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“It’s a Wonderful Web” 2013!

cb-ipadThe first edition of our “It’s a Wonderful Web” e-newsletter for 2013 is out. It includes the following articles:

  • 2013: The Year of Anything is Possible
  • Special Offers!
  • Free 1-Hour Audio: Web Radio Interview
  • Luscious Links

If you’re not already a subscriber, click here to read it online.

NEW “Wonderful Web” ENews: “New is New Again”

The new edition of our “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter is out. It includes the follow short stories:

  • It’s All About YOU (including Paul Simon quote)
  • New Marketing in Another New Era
  • Whipping Up Lower Cost Websites (fresh offer)
  • Make Your Marketing More Effective
  • New Custom-Designed Client WordPress Websites
  • Is Your WordPress Website Safe? (new services)
  • New News About NewMarU (update on our educational site)
  • Luscious Links: More Useful Info, Just a Click Away (valuable!)
  • Quick Hits: About the New Enews Format

If you’re not already a subscriber, you can read it online by clicking this link.

TokBox Online Video Platform Looks Interesting…

Tokbox LogoNext Wednesday, I’ll be blogging and tweeting from GigaOM’s Net:Work 2010 conference. And while browsing their site, I noticed an honorable mention of TokBox and started exploring. Their online video platform supports group video chat and much more.

This afternoon I was able to have an instant video chat hooking up to a friend via Facebook (whose API along with Twitter’s and others has apparently been integrated). We also easily and seamlessly shared a YouTube video. Pretty cool right out of the freebie level “box.”

I also watched a video message from a member of the TokBox team and will be investigating their Video Conferencing platform for NewMarU, our New Marketing University project about which you’ll be hearing more soon.

Meanwhile, here’s an embedded Tokbox window (I thought I was going to leave you a Holiday Greeting, but that didn’t work out). I’d love to hear your feedback and you can even send me a video message at – jon -at- combridges -dot- com-. If any of you have any experience with TokBox or comparable platforms that support multiple video presenters et. al. for webinars I’d be especially interested. Thanks!

TokBox – Free Video Chat and Video Messaging

Why Video is the Web’s New Mission Critical Next Level: Do Not Miss

As many of you know, I’ve been writing and producing videos about “The Video Web” and the digital video revolution for many years. But, it’s another day; and, I’ve taken another step.

The video embedded below, Why Online Video is a ‘Must Have’ for Internet Marketing describes what I believe is the next mission critical level of Internet communications as the importance of video has emerged in broad new ways.

And while you’re while you’re visiting this blog post, please don’t miss the second video embedded below from TED’s curator, Chris Anderson about the global implications of this trend (scroll down).

By way of text summary, the five reasons why video is a “must have” that are illuminated in the short four-minute video above are:

  1. The Medium of the Web is Morphing Dramatically and Rapidly
  2. Video is Now the Web’s Leading Media Type
    (even though in some ways “The Web is Dead”)
  3. Video Has Become a Viable & Powerful SEO Strategy
  4. Business is Basically About Relationship Building and
    What Better Way to Build Relationships Online Than Via Video?
  5. Video is the Web’s Future. (“Be in it to win it.”)

In addition, if I had my way, I would love to make this second video, from TED conference curator Chris Anderson, How Web Video Powers Global Innovation required viewing for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world.

That’s how important I think video is becoming as a communication medium. Anderson explains dramatic increases in the power, reach and accessibility of online video from a higher level perspective, even comparing online video to the paradigm shift in communications that happened when Gutenberg invented the printing press!

Yes, Chris and I agree, The Coming of The Video Web is THAT important. 😉

Bottom line, there has never been a more powerful or mobile way to communicate either your ideas or the benefits of your products or services. This is combined, of course, with the convergence of broadband internet connection speeds and the proliferation of digital cameras and mobile phones with video capabilities. The cost of doing video has become radically more affordable and accessible.

Call it “The Age of YouTube” if you like. But, more importantly in my opinion, it is time for everybody to recognize that video is now a ‘must have.’ It is no longer an option.

Mission Critical Data Points
If you’re not convinced, you may also want to consider the following:

  • One-Third of US Adults Skip Live TV: Report
    56 million Americans have begun skipping live TV in favor of time-shifted viewing and online content. Traditional TV advertising is rapidly losing any remaining effectiveness, thus undermining whatever financial stability still exists in everything but the biggest ticket broadcasts. Much more to come!
  • Netflix CEO: We’re a Streaming Company
    66% of Netflix subscribers are using their streaming services vs only 41% a year ago. Even premium entertainment is finding massive acceptance via non-cable, non-broadcast, non-satellite distribution. This ‘toothpaste’ is out of the tube. There’s no putting it back. This trend will only accelerate. Broadcasters beware. Online video producers rev your engines… Stay tuned.

