Saturday, January 31, 2009

Is eBay Finally Putting Skype on the Auction Block?

There been a lot of speculation the last week about whether or not eBay is ready to cut its losses and sell off Skype to the highest bidder. I blogged about this last April in my post, Google to Buy Skype?, and now almost a year later in tougher economic times it seems that the rumors are more likely now. A number of stories were published last week including this one by Sarah Lacy on Yahoo Finance which she says, "Reports are surfacing that eBay may be quietly putting Skype on the for-sale or for-spin-off block. This is something analysts have hoped for for a long time, but has eBay missed the window by stubbornly insisting Skype was a fit with its core business? My guest Om Malik says that may be the case. He recently wrote about Skype’s slowing growth on his GigaOm blog. Click on the video to hear who Malik says might buy Skype, and why he says Henry Blodget is crazy to think the company would get $3 billion in this market."

In his blog post, Should eBay Spin Off Skype? The Debate Continues, Om says, "In my opinion, which I shared with Sarah Lacy and her viewers yesterday, Yahoo is a much better buyer for Skype as it has experience working with consumers and offering paid services. As for other likely buyers, I would put large telecom operators such as British Telecom and France Telecom high on the list. A reader points out that Hutchinson’s 3 could be a good buyer as well.

As far as I’m concerned, Skype isn’t as richly valued as analysts it is; I think it would be lucky to get three times its revenues. My best guess would be that they fetch between $900 million and $1.2 billion. Why? As I pointed out last week, Skype has some serious growth challenges. But don’t tell that to analysts, who measure everything with a hockey stick."


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mixpo Empowers SMBs with Turnkey Online Video Marketing Solutions, Reel SEO Interview with Mixpo’s CEO Anupam Gupta

Back in March 2008, Mark Robertson of Reel SEO described Mixpo as "an online video advertising company dedicated to providing a turnkey online video marketing solution for small and medium-sized businesses. They have developed a proprietary technology platform that leverages the power of video to drive action and deliver measurable results for SMBs and It is my opinion that Mixpo currently offers the most innovative and effective solution in the industry."

"Mixpo’s aim is to provide advertisers with a video marketing and video SEO solution that helps to drive visibility and direct-response (within the video player itself) from qualified consumers. Instead of a company stockpiling one-use videos on local servers or company websites where the videos may not be found by the search engines (hint hint IYPs), Mixpo is helping get consumers eyes on the business."

Mixpo has received extensive coverage on Reel SEO (see last post for links) including this interview with Anupam Gupta, CEO of Mixpo who discusses how important search visibility is for SMB videos and the difference in performance of traditional banner ads vs. video banner ads.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Online Video Advertising Technology Company Mixpo Partners with Leading Local Media Publishers to Drive Online Video Advertising Forward

According to eMarketer, despite overall economic developments, online video ad spending will rise by 45% in 2009 to reach $850 million. The two key factors that support this trend are 1) the dramatic increase of professional video content on the Web coming mainly from the TV networks which will create a viable business for brand marketers and 2) while most advertisers are cautious with their spending, they will still need to reach online audiences and video is the key. Local online advertising analysts Borrell Associates said streaming audio and video ads currently account for 19% of local online revenue and will rise to 59% in 2013.

Local newspaper and media publishing companies are struggling to compete for those ad dollars for solutions and are looking to provide SMBs (small and medium-size businesses) low-cost local advertising solutions

Mixpo, an online video advertising technology company for small-to-medium businesses based in Seattle, today announced partnerships with five leading local media publishers: NBC Local Media, Tribune, Freedom Communications,, and Fisher Communications. The partnerships are designed to enable advertisers of all sizes to run actionable online video advertising campaigns and promote their businesses at a local level.

Under today’s agreements, each partner is integrating Mixpo’s VideoAd platform into their online advertising solutions. With the increased effectiveness of video advertising and seamless integration of the Mixpo technology, these local media publishers are able to leverage their existing assets, such as highly localized sales forces, targeted audience reach, and existing advertising clients, to better monetize their display ad inventory and generate increased revenue.
VideoAd by Mixpo

“Mixpo’s new partnerships – across the Newspaper, TV and Radio media segments – represent the best locally focused media publishers in the industry. We share the conviction that it is at the local market level that customers want to engage, and where advertisers want to be present,” said Anupam Gupta, Mixpo president and CEO who prior to leading Mixpo was a senior business leader in Microsoft’s online services group and was responsible for launching Microsoft’s popular MSN messenger product.

