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Newspapers the big winners from online video
April 9, 2008, 9:33 am
Filed under: online advertising, online TV, TV | Tags: , , ,

My post yesterday about web TV got me thinking about online video in general which is when I came across this piece on Press Gazette inspired by a study from researchers at City University into the use of video on UK news websites.

Online video is an interesting proposition for newspapers in particular. The success of any online video venture – whether on a news site, or a dedicated web TV service – comes down to the quality of the content. That’s something newspapers have plenty of. The FT in fact recently relaunched its video player and that channel is a key focus for the paper’s online ambitions, and has become one of its most popular sections, broadcasting hundreds of its own in-house made videos online each month.

So on the face of it the newspapers have a winning forumla to give readers what they want. And that’s what it’s really about for the audience – not the novelty of being able to watch a video online, but being able to actually get the content they want, through the medium they prefer. The companies that succeed will be those who give readers the content they want, the way they want, and not the way the newspaper thinks they should consume it.

Bearing that in mind, monetising Internet video is not a major challenge. Speaking to media buyers, pre-roll blindness and associated issues are not as big a problem as some might have you believe. If the Internet video content is worth watching, most viewers are willing to endure a reasonable (apparently at most 15 seconds) of pre-roll or equivalent advertising.

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ITV plugs in with Bebo, but digitally still dancing on ice
March 10, 2008, 12:53 pm
Filed under: BBC, Bebo, Friends Reunited, iPlayer, ITV, online TV, social media, TV | Tags: , , , , ,

Holly WilloughbyBeleaguered British broadcaster ITV is peddling fast to catch up with the rest of the digital world by announcing a deal this morning with Bebo to show its ITV2 programming on the social network. The move comes as ITV struggles with a decline in global content revenues and Michael Grade is increasingly waking up to online as the new distribution channel, but anything ITV has produced in terms of its online video player thus far lags so far behind rival BBC’s iPlayer.

The Bebo deal is interesting on a number of fronts – it’s cheap and arguably quick to deploy as a bandage measure to help stem ITV’s hemorrhaging younger viewers – an increasing number of which are getting all the broadcast content they want online and on-demand. Secondly, given that ITV owns Friends Reunited, you have to ask why it chose someone else’s social network as a digital route to market… 

Despite insisting he is ahead of where he expected to be, ITV’s shares have fallen more than 20 per cent since the start of the year as Michael Grade struggles to turn the corporation’s fortunes around, and to clearly articulate the corporation’s digital strategy. Let’s hope when it is finally revealed it is not ‘digital on ice’… and in the meantime Holly Willoughby can continue to keep ITV’s weekend end up, but for how much longer?



MTV is no Jackass
December 13, 2007, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Blockbuster, Joost, MTV, online TV, TV, Veoh | Tags: , , , ,

JackassMTV is to release the new Jackass movie entirely online on 19 December in a partnership with Blockbuster. Beyond milking the Jackass franchise for as much as it’s worth (and well beyond its sell-by date – those guys were only ever REALLY funny before they got rich) it’s an interesting move for Blockbuster which finds itself on the back-foot, trying to catch up with the web TV boom and the impact on-demand TV will continue to have on its retail presence footfall.

It’s also a big deal for Paramount in general as it tries to understand more about online as a distribution channel, rather than relying on the old tape and DVD models. Hollywood has been slow carve out the online opportunities in its favour – even slower than the music industry – but the fact remains that media audiences are fragmenting and online TV services like Joost, Veoh, Babelgum and Vuze continue to swell their viewer numbers. The challenge for the online TV services is to attract the advertisers as the medium wrongly retains a ‘cutting edge’ scepticism among the major media players.