Radio stations are taking steps in the direction of local TV sites. Last week 140 CBS stations signed up for WorldNow’s video system. See the player on the homepage of WCBS-AM.
CBS RADIO says that “rethinking and evolving business has led us to this transformation and in the very near future every station will have a major video component transforming radio from a purely audio medium to a visual one as well”.
Debuting on the websites of four of the company’s New York stations (www.fresh1027.com, www.wcbs880.com, www.923krock.com and www.wfan.com), the launch of CBS Radios means they will be allowed to create individual and personalized branded video players, which will permit them to feature station content, syndicate video both internally and externally, share and distribute videos to multiple destinations and embed video clips to share with other via social networking sites.
This technology also creates advertising and specialized sponsorship opportunities for CBS’s clients, including branded players and content, studio imaging, advertorials and in-video advertising.
“From a content perspective, no one is better positioned than radio to take advantage of online video with literally thousands of hours of original programming being produced every week. Previously you could only hear that material on-air or online. Now audiences will be able to see what happens at their favorite radio station and interact with our brands and personalities in an entirely different way, and we’ll be able to extend our reach through the distribution capabilities the new player affords us,” says CBS Radio.
In addition to broadcast simulcasts, live concert performances, in-studio interviews, breaking news and original programming exclusively for the web, the new player will also spotlight content provided by the audience and solicited by the station. Effortless upload functionality will facilitate an immediate dialogue between the station and its listeners via videos emphasizing developing news stories, current event, entertainment or comedy.
More and more new mobile sites
Newspapers need to become mobile, and develop local services around it. Some Media outlet like Associated Press has decided to invest on start-up companies.
They invested $3 million in mobile news services start up Verve Wireless, whose mission is to save the local paper by making it mobile. This company powered AP’s recently announced Mobile News Network.
Besides the AP, Verve is helping build about 4,000 mobile sites and working with more than 60 media companies, including San Diego Tribune and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Verve had previously raised $2.5 million in first round of investors.
Newspapers’ webcast are up
More and more newspapers launch their webcast. The last one is New Jersey’s main newspaper, The Star-Ledger of Newark.
Their video news show is hosted and produced by a veteran reporter, and is focused on New Jersey stories. It averages 5 minutes in length, and features video stories done by reporters, photographers, graphic artists and editors.
The Star-Ledger has trained 20 people across all departments in newsroom. Each is to produce one video story a week as part of their regular duties on the 300-person news staff. See behind the scene video. (Truth be told, the webcast is boring, and is far away –from now- from TV standards).
The webcast stream live at noon and is available at any time at nj.com. It is offered in an embeddable player.
Widgets, a low-cost distribution option to engage fragmented audiences
Increasingly, content providers view widgets –a small chunks of HTML code that create a container into which content can be continuously pushed- as a low-cost opportunity to dynamically distribute content to opted-in audiences. Similarly, advertisers look at widget advertising as an opportunity to reach targeted, engaged audiences.
One of the latest successful examples is EgoTV, a broadband content startup who is distributing its “Malibu U” program through Clearspring's widget platform. EgoTv explains that about 50,000-75,000 unique visitors/day can now see his widget. They are able to track video traffic across all places the widget is embedded and when they push a new episode, users are automatically notified. (See how it works for example on a Facebook page).
Widget ads can work in all kinds of ways, including banners, pre/mid/post-rolls and overlays. Clearspring’s shown ad has in the upper right corner a little peel-back flap (similarly VideoEgg’s new AdFrames uses the same approach).
Clearspring’s play is to create a “Widget Ad Network” by aggregating the content flowing through its widgets. With 4 billion pieces of content server through its widgets each month and working with many of the top 100 publishers, they are able to offer targeted inventory to media buyers who want to tap into the web 2.0 world.
Widgets have gained widespread popularity with the rise of web 2.0 social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, as users can select different widgets for embedding in their personal pages. A user can also embed widgets in personal content sites using iGoogle, PageFlakes, or others, or can use widgets right on their desktop.
CBS HD gallery
CBS.com has launched an HD video section. Here CBS features full-length shows like CSI, Survivor and Big Brother in 720p, sponsored exclusively by Intel. The site is called CBS HD Gallery.
Innovative archive video site
KXLY.com, an ABC affiliate, has launched a new video archive site. The site has more than 10,000 video clips dating back several years. You can stream or embed any of the video for free at video.kxly.com.
All of the video is available for download –for a fee.
New JibJab 2008 Election Video
The JibJab guys have released their last cartoon focused on the current presidential election. In addition, they have created a new “Sendables” feature, which allow users to upload their picture and be a part of the video too.
The 3G iPhone was launched, along with the app store –located on iTunes. Now experts predict an explosion of application development around the iPhone that will create new business segments non anticipated.