“Many of our partners are traditional, local media companies – across Newspaper, TV, Cable and Radio segments – that understand how online video advertising can help them transform their businesses online,” said Gupta. “Our partners offer premium local content and a local sales presence that keeps them directly connected with local audiences and advertisers. Combining those significant assets with our online VideoAd platform, helps them deliver very compelling local advertising solutions.”

Mark Robertson of ReelSEO has been covering Mixpo over the last year and has more information on Mixpo's new partners and what they're saying in this post from today, Mixpo helps Newspapers Bring Online Video Marketing to Local Businesses - ReelSEO, as well as more background and interviews with Mixpo in these related posts:

Just last week Mixpo was selected as a winner of the 2009 OnMedia 100 Award given to private, emerging technology companies in the advertising, publishing, marketing, branding and public relations spaces. The selection to this prestigious award is based on disruption in the marketplace. In the words of Tony Perkins, founder and editor of AlwaysOn, "This is the list of the top 100 emerging companies that are disrupting user behavior and creating new opportunities in the marketing, branding, advertising, and publishing industries."

About Mixpo
Mixpo is an online video advertising technology company based in Seattle. The company’s comprehensive VideoAd platform enables any advertiser, from small to large, to run actionable online video advertising and locally promote their business. Mixpo’s VideoAd platform is available through partnerships with local media publishers, including Comcast Spotlight, NBC Local Media, and Tribune. Mixpo enables publishers to seamlessly integrate VideoAds into their online solutions for local advertising, demonstrate effectiveness to advertisers, and increase revenue. Mixpo also enables national agencies and advertisers to dynamically create and target VideoAds to drive more cost- effective local marketing and promotions. For more information visit:


Tuesday, January 27, 2009 to host Content Delivery Summit, The Infrastructure Of Online Video at Streaming Media East

Earlier this month, Dan Rayburn announced that will be launching a new one-day summit on May 11, 2009, held in conjunction with the Streaming Media East conference and exhibition, that will focus on the infrastructure of online video. According to Dan, "my goal is to bring together content owners, infrastructure providers, analysts, and Wall Street to discuss the business and technology challenges of delivering video online. ( While competition is fierce amongst CDN vendors, there is still an opportunity for all vendors and customers to help push the market forward with information sharing, best practices and debates about the most important business and technology topics relevant to the growth of this industry. This is where the Content Delivery Summit comes in."

"As online video gets consumed more often, on more devices and at higher quality, the importance of content delivery networks is crucial to the success of content owners. With more delivery vendors entering the market every quarter, backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in VC money, customers, content delivery networks and industry analysts can now come together to network, discuss, and learn."

The Content Delivery Summit 2009 will focus on:
  • How competition, customer demands, consolidation, and the broader IT landscape will shape the content delivery marketplace.
  • What the traffic and growth patterns content owners are seeing, the type of reporting and analytics they need, and what pricing trends are taking place in the market.
  • The technology debate on what impact P2P, network architecture, HD quality video and live broadcasting will have on the market.

I spoke with Dan just before the new year and he discussed how the idea of the CDN Summit got started, "The CDN industry has been bickering and fighting for the last ten years, there's 50+ vendors and there's been over $450 million raised in the market in the last 18 months yet none of these folks are talking to one another. None of them are comparing notes or talking about what the future of the CDN market is and how everyone can play in it. Instead they just want to fight and sue one another.

So my whole goal is to bring the industry together so that we have Wall Street, customers and vendors all talking to one another. It's going to be real interesting to see when I put the message on the blog very clearly saying, "I need your help." If you're in the CDN industry, I need your help. I want you to speak, I want you to send in ideas, I want this to be your event. It's going to be a high level summit, no exhibition, we're going to keep it really cheap for anyone to attend and we'll see just how well they respond."

It's the first time has done a one-day, no exhibition event really focusing on high level networking. Dan says that even though he thinks a lot of the CDNs will not support it, it will be really good for them and will bring a lot of exposure to that segment of the market. "Since I deal with a lot of Wall Street folks," he said, "I'm expecting a third of my attendance to be the Wall Street crowd."

"The majority of speakers at the summit will be customers, those who actually buy CDN services and can share with us what impact video delivery is having on their business today and what kind of growth they expect in the future. We'll have two tracks with roughly twelve sessions, four keynote presenters and roughly sixty total speakers and will be having multiple networking functions during and and after the event."

All the sessions will be recorded and available on demand as all their other Streaming Media shows. One of the keynotes already confirmed is Jeffrey Cohen, GM, Edge Computing Network, Microsoft who is responsible for all the content delivery services internally at Microsoft. Dan noted that this be very timely in terms of the subject matter because all the analysts on Wall Street side keep asking him with Microsoft building their own CDN -- because they license the technology from Limelight -- how much is that going to impact business? How much will the CDNs lose from Microsoft?

