Is that Time Warner Cable’s mild-mannered Glenn Britt getting medieval on content owners’ collective Web-obsessed buttocks? First, he tells the Cable Show that yes… he minds when they stream content he pays for online for free. Now, he’s repeating the mantra at investors’ conferences, to The Wall Street Journal and anyone else who will listen. If you have something to say, Glenn, just say it…
Content providers obviously want their Web videos gaining viral buzz and are increasingly using social networking sites to augment audience share. So we thought it worth mentioning that video-search niche player blinkx, on Tues announced a deal with Radian6, whose social media monitoring platform tracks what is being said online about brands, organizations and issues in real-time as discovered. The blinkx deal will allow Radian6 clients to get data culled from sites like YouTube, Revver, Veoh, Grouper, MetaCafe, Live Video, BrightCove and others. As content providers try to keep better track of how their shows and brands are perceived by viewers and users, such deals are important to track. Google may get all the glory, but these niche players are also doing some interesting work in the online space. — We thought that product placements on TV were reaching a point of saturation… but oh no. It turns out that’s only the beginning. “Branded entertainment” tracking firm iTVX (whose main competitor IAG just got swallowed by behemoth Nielsen… yikes!) has started a new “In Web” service to track product placements online as well. Could this stuff get any more complicated? It’s enough to leave any self-respecting content owner longing for the days of the simple 30-second spot. Ahhhh… go to your happy place…
Going Mobile (and now even in HD!)
Yeah, we’re sick of the constant hype about mobile video too. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. As it turns out, WiMAX cheerleader Intel has been out there hawking powerful chips that are supposed to help make all of this a reality—a distinct possibility considering cable’s post-Pivot Clearwire/Sprint partnership. So we’ll note that Intel evp/gm, sales and marketing Sean Maloney was in Taiwan Tues doing what marketers do… marketing—namely, the idea that new chipsets will usher in HD video playback on mobile devices. Turns out Intel has upgraded its Intel Atom processors, formerly codenamed Diamondville, for an emerging class of compact, easy-to-use devices to connect to the Internet. Combine that with WiMAX, and we’re talking about some interesting partnership opportunities for content owners—not to mention their MSO pals. The $64,000 question is who will build what for whom and whether it will all be available at retail. With tru2way already bagging mega-CE fish Sony, we’re guessing that train has already left the station. It’s probably time for the cable content crowd to hop on board. – Meanwhile, British mobile multimedia firm Mobixell Networks (yeah, we had never heard of them either) this week released the results of a new survey suggesting that 29% of 16-34-year-old users are perfectly willing to watch mobile ads as long as it means they’ll also get free or discounted service. Of course, the survey covered British consumers, whose habits may differ considerably from their U.S. cousins (especially since mobile traffic plummets at 4 pm every day because of tea time… ok, we made that up). Still, content providers working with MVNOs may want to explore new free models, assuming advertisers can be convinced to play along.
Crossing the Rubicon
Congrats to CNET chairman and former E! and MTV exec Jarl Mohn, who on Tues announced that he has joined the board and will become a private investor in the Rubicon Project, a program started by serial entrepreneur Frank Addante to create a “network of networks” for advertising on the Web. Since it launched in Oct 2007, it claims to have optimized more than 19 billions ads across 150 top ad networks and thereby increased ad revenue and efficiency for the more than 1,000 websites using the service. Mohn could have some interesting opportunities ahead. After all, CBS just snagged CNET in a $1.8 billion deal that will no doubt hinge on CBS’s ability to leverage its massive TV ad machine into CNET’s dominant position on the Web (CNET’s product demonstration videos are hugely popular and could easily plug into CBS’s ad matrix). Furthermore, Mohn’s experience in cable can only help as advertising gradually migrates into platform-agnostic buys across TV, print, Web, mobile, etc.
Yeah, we already knew that WWE chmn Vince McMahon wasn’t really dead despite that whole exploding car thing last year. But we gotta give him props once again for proudly filling the vacuum left by the P.T. Barnum once again. On Tues, McMahon announced he would give away $1 million every week to a lucky viewer of “Monday Night Raw.” Of course, the extra couple of ratings points that will ensue will probably create enough additional ad revenue to more than cover the pay-outs. Guess that’s why he’s Vince.