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A few more thoughts on OTT TV

I just read an interesting article in MIT Technology Review regarding Over the Top (OTT) Video. Specifically focused on Google Tv. After reading the article I had to ask myself why so many product efforts have fallen short in offering a Cable Tv alternative. I think the answer is simple they forgot to focus on the problem not the ad revenue. I believe the core problem to solve for most cord cutters is that the basic desire to pay less for Tv, get the most relevant programming and at the same 1080p quality they get from their current provider.  Not so easy to do when content interest are diverging, programmers are charging more and cable companies are forging ahead to extend the current value proposition with mobility features like Tv Everywhere and time shifting enhancements like Remote DVR, expansive VOD libraries, Direct from the Theatre Movies.

Lets look at Google Tv 1.0 and how they focused on making your Tv into a PC. Enabling free Internet content with a more interactive Tv user interface while capturing behaviors and delivering targeted advertising while leveraging Android, Chrome, Adsense and not having to pay programmers for any content. In short at best Google provides a value add service that introduces complexity into the lean back viewing experience or the convenience of not having to start-up your Laptop to connect to the Internet. In short they focused purely on Ad revenues and profits hopping the incremental value and Google brand would inspire adoption. I feel Apple is also far off course as they focused on an ala cart pay per view video model that leveraged the Itunes Store and streamed video to your Tv while integrating music and photos from a PC and Flickr, You Tube, Netflix from the Internet.

Hopefully Google Tv 2.0 will be better and not miss the mark as Apple Tv 2.0 did. Until then the closest thing to an ideal scenario for cord cutters are CE devices that provide Netflix streaming movies and Hulu Plus streaming Tv in 1080p format for a combined $16/month.

Which TV channels can’t cord-cutters live without?

If the never-ending stream of data on cord-cutting has faded into a blur, here’s one new finding that may be of actual interest. In her latest research note, Needham & Co. analyst Laura Martin reported the results of a simple request she made of 300 respondents in October: “Please list which TV channels you must have available online for you to  turn off your TV subscription.” The results contain a few surprises.

Mary Meeker’s awesome Web 2.0 presentation

If you have not seen this presentation yet Mary provides some very interesting focus areas / data points you should examine closely and ask yourself the “So-What’s”. Of course a key assumption here is that the value of a consumers time and attention are equal across mediums. But I really do not think that is the case do you?

Web based email usage in decline

Among 100+ other industry categories, Compete’s category profiles include an aggregate view of all US internet users engagement with web-based email clients. At first glance, there’s some surprising data in there. If you were to ask me what the most popular email client was before reviewing this category, I would say Gmail without a doubt.

Based on unique visitors from the US IBP (internet browsing population), Gmail doesn’t even hold a candle to Hotmail (94% larger than Gmail) and Yahoo Mail (190% larger). Gmail’s buzz is obviously much larger than it’s bite.

percentage of inique visitors to each web based email clientGranted, Gmail is younger than Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. According to Wikipedia Hotmail was established in 1994, Yahoo Mail in 1997, and Gmail in 2004, so there’s certainly an opportunity for Gmail to gain market share as it matures.

When looking at the Email category as a whole, it doesn’t look like growth in market share will come from new web-based email users. Overall monthly unique visitor traffic (a direct indicator of email usage) to the entire Email category has been trending down. In fact, traffic has decreased 11% year over year.

us traffic to web-based email clients

Perhaps the Web-based Email market has reached saturation? It will be interesting to see where monthly traffic levels off and how market share changes over time.
View article…

The hammer …..


Facebook is dominating the U.S. display ad market, according to data from comScore

In Q3 2010, Facebook served 297 billion display ad impressions giving it 23% of the U.S. market for display ads. In the first quarter of 2009, it only had a 7% share.

Yahoo came in a distant second place for Q3 2010 with 141 billion display ads and 11% of the market.

As you can see in the chart below, Facebook’s share of the display market has that “hockey-stick” growth, which should be scaring Yahoo, Google, and AOL.

chart of the day, share of online ad impressions, nov 2010
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The nail

Facebook is reportedly set to reveal its own email application on Monday.

If Facebook’s email service is a success, it’s bad news for Yahoo and AOL, which are already losing users. It’s also bad news for Google, which uses Gmail as a launch point into search, Google Apps, and to small degree social stuff through Buzz.

What would it take for Facebook email to be a success? Well, Facebook has 150 million active users in the United States. It’s unlikely to convert all those users, but if it can get just a third of them to start using its email, it would have the second most popular email service in the U.S.

Below, we’ve charted the monthly uniques for each big email service. For some context we also charted how many overall uniques Facebook gets.

chart of the day, facebook, email sites, nov 2010

View article…

Value of time relative to Internet video vs traditional TV

Some interesting insights but probably not anything most of us did not already know. Generational behavior shifts are pretty obvious to everyone. Time/Convenience = Value equation is also pretty apparent.

Revenue sharing, subscription licensing and advertising will clearly not deliver the revenue/margins needed to acquire the linear and non-linear content to feed the 12 second attention spans of the channel surfing masses & YouTube insomniacs.

The question dujour is how to compete with cable. The answer is by getting relevant. This means unlocking the Multimedia and Entertainment Kingdoms to get relevant content? Scaling long tail content is not the answer and delivering it in more innovative and nontraditional ways is not transformative? Ask Apple, Amazon and Netflix.

My assertion is that Media 2.0 companies will fast follow Comcast/NBC into a vertically integrated model to leverage price points for multichannel distribution and carriage agreements. Interactive advertising, gaming, Network PVR, and three screen viewing are just nice concierge services but without relative content to hold your attention over a significant period of time/day what does it matter.

The argument is pervasive.  Kids don't want or need cable.  They have the internet for content. Why would they pay all that money when they can find most, if not all the entertainment they want and need for free ? Put another way "kids today", the twentysomethings,  dont follow the same entertainment consumption paths that their parents and elders do.  The new mantra is "Never trust the media consumption habits of anyone over 30" Well no shit She … Read More

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