"While 2009 marks the 14th year since some of the first CDNs starting delivering video on the web, I think there is a lot more that the CDN industry needs to be doing as a collective group, working together to share information and help grow the market faster."

Dan concluded, "If you have any ideas on how the Content Delivery Summit can help to achieve this, I welcome and any all suggestions and answer my phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I'd love to hear from you. (917-523-4562)"

Check out his blog post, Announcing New Content Delivery Summit, The Infrastructure Of Online Video | The Business Of Online Video and visit the web site Content Delivery Summit 2009 for more information.

Registration for Streaming Media East 2009 will open soon.

Updated 1/27/09: Revised speaker information.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekly Review: Social Media, Online Video 1/20/09 - 1/24/09

Aside from the inauguration last week there was considerable news about growth opportunities for online video, social media applications and streaming media. Here's a sample of links from the blogs.

January 20, 2009

Gimme5 on IMEEM (featuring Zadi Diaz)

Is your site suffering from a “video ghetto?” - ReelSEO

Inauguration Day: Live Video and Essential Social Media Reading

The Broadband Inauguration and Beyond

FriendFeed on iPhone: Comparing the Options and EyeWonder Partner and EyeWonder Join Forces to Seamlessly Connect High Quality Brand Advertisers With Prominent Online Video Publishers - MSNBC Wire Services -

Video CDN Pricing Stable in Q4 | Streaming Media Europe Blog

Online Video Advertising: State Of The Internet Marketing Industry Full Report Q4 2008 - Robin Good's Latest News

January 21, 2009

Online Video Apps Revenue Reach $494 Million | WebProNews
nline video applications, platforms, advertising networks and related services generated $494 million in revenue in 2008, up 86 percent over 2007, according to a new report from AccuStream iMedia Research. Value added service providers (VASP), video content management systems (CMS) and ad network revenues combined are forecast to increase 41 percent in 2009 and 38 percent in 2010.

The top four VASPs are in-banner video advertising platforms including Eyewonder, Eyeblaster, Pointroll and DoubleClick, and as a category generated about $225 million in net revenue in 2008. The remaining top ten VASPs had a combined revenue estimated at $194 million, and included Brightcove, Tremor Media, BBE, Worldnow, the Platform and Internet Broadcasting. Video services including transcoding, custom player design and widgets are predicted to grow from 8.5 percent share in 2008 to 10.7 percent in 2010. Video indexing and metadata support is estimated to grow from 3.9 percent share in 2008 to 9.3 percent. "VASPs are selling an ROI model in 2009, which plays well in a tight economy by focusing on ways to save clients money," said research director Paul A. Palumbo.

Instant infomercials: TurnHere makes millions from video ads - Jan. 21, 2009
brad_inman.03.jpgWeb media startup TurnHere churns out 1,000 corporate videos every month. That might just be the future of Web advertising.

EMERYVILLE, CALIF. (Fortune Small Business) -- Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans had never been the subject of a TV commercial, let alone an Internet ad. The 168-year-old business, where third-generation waiters serve gumbo and other Creole delicacies to third-generation customers, had only ever advertised in print and on radio. So last June, the owners decided to drag the restaurant into the 21st century with an ad on, complete with a promotional video.

That was good news for Brad Inman, owner and founder of the online video production company TurnHere. Based in Emeryville, Calif., TurnHere is fast becoming the first choice for local businesses around the country that want to show off their wares in a quick online movie, but have no idea how to make it look professional. Analysts say spending in this niche is set to explode. By producing videos as fast as it can, TurnHere is already cashing in...

Exclusive: YouTube Will Soon Let Big Content Partners Bring Their Own Ads
Big media companies have always had a love-hate relationship with YouTube. They don’t know whether to sue YouTube for abetting copyright infringement or get in bed with it because it is the biggest Web video game in town. YouTube is trying to convince them that love is better than war by giving them a cut of advertising revenues from their videos that appear on YouTube, regardless of who put them there.

Fake Viral Videos: Is This Good Marketing? - ReadWriteWeb
A pretty blonde woman nervously stares at the camera and begins speaking. "I'm not a stalker, I'm not crazy," she says. She then earnestly tells a story about meeting a guy in a cafe and chatting him up before he took off - leaving his jacket behind. She then apparently decided to use YouTube to help her track down her modern-day Prince Charming. A heartwarming story? Sure. Except for one problem: it was all a hoax.

gary vaynerchuk » Stop crying, think, wipe your tear and crush it! - my 2 minute take on life

Major Media Companies Now Allowed to Sell Video Ads on Youtube - ReelSEO

MediaPost Publications - Businesses Embracing Online Video Will Fuel The Web's Revolution - 01/21/2009
If video killed the radio star, online video will surely kill the static Web. Video is poised to permeate the Web in a way that goes far beyond YouTube's user-generated clips. The Web's design and flexibility make it a powerful visual medium, with moving images, Flash and animation fast becoming the lingua franca. This presents corporate America -- and private enterprise in general -- with a huge opportunity.