Online Video is Rockin’ with Measurable Momentum, Increased Ad Spending & More

This week’s New Media New Marketing TheTVNews.tv report (Wednesday, not Tuesday, due to technical issues) covers four recent research reports that underscore the powerful, measurable growth and increasing impact of online video.

First, the video report (I’m at the top of this show). Then, all four referenced pieces of research on online video are linked below.

1. Eighty Percent of Net Users Watch Video as Global Consumption Explodes, comScore
Beet.tv’s interview with Tania Yuki, comScore’s VP product manager for online video research products has lots of insights, including her perception that worldwide, 80% of Internet users are watching video. Wow, that’s huge. And as a researcher, her observation of double-digit growth in time spent viewing as well as viewers are also impressive. Part 1 of the interview can be viewed right here:

2. Online Video Goes Mainstream
eMarketer’s report puts 18 to 34 year olds at the forefront and underscores that 29% of Internet users under 25 say they watch all or most of their TV online. Clearly there is a gravitation of TV viewers to the online realm and this trend is certain to continue if not accelerate.

3. Ad Agencies Shift Spend to Video
Another eMarketer report reveals that most ad agencies already saw online video as a place they need to be a year ago, with 87% in Q1, 2009 saying that they plan to devote more budget to online video. But the trend is towards “pretty much everyone” with 94% of ad agencies saying the same thing during Q1 of this year.

4. Online Video Ads More Effective Than TV Among U.S. Viewers
At the end of the day, the bottom line is effectiveness. No wonder the momentum to online video is accelerating. When the research tells you that the same TV ad presented online delivers more recall, more brand linkage, more likeability and more, how could you not make it a priority?

Have you produced your online video today?

Watch for more to come on my YouTube channel, for sure! 😉

Thanks for reading and, as always, I welcome your feedback, comments and YouTube ratings. Much appreciated.

Top 5 Online Video & TV on the Web Mega-Trends

On Tuesday’s edition of TheTVNews.tv, I talk about how hard it is to keep perspective on how fast things are changing, when things are changing this fast.

To help put some perspective on at least some of these changes, here are five key online video “Mega-Trends” that I think are worth noting—each illustrated by a current news story from the past week with at least one relevant link for your browsing pleasure.

Please let me know if you like this post and/or if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

1. Online Video Just Keeps on Growing.
The latest example: CBS and NCAA set a record for broadband viewing: 3.4 million viewers watched the opening round on computers. That was just on just the first day of March Madness, the national collegiate basketball tournament. CBS and the NCAA put video of all of these big games, held around the country, online at a website they call March Madness on Demand (mmod.ncaa.com). Read more at the Washington Examiner >>

2. Social Networking Usage Surges Globally
The Nielsen Company is reporting that the audience for social networks is growing at a whopping 29% year-over-year. Driven largely by Facebook, the GLOBAL average user’s time spent social networking more than doubled from just more than 2 hours/month in Feb 2009 to nearly 5.5 hours/month in Feb 2010. Interesting, Italy tops the specific country list at nearly 6.5 hours/user/month and the US is just over six hours per user a month. And this doesn’t even include YouTube as a social networking site, which it is (at least in part). I promise you that this trend will continue. The public’s appetite for making connections online and sharing blog posts, digital pictures and videos is just ramping up. Read more details on Mashable >>

3. Online Video Advertising Is Poised for Growth Thanks to Analytics
Beet.Tv posted a very interesting video interview with Mike Bologna, director of emerging communications at GroupM, the giant corporate parent of the WPP advertising and media agencies. Bologna sees formerly cautious advertisers jumping into online video thanks to the availability of browser and viewer use statistics, or analytics as we call user tracking on the web. This valuable info is drawing more advertisers into becoming willing to leverage the power of online video. Here’s the Beet.tv clip so you can hear Bologna’s insights from “the horse’s mouth”:

4. More High Quality & Professional Resources Are Being Committed to Online Video
Here are just two of the many examples of this trend. Again, both announced within the last week:

