest video platform, Brightcove 3. It offers a widescreen format, features aimed at improving search engine optimization, synchronized companion ads, and the ability to syndicate video. Conde Nast plans to expend the new platform to 16 Web properties in the coming months, with upgrades to sites as Wired.com, Portfolio.com and Glamour.com
- Forbes.com this month unveiled a revamped video network with a widescreen, high-definition player and options that allow users to search for videos by different categories including new releases, most-watched and editor’s choice.
- Forbes.com is now producing 10 to 15 video segments a day. Its limited inventory of high-end video online has helped keep ad rates high, with CPM of $25 to $40 compared to $5 or so for traditional display ads. Video contributes about 5% of Forbes.com revenues, but he expects that proportion to double to 10 % in 2009 and reach as high as 30 % to 50 % in the coming years.
The case of Philly.com
But it is not only about big publications. See for example how Philly.com, the website associated with the Philadelphia Inquirer is doing. Philly.com has been building out a number of programs this year on topics including wine (“Philly Uncorked”), local restaurants ("The Philly Dish") and local gossip ("The Gossip with Marnie Hall").
Some analysts say that Philly.com seems to have hit on an initial formula for identifying a sponsor first, recruiting outside talent and regularly releasing episodes. This online newspaper says that he is not trying to compete with local broadcasters, but rather trying to do something new and different. The programs are inexpensive to make, buy have high advertiser appeal.
Broadband is becoming the most adopted medium ever
“Broadband is well on its way to becoming the most adopted and heavily-used medium ever,” writes consultant Will Richmond.
“2008 was an important year of growth and change for the broadband video industry. To me, the most significant development was the first-time use of broadband video by million of users and the depending use of it by millions of others.”