Inauguration Day, by the numbers — Updated at 2:53 p.m. PST … (Caroline McCarthy/The Social)

The Day Live Web Video Streaming Failed Us
Yesterday was supposed to be the day that live Web video streaming took on TV broadcasting. alone served a record 21.3 million streams, with a peak of 1.3 million simultaneous streams. And Akamai reported a peak of 5.4 million simultaneous visitors per minute to the various news sites for which it hosts video, and more than 7 million simultaneous streams.

whitehouse150.jpgChange has come to
Welcome to the new I'm Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House and one of the people who will be contributing to the blog. — A short time ago, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States …

Link Search: Technorati, Google, IceRocket, and Ask
Discussion:, O'Reilly Radar, Associated Press, Guardian, PC World, Twist Image, Digits,, Epicenter, Ars Technica,, Increasing your Website's …, One By One Media, Telegraph,, p2pnet, Todd Watson, The Social Times, Rex Hammock's, Alice Hill's Real Tech News and TechCrunch

Economic Crisis Will Make Online Video A Champion in 2009 - ReelSEO

Yankee Group today unveiled U.S. survey results that suggest the current economic crisis will make Internet video a champion in 2009. Consumers are spending 11 percent more time online than watching TV, and Internet video is emerging as the key platform for the delivery of on-demand video services. Yankee Group analysts advise that media companies should focus on the Internet as a primary opportunity in 2009. The emergence of the Anywhere Consumer™—Yankee Group’s vision for an individual able to connect to content, society and commerce at any time from anywhere—will herald an important shift in how entertainment is delivered and monetized.

Other findings from the recently published Yankee Group Anywhere Consumer: 2008 U.S. Entertainment Survey:

  • 56 percent of television viewers are online at the same time, browsing the Web or sending e-mail
  • 82 percent of Internet video viewers watch TV shows online because they missed the episode on TV
  • Digital video recorder (DVR) owners are more likely to watch online than they are to record a program in advance
  • 25 percent of the Internet video audience watches online programming on-demand either once or several times per day

Yankee Group | The Global Connectivity Experts | Research, Data and Consulting

Ustream’s iPhone Viewing Application Downloaded 113,000 Times in 24 Hours

Nine (questionable) reasons why Blu-ray will succeed

How to Slow Google: Get Barack Obama to Speak | Peter Kafka | MediaMemo | AllThingsD

Contentinople - Sam Baltrusis -, Eyewonder Join Forces

Contentinople - Sam Baltrusis - Pixsy Launches 'Premium Feed' Video Platform

YouTube Expands Click-to-Buy, Takes Over Your Videos
YouTube Blog Watch it on YouTube, then Click-to-Buy

January 22, 2009

larry, andy, michelle, and tim by dansmath.
East Bay Tweetup! larry, andy, michelle, and tim on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Facebook Now Nearly Twice The Size Of MySpace Worldwide

Turn Your Blog Into a Widget With Blidget Pro

MediaPost Publications - VivaKi Takes Plunge, Pools Resources With CBS, Hulu, Microsoft, Others For New Video Ad Format - 01/22/2009

Tube Mogul Buys Video Analytics Firm

TubeMogul Snaps Up Flash Analytics Firm - MarketingVOX

Rising Trend of Video Ads for Small Businesses - by Patrick Altoft on January 22, 2009
CNN Money has an interesting article today about a company in the US producing video adverts for small companies who want exposure on sites like YouTube and anywhere else that accepts video adverts. The cost is quite low at $1000 and the whole advert is shot and produced within a day. Apparently one restaurant received 300 extra customers from the advert in a few months.

With Google pushing video ads via AdWords and the popularity of YouTube at an all time high I wonder how long it takes for agencies in the UK to team up with video production studios to offer online video advertising starter packs?

TurnHere is fast becoming the first choice for local businesses around the country that want to show off their wares in a quick online movie, but have no idea how to make it look professional. Analysts say spending in this niche is set to explode. By producing videos as fast as it can, TurnHere is already cashing in.

“Our market is the 70 million Web pages out there,” says Inman, 56. “They can all use video.”