  • NYTimes.com has launched a new daily video program called TimesCast that features behind the scenes footage of the Times editorial team at work, mixed with coverage of the day’s headlines. TimesCast is now at the top of the right column on http://video.times.com Here’s a direct link to Monday’s edition >>
  • The leading tech blog, TechCrunch is upping its video content creation capabilities by hiring Evelyn Rusli, an anchor from Forbes video who made over 200 appearance on Fox News in the “Forbes on Fox” segment. In it’s typically cheeky fashion, TechCrunch announced, Welcome To Evelyn Rusli, Whom We Stole From Forbes

Of course, these are just a couple of examples of the way that important players are continuously making important steps to increase the attractiveness and viability of their online video offerings. That said, I think both NYTimes.com and TechCrunch are good examples to watch. Both are attracting both a significant volume of viewership as well as meaningful advertising revenues.

5. Major Internet Players, like Google, Are Creating New TV Hardware To Put More Online Video on Your TV
We all know that Google is a software king whose reach goes way beyond being king of the hill in search to include Google Apps (like Google Mail), Google Buzz, they own YouTube, and more. And, then there’s the Google Phone manufactured by HTC. Well now, there’s Google TV.

As the New York Times reports: Google and Partners Seek TV Foothold. Expected to bring a  new kind of Internet video experience to living rooms everywhere, Google TV is a new kind of set top box that is being created in partnership with Sony and Intel. It uses Google’s Android operating system and will compete Internet video boxes like the Boxee Box, Roku, Popbox, and the innovative Sezmi system that I profiled a few Tuesdays ago on TheTVNews.tv.

As you can tell and probably already know, Online TV / Video is not just one thing, but the trends above are clear. This “toothpaste” is not going back into “the tube.” (pun intended)

And, underneath all of this is what you might call “The New Rules of Communication” that the Web has inspired. To be successful, whatever you are doing online, you can’t just be a “broadcaster,” you need to be truly interactive and authentically engage viewers and visitors in such a way that you create real relationships with them. That’s something most TV companies still need to learn… which is good news for the rest of us.

Speaking of relationships, I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below with what you like or do not like (and rate and comment on the YouTube clips if you are so moved). I’d love to hear your feedback. I’d love to hear your ideas for what stories you’d like me to cover on TheTVNews.tv or on this blog. What would be most useful to YOU? Thanks!

Online Video, the TV Everywhere Buzzword & Where It’s Going

Online video continues its seemingly never ending expansion. Now, it’s everywhere.

According to the latest NielsenWire report:

The number of unique viewers of online video increased 5.2% year-over-year according to The Nielsen Company, from 137.4 million unique viewers in January 2009 to 142.7 million in January 2010.

Among the top Web brands ranked by unique viewers in January, Disney Online was the fastest growing month-over-month, increasing 23.3%.

As I discussed in the Tuesday, 2/16 edition of TheTVNews.tv (my New Media / New Marketing segment is at about 2:42), amongst the TV industry, the term “TV Everywhere” is starting to achieve such high visibility that it’s almost confusing. As you probably know, Comcast has attempted to own the term as a brand; but TV Everywhere really stands for much more.

I realized that this issue needed to be addressed when I saw it achieve TLA status. In case you don’t know the joke, TLA stands for three-letter acronym, and TV Everywhere is starting to be used so commonly that it’s starting to be referred to as TVE. Brightcove (see below) even has a product called TVE-SP or the TV Everywhere Solution Pack.

But before I say a few words about why I think Brightcove may be useful to some of you, I just have to say that TV Everywhere is becoming another “buzzword du jour.” So, be careful how you use it.

In the same way that terms  like “multimedia” and “digital video” in earlier eras were used as catch phrases that covered too much broad ground to be entirely useful, TV Everywhere is a similarly vague term. Bottom line, TV Everywhere refers to any video content creator’s attempt to publish its video content online, i.e. via the Internet, in addition to publishing said content via more traditional broadcasting and/or cable and/or DVD channels.

That said, we are seeing more and more of this kind of approach and this winter’s two premiere sporting events—the Winter Olympics via NBC and NCAA basketball’s “March Madness” via CBS—provide vivid illustrations of the online video / TV Everywhere trend, but with notable differences.

PaidContent.org’s Staci D. Kramer provides an excellent overview, dare I say “high level perspective” with her post, Vancouver 2010: Watching The ‘TV Everywhere’ Olympics From 30,000 Feet. Of course, video on the Internet also now means video on laptops on airplanes thanks to in-flight wi-fi. More importantly, it’s interesting to note NBC’s huge jumps of 350% in unique viewers and 700% in video streams since they put video of the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics on the web.

