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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!

Internet Video Meets Internet TV: The Convergence Continues…

Of course, I’ve been tracking Google Video and video podcasts… And certainly, I have spoken many times about the trend from broadcasting to narrowcasting… And I’ve even referred to special interest (or well-focused) websites as “microcasting”… But now the NYTimes has jumped on the term “slivercasting.” And, that’s fine.

But, what’s more, I tend to perceive an article on the front page of the Sunday New York Times Business section sub-titled, “As Internet TV Aims at Niche Audiences, the Slivercast Is Born” as something of a benchmark. It’s always nice to have a professional business perspective that includes real world examples (not to mention video clip examples) as a form of instantly credible support for the apparent conceptual trends. 😉

Bottom line, Internet video and Internet TV (what I used to call “The Video Web” in my old Videography column) are becoming more and more real, viable and important.

And, personally, I even have to admit that I’m wanting to trade in my iPod for a video iPod, especially now that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is available from iTunes, including a new Multi-Pass option that gives you the current episode plus the next 15 episodes for $9.99 (vs. $1.99 per episode.) Stay tuned!

NBC & A Podcasting Reality Check

I don’t think I’ve posted yet how impressed I am with Apple’s easy-to-use integration of the ability to subscribe to podcasts right within iTunes 4.9, but just the same I’ve been skeptical about podcasting’s ability to become (as Apple says) “The next generation of radio.” My thinking being somewhat along the lines of the comments by Mark Cuban referenced in an earlier post (below).

However, I have to admit that I was surprised to happen to catch the end of tonight’s rerun of today’s Meet the Press and find Tim Russert (with some embarrassment) promoting that program’s new podcast. (Of course, this is also a reflection of increased web competition between broadcast networks… see post below re CBS.)

Bottom line, this media moment reminded me of the old days (5 or so years ago) when I’d see a commercial web site’s URL on TV and took it as confirmation that the Web really was becoming an important medium. Maybe podcasting will become important too? Maybe it really is the happy media marriage of Tivo’s “any time you want it” with the iPod’s (and any other portable digital media player’s) “any place you want it.”

Whadda you think?