Media Center: Boxee Gets Lost and Other Streams

New In Google Talk: Embedded Videos From YouTube And Google Video

Embed Videos From YouTube In Gmail & Google Talk - ReelSEO

Mac Trojan Horse OSX.Trojan.iServices.A Found in Pirated Apple iWork 09

AT&T dropping unlimited data and messaging to $30 - Engadget Mobile
Nokia E75 QWERTY - High Quality Pictures
Verizon Web Phone Targets Home Users

Boxee now lets you get “Lost” in ABC content
Link Search: Technorati, Google, IceRocket, and Ask

iWork '09 already being pirated, downloaders at risk for trojan horse attack : Obsessable Technology News

Publish Videos to Your Blog From Viddler « Tech Guy and Stuff

January 23, 2009

Adobe opens the door to independant online distribution

Adobe - Adobe Press Room: For immediate release
Adobe to Open Flash Platform Messaging Protocol
Publishing RTMP Advances Open Screen Project

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jan. 20, 2009 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced plans to publish the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) specification, which is designed for high-performance transmission of audio, video, and data between Adobe® Flash® Platform technologies. Providing developers and companies open and free access to RTMP is the latest advancement of the Open Screen Project, an industry-wide initiative to enable the delivery of rich multi-screen experiences built on a consistent runtime environment for Web browsing and standalone applications across personal computers, mobile devices, and consumer electronics.

The RTMP specification is expected to be posted on the Adobe Developer Connection ( ) in the first half of 2009.

White-Label Video Shops, Compared « NewTeeVee Feedscrub: Cleanse The Dirt From Your RSS Feeds

Micro Persuasion: Friendfeed is the Next Great Blogging Platform, Here's Why...

Google stuff we missed this week | Webware - CNET
Between its big earnings call and rolling out a snazzy New York visitors' center, Google's been pretty busy this week. Here are five bits of news that slipped through the cracks:

Gmail users can now watch YouTube videos right in Gmail Chat.(Credit: CNET Networks)

Watch YouTube videos in Gmail Chat. Having YouTube video links turn into videos in Google Talk is nothing new, but the feature is now a part of Gmail too. Web users who had lusted over the desktop software's feature are now able to do the same right in the browser. Dropping in any YouTube URL will insert the video into your conversation stream, where it can be viewed by both users, although not at the same time. See our old story about Meebo offering the same thing in its chat rooms back in 2007.

Embedded YouTube videos get high-quality love. Previously, if you had embedded a YouTube video somewhere else, your viewers would have missed out on the option to view it in high quality. Google has quietly added the option to flip it into high-quality mode right from the bottom corner menu. This doesn't come along with an option to view the same video in its high-def glory, but it's a start. (via CrunchGear)

Google's transit site gets a makeover. On Friday, Google rolled out a new version of its transit site that makes it easier to see which parts of the U.S. are Google Transit-capable. Each state now has a little sub-list of regions and the respective transit companies that are a part of Google's index. Missing, however, is the transit layer, which lets you see routes in all forms of transportation at once. Google added this to its Maps product earlier this month, and says it will be a part of the transit site soon.

FeedBurner experiences hiccups in service. Earlier this week, RSS management service FeedBurner began to experience problems with its aggregation tools, resulting in the number of reported reader subscriptions fluctuating wildly. FeedBurner co-founder Dick Costolo says that there's nothing to worry about and that the hiccups have been related to FeedBurner moving users over to the newer, updated architecture. Costolo also said that the actual reader subscriptions have remained intact.

The Vatican goes Web 2.0. On Friday, YouTube announced that the Vatican joined up as a content partner. There's now a dedicated content channel with a dozen videos--mostly of the Pope. In an introductory video, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, said the move was the Vatican's way of being a part of the "global arena." The only problem with that statement is that the Vatican has disabled embedding, requiring users to watch all the videos on YouTube's site only.

Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
ComScore: Internet Population Passes One Billion; Top 15 Countries — The number of people on the Internet surpassed one billion in December, according to comScore. The actual number is probably higher than that (Internet World Stats counted nearly 1.5 billion Web surfers worldwide as of June 30, 2008).

YouTube officially enables HQ in embedded videos

Monty Python Embrace YouTube And Benefit Greatly | Click-To-Buy Does Work After All

How To Market A Film DVD Online: Free Or Paid Release? - Robin Good's Latest News

Retromodo: The First Ever Apple Computer Running Windows

Does Hollywood Get Social Media?

January 24, 2009

Revision3’s Louderback: Shakeout Coming; Focus on ‘Going Deep on an Audience’ | Online Video Watch

Beet.TV: Small Businesses to Spend $1.5 Billion on Web Video and TurnHere Has a Plan, Fortune

While media companies large and small are figuring out how to monetize Web video with advertising, the demand for businesses and institutions to have video on their web sites, or as part of their marketing mix, is exploding. According to the Kelsey Group, an advertising research firm, small businesses will spend $1.5 billion in Web video advertising in 2012.