In addition, the impact on local will be especially intense, due to this location-aware phone. Local information ultimately will be consumed more on mobile than PCs.
On the App Store –you need the iPhone 2.0 software to use it- there are 552 applications at launch. 135 of these apps are free, while the remaining 417 ranges in price from $0.99 to $69.99.
See an overview of applications here.
FeedRoom raises $12 million in funding
FeedRoom, a New York –based video company founded in 1999 and one of the pioneers of the Internet TV, has raised another $12 million in funding. The new cash means FeedRoom has raised $66 million in the last nine years.
FeedRoom says it will use the money to continue development of its “fourth-generation video platform”, and to accelerate sales.
FeedRoom has focused in recent years on helping corporations use Web video to communicate with customers and employees. Now they battle other better-established players like Move Networks, Maven Networks (Yahoo) and ThePlatform (Comcast)
Over $700 million invested in online video ventures in 2007 and 2008
As other Web video companies, FeedRoom is trying to take advantage of the opportunity as corporations continue to embrace video as a dominant form of communication.
Recent statistics support the explosive growth and acceleration of the online video sector. 71% of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video, according to comScore Video Metrix. Another report states that online video will represent 30% of total data transfers by the end of 2008.
From a financial standpoint, Dow Jones VentureSource says that more than $460 million was invested in online video ventures in 2007, with another $217 million already invested during the first quarter of 2008.
A traffic cam on mobile cell phones
WNBC New York’s local TV started to offer a mobile application that allows users to watch live video from roadside cameras in the tri-state area.
You receive a text message and then download an app via your web browser.
Many phones are compatible, but not the iPhone, since Safari Apple browser does not support java.
Cameras are located at 400+ key locations throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
The service is powered by 3rd Dimension at FreeTrafficCams.com, and it is working in many other U.S. cities.
MSNBC.com opens a digital café in NYC
In an effort to deliver its content in new ways and as a physical brand extension, Msnbc.com has opened up a new, sleek, stylish digital café in NYC Rockefeller Plaza. It offers coffee, sandwiches and free WiFi. Soon it will add touch screens kiosks and a huge monitor to display a visual news reader called Spectra.
In addition, the company has created numerous gaming initiatives, like NewsBlaster and NewsBreaker, in which players use a paddle to keep a ball in play and break the bricks on the screen to reveal headlines.
MSNBC.com formalized these assets, creating a host site NewsWare.
Best practices in online video when using copyrighted material
What is fair use for web video? How to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances? What happens with mashups, remixes and online parodies?
The Center for Social Media has released a document with six best practices that helps creators, online providers, copyright holders, etc, interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. However this code does not tell the limits of fair use rights.
This code is organized around common situations that come up for online video makers.
Google has introduced a Google Media Server, a new feature on Google Desktop program that can help move content from the Internet onto television. It can send video, audio and photos to any other device on your home network that uses a standard called Universal Plug and Play –most significantly, Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console. It works with some televisions made by HP, Blu-Ray players, Apple, and other devices. The system still has plenty of glitches.
Google wants to be a big player in video advertising. With this new technology, they can bring YouTube straight to the customer’s television set. That’s especially attractive to marketers who may want their Google Ads extended to these devices.
Local business video spending will skyrocket
Small and medium-sized businesses in local markets will increase their video spending from $10.9 million in 2007 to $1.5 billion in 2012, according to a study by The Kelsey Group. Mostly it will be advertorial video sold by city guides, local directories and online yellow pages. (See an example on YellowPages.com).
Expert say that many local media sites now have no place to put advertorial videos that will actually get watched by people thinking about buying a particular product or service. They are mostly based on pre-rolls.
Enterprise video will grow at an annual rate of 50%
Enterprise video will grow at an annual rate of nearly 50 % in the next five years, according to IDC.
Experts say that it’s critical for large enterprises to develop a strategy to enable them to effectively manage and distribute video to both internal and external viewers.
“Video communications improves how team collaborate, companies promote new products, executives communicate to thousands of employees, and organizations meet compliance rules and conduct training sessions… all at a fraction of the cost of more traditional methods,” explains Charles Malloy, director of professional services for Qumu.
“Aside from the increasing number of technology options available, the simple fact is that video is much more powerful and compelling than simply providing a written document or audio clip without using visuals. Today ‘s video is highly interactive, allowing viewers to fully engage in the experience by getting the opportunity to watch, listen, rate, and refer the video to others.”
It is true. Many studies support the notion that effective communications has less to do with what you actually say or write and more to do with tone of voice and non-verbal expressions or gestures.
Key technologies that enterprises use to create and deliver video include the following, according to Charles Malloy:
- Live streaming for studio or departmental webcasts
- On-demand and video to the desktop
- Training room capture
- Digital room capture
- Digital signage
- Content distribution networks
- Single sign-on and access directories
- Content storage networks