March Madness is even bigger in terms of unique visitors, and I like CBSSports.com‘s more open approach better. Unlike NBC who is keeping all the video on one site, NBCOlympics.com, CBS and their “March Madness On-Demand” (MMOD) plays nice with the other web video kids by sharing its valuable video in a web-friendly way. Their approach is illuminated in this interview by Light Reading Cable with CBSSports.com’s Senior VP and General Manager, Jason Kint. Kint explains that CBS lets the likes of ESPN and YouTube link to it’s content. This not only spreads the wealth of this content and creates good will and increased visibility for CBS as “media host,” but it is also more progressive and aligned with what makes “the web go round” i.e. sharing content is good and ultimately better for media consumers. (That’s us!)

By way of additional perspective, I brought up Brightcove.com earlier for two reasons. First, because I value to views of Brightcove’s CEO, Jeremy Allaire. Mr. Allaire has been a web innovator since day 1, most notably leading the team at Macromedia that made the Flash platform that has become something of a web video standard today. If you want more perspective on TV Everywhere, I highly recommend Allaire’s Predictions for Online Video in 2010 (via AllThingsD.com) as well as TechCrunch’s coverage of Brightcove Wants To Take “TV Everywhere” Beyond Your Cable Company’s Video Website.

Secondly, for small enterprises and sole proprietors of all kinds, I recommend a YouTube channel as the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to aggregate your video clips (a.k.a. your content). But, for larger organizations and particularly TV industry folk like producers, cable networks and others who own their content, more sophisticated ways to publish it on the web is necessary. Online video publishers, for example need a feature set that includes the ability to embed your own advertising sales as well as other features. In this case, an online software platform like Brightcove delivers. Make sense?

Then, with the publishing platform in place, program distributors can get down to creating impactful social media marketing support and multi-screen cross-promotion for their programs. And, that’s just for openers.

In other words, the fun is just beginning. TV Everywhere is now and always. So if you are a significant creator of video content you better get with the TVE program ASAP.

Also, by way of reference, I’d like to share the following Brightcove promotional video. It’s just an FYI, and not because I was paid to post it… although I wouldn’t mind 😉

I hope this is useful, and as always, I look forward to your comments, feedback and suggestions. Thanks for reading.

Michael Moore to Make New Movie Free for Downloads

In a move that would make Chris Anderson proud — and in a move that is, to my knowledge, completely unprecedented for a “major motion picture” — Michael Moore and Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films have announced that Moore’s new flick, “Slacker Uprising” will be made available via the web for free download on Sept. 23rd. If you’re interested, this link will hook you up to the viral marketing campaign so you can spread the word.

Their announcement also adds, “You can also buy the DVD for $9.95, which will start shipping on September 23 and features extras like: Special Guest Joan Baez – America the Beautiful, Why People Like George Bush?, My Pet Goat, The O’Reilly Factor for Kids, Just Add Water and Heat – More Ramen and Clean Underwear, and more. Or should I say, Moore!”

Here’s the trailer:

The State-of-the-Art of Sponsored Internet Videos?

Beet.TV interview about the Bebo internet video channelsThe world of Internet videos keeps getting richer. Yes, there’s more interesting stuff than what’s on YouTube (not that’s YouTube is bad, there are just more channels on the “Internet TV system” than most people know). For example, this Beet.TV interview with Ziv Navoth, VP Marketing & Business Development at Bebo (which is one of the slickest, high quality internet video sites) offers one of the most passionate and somewhat persuasive pitches I’ve seen for a monetized opportunity for video producers. What do you think? Is it time for you (or me) to finally do an online video series?

OMG, Twitter is like so totally busted! “Twitter Whore” shows all…

I mentioned below the “In Plain English” Twitter video which actually explains Twitter to the uninitiated or un-techie amongst us. But, on the other hand, if you want to laugh a little, and sorta, kinda experience the frenetic experience of what I believe Twitter to be (and why I’m not a participant… go on, comment below about why I’m missing out!), then OMG! I’m sure you’ll enjoy the Twitter parody videos below, produced by and staring one of YouTube’s rising stars, Lisa Donovan (screen name LisaNova), a self-described “Twitter Whore” (video is in two parts below). As they used to say on Hill Street Blues, “Be careful out there.”