According to a story in Fortune by Evelyn Nussenbaum, TurnHere, a Bay Area start-up, is well positioned to capitalize on this trend. Internet analyst Greg Sterling tells Fortune he sees TurnHere becoming an advertising network which "someone is going to want to buy."

The company has raised $7.5 million in venture funding from Venrock and Hearst. Founder Brad Inman tells Fortune that the company is producing 1000 videos per month and has become profitable. I have republished an interview I did with Brad last February in our Manhattan studios. - Andy Plesser

YouTube Users Lash Out At Warner Music (And Google) With Protest Videos

Twitter Raising New Cash At $250 Million Valuation (Michael Arrington/TechCrunch)

n anonymous reader writes "Apparently it with the release of all of Monty Python's material on YouTube, their sales have blown through the roof on It is too bad there isn't any proper news article about this, but I think it bodes well for those who champion free content. More importantly, it forces the MPAA's feet into their mouths." Not every performer (or group of performers) has the decades-strong appeal of Monty Python, but this is a great thing to see. The linked article claims that the sales increase in the Python DVDs is 23,000 percent; there are probably some other ways to figure the numbers, but a big increase is easy to see.

Join ‘Team Seesmic-Twhirl’ beta tester group and get exclusive preview access | :Ben Metcalfe Blog

Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive New Twhirl Twitter Client adds real-time-web integration «

Publish Videos to Your Blog From Viddler « Tech Guy and Stuff

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Watch the Watchmen Get Social Through Transmedia Storytelling

Watchmen is considered one of the greatest comic book stories of all-time. Published as a 12-part maxi-series by DC Comics in 1986 and 1987 it's still hailed as a masterpiece of sequential storytelling. Now finally after years of attempts to adapt the series into a feature film comic geeks prayers have been answered as it makes its big screen debut on March 3, 2009.

Writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins created a world layered with the grime of deceit and dirty little secrets of the tortured lives of has-been superheroes. In a George Orwellian landscape the story unfolds as a murder mystery and delves into the gray areas of what made these characters choose the lives they've led, what brought them together and what broke them apart.

Now, with the upcoming Watchmen movie release, elements of transmedia storytelling has surfaced this past week in the form of THE NEW FRONTIERSMAN, a new web site with chronological blog entries featuring photographic evidence, documents, and videos presented as breaking news. Each blog entry uncovers evidence of the the existence of the governmental program that created the super-powered being known as Manhattan as seen in the this video below.

1Tim Street asked, "Does Hollywood Get Social Media? Have you seen any Social Media Marketing campaigns from Hollywood studios that you think were successes?" Tim shared the video above in his post which inspired me to write this post because I think these Hollywood producers and marketers do get it. As part of a viral marketing campaign to promote the movie, The New Frontiersman is getting social on Twitter, Friendfeed, YouTube, Flickr and Digg and has created the Watchmen widget below to share on Watchmen fan sites.

As with each of the social networks The New Frontiersman is sharing updates on each of these networks allowing for comments and conversation. While this online marketing effort is not at a level of LG15 Universe, which incorporates social media audience participation into the storyline, it's still an interesting application of transmedia storytelling by using our current social media networks to extend the narrative across mediums.

Related posts:
Updated: 1/26/09

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cancel Your Cable Blog Launches as a New Voice for the Cord Cutting Movement

With the growing trend of TV viewers moving from cable television to online video a new voice has emerged to help navigate that transition. My friend Reed Kavner has launched, Cancel Your Cable, a new blog devoted to covering stories about watching TV over the Internet, without cable. In his first post, 2009 is the Year of the Connected Living Room, Reed provides an update from CES 2009 and highlights the current trends for this year as "ecotech, quasi-3D, and broadband connectivity in the living room."

Reed pointed out that he's not the first blogger to cancel cable then write about it. TVWeek's Daisy Whitney and PC Magazine's Sascha Segan are two notable predecessors. "I'm sure there are more," he said noting that, "It was Daisy's experiment with canceling her cable that first gave me the idea for a whole blog devoted to online cable alternatives."

Being a self-described journalism school dropout Reed took the idea and ran with it saying, "After two years of talking the web video talk, I've decided to walk the proverbial walk and cancel my cable. I am trying to document how it is possible to remove the monthly cable bill (for me, $80) from one's life and still have access to the same programing, sometimes for a nominal cost, but often for free. Device manufacturers and content producers are starting to get it and are continuously making it easier. I want to share this with consumers and promote the idea that cable providers are an unnecessary step in the delivery of television. When I say "cable", I'm really referring to any multichannel provider of television: cable, satellite, certain IPTV services."

The focus of "Cancel Your Cable "will be primarily on stories that are directly applicable to the consumer. There will be no talk of CDNs or ad networks. "I would like a friend of my mom's to be able to read the blog, understand it, learn something new, and ultimately feel comfortable freeing themselves from their cable provider."

The idea of life without cable may take some rewiring for some, but Reed, Daisy Whitney, Sascha Segan and many other have "cut the cord" and opted for a brighter future without the cost of a monthly cable bill. We've already seen many companies move into the living room to provide Internet video content which Reed covers in his blog. If you're interested in freeing yourself from the grip of the cable companies and explore the endless possibilities that online video has to offer, subscribe to Cancel Your Cable via RSS, email and follow the latest updates on Twitter.

Contact Reed at: reed ·at· cancelyourcable ·dot· com

Also check out and Tubefilter News for guides and reviews of the latest web shows.

VatorNews - Ooyala To Launch Pay-Per-Play Transaction Model For Video

Ooyala has been working on making the viewing experience more meaningful for online video consumers and more lucrative for online video publishers. The online video technology company recently integrated with a number of different ad servers and networks from YuMe Networks , Tremor Media , DoubleClick Inc. , AOL LLC 's Lightningcast, and Google's AdSense for Video that has support for both overlay as well as in-streaming companion ads, including pre-roll, post-roll, and mid-roll. Content owners can use their own ad networks or tap into Ooyala's integrated offering. Ooyala has also recently integrated Nirvanix, the premier "Cloud Storage" platform provider and its Storage Delivery Network(TM) (SDN) into their Backlot video management platform.

Meliza Solan of posted this
entrepreneur interview with Ooyala founders, Bismarck Lepe, Sean Knapp, and Belsasar Lepe, Bambi Francisco which she says, "dives into the future of online advertising. In the interview, Bismarck Lepe talks about how Ooyala plans to launch in the first quarter, a subscription capability for its clients."

In 2008, with about a billion dollars spent in online video advertising Ooyala sees the opportunities in 2009 moving more to a transactional "pay-per-play" subscription model which puts the control back in the hands of the online video consumer and gives online video publishers greater margins to monetize their content. In addition Ooyala is rolling out new ad serving platform with advanced planning, analysis, and management options which will enable another tier of networks, distributors, and content creators to operate more effectively.

Their tools give dynamic control over the content and how the ads are served which helps content owners better learn about the end users. Co-founder and CEO Bizmarck Lepe defines that Ooyala is primarily in the enablement business and said, "
"Everyone talks about behavioral targeting. Well I don't necessarily think behavioral targeting works very well in terms of creating a dynamic learning system if you can actually learn from what is causing a certain behavior. So what we do is we actually analyze the video as the video is going through and we extract meta information and then based on behavior we tie it back to what was actually happening on the screen. So if we notice that someone is always fast forwarding through ads whenever there are car ads and whenever they're watching a soap opera then we'll make sure that that mapping of ads to that type of content never happens again."

About going beyond the pre-roll and post-roll and where online advertising is going in 2009 Bismarck Lepe has this to say,
"So when we think about advertising, I think people have it all wrong. It should be about monetization. It's about figuring out what monetization model works best for content A and person B. If we know that an individual is actually very willing to purchase a piece of content, why should we bore them with that? They should have the ability to pay for that individual stream and pay 5 cents or pay 10 cents.

If you think about it. If you build a very simple, transactional model, where they click once and it's tied to their PayPal account, and they only pay 10 cents, over a thousand people that's a $100 CPM. So that's what we're exploring. Obviously, we're continuing to do the pre-roll and the post-roll and the overlays. And what we've found there is you need to make sure that the ad is compelling to the end user, the ad complements the content, but in a lot of cases it's actually better that you directly give the opportunity for the end user to pay for that piece of content."
Read the full transcript from the video here:
VatorNews - Ooyala to launch transaction model for video
Online video monetization isn't just about ads, but pay-for-play

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About Ooyala
Ooyala is a video technology company that provides an integrated platform enabling the delivery, management, and monetization of high quality video content. Focused on innovation and scalability, Ooyala is committed to providing the most comprehensive video solutions to companies worldwide.Ooyala is headquartered in Mountain View, Ca with sales operations in New York, NY and London, UK.

Ooyala was founded in early 2007 by Sean Knapp, Belsasar Lepe and Bismarck Lepe - all former Google employees. While at Google, they worked on the development and launch of various monetization and content distribution products such as AdSense, AdWords and Google Web Search. After four years of engineering and product development at the biggest Internet company in the world, the three left Google to start Ooyala. Ooyala has raised over 10 million dollars in funding and has in excess of 5000 publishers using its syndication platform - Backlot. Ooyala's goal is to build a successful technology company that focuses on delivering the best video experience to video content providers, advertisers and most importantly consumers.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Obama Inauguration Online, Live Streaming and Social Media Defines Inauguration Coverage

Everyday since the 2008 Primary Election season during my commute to work I've seen a McCain/Palin poster on a hill off the side of the highway. It's been prominently displayed in clear site and with the outcome of the election decided months ago it's a symbol to a lost cause, a daily reminder of the political battle between hope and fear. But we all know that hope prevailed and that all led up to inauguration day.

Where were you when Barack Obama took the oath of office to become the 44th President of the United States of America? Did you watch it online? Were you on Facebook? Twitter? Friendfeed? Did you watch it on TV or listen on the radio? While the world watched with anticipation, the day came and went and history was made right before our eyes.

For many Americans it was just another day of work and chores and for many it was a time of celebration. "The end of an error." as @Stranhan wrote on Twitter as the cast of characters from the political stage -- former Presidents and First Ladies, political leaders and, the old and the new guard came into the picture and took part in the great demonstration of democracy.

For me, I had to work and it was my job in corporate video communications to distribute the live feed from our DirectTV system into several of our regional office conference rooms and out to our private videoconferencing network. Our IT department had blocked all Internet ports to streaming and social media sites so our videoconferencing help desk line was ringing off the hook with last minute requests to connect to the broadcast. I know a lot people that took the day off to watch it with family, friends or in public squares. Here's the view from our master control room where I watched the inauguration. It's certainly not a high quality image but it's a historic moment in time from my point of view.

Now that the Obama administration has completed its first day in office I think it's time for that McCain/Palin sign to come down.

I didn't get to view any of the live streams from CNN, CBS, Hulu or other sites but the numbers are in and from what Dan Rayburn said CBS had the best online video viewing experience. Pete Wylie of Fierce Online Video said, " reported streaming 21.3 million online video streams in nine hours yesterday, reaching 1.3 million simultaneous streams, according to the New York Times. Akamai, a content delivery network that handles video traffic for many major media sites, said it delivered more than 7 million streams at once during Obama's inaugural address. These figures topped the previous high, set during Election Day 2008... and also experienced heavy traffic, streaming 14 million and 5 million online videos respectively during the ceremony, according to the Boston Globe."

Mashable posted a detailed analysis of the social media effect, By the Numbers: Inauguration Day's Impact on Social Media, with visuals showing the peak numbers during Obama's swearing in ceremony.

While I haven't been able to read through all my RSS feeds, here's a sampling of what I read from the blogs:
  • Reviewing the inauguration live streams - Lost Remote TV Blog - Wow, what a day. Millions of people at work during the inauguration punched it up live on the web, creating record traffic surges and a fair amount of glitches spanning news sites and CDNs. Dan Rayburn compared the live inauguration streams and posts his reviews right here. The best according to Dan? The CBS O&Os, which our own Kent Chapline reviews below. So, the inauguration was far and away the largest live streaming event in history. Or was it? “While this is a question many want to know the answer to, it’s one that nobody can truly answer,” writes Rayburn, who says a lack of unified historical metrics is to blame.

  • Inauguration Online Video Recap: Records, Innovation, Loss Leader | Online Video Watch
    No surprise we saw record numbers for online video viewing during yesterday’s Inauguration. But while it was a banner day in terms of traffic and innovation, it also showcased the utter inability of media to monetize the massive amount of video being delivered. From my personal experience, just about every site appeared to run into issues between 11:45 AM when Akamai reported peak traffic of 5.4 million visitors per minute for news traffic and 12:15 PM when Akamai served more than 7 million peak concurrent streams suggesting there may have been some backbone scalability issues.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Online Video Presidential Inauguration Special

The Presidential Inauguration is shaping up to be one of the biggest online video viewing events of the Internet to date. Over two million people will be attending the Obama Inauguration on Live with Facebook. Countless micro-bloggers and citizen journalists will be reporting and mobile broadcasting from Washington, D.C. via Twitter, Qik, Flixwagon and Kyte. There are many options to watch it and here are a few of your best options. General information about the inauguration can be found at the sites for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Hulu will be broadcasting the inauguration in the video player below using Fox Broadcast’s stream from 12-2 p.m. ET. The inauguration will be available on-demand following the live feed.

Live streaming options

YouTube Twitter
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