According to some tech watchers, the $1,65 billion purchase of YouTube by the giant Google marks the dawn of the new Internet age: Web 2.0, that is, a concept coined by the expert John Battelle to define the generation of user centered, Web-based product and services.
Even Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who recently called Web 2.0 a "marketing term", has just recognized: "It's really happening". Corporate America is stunned with this transaction, and from now it seems unthinkable that a startup seeking funding does not use the term Web 2.0 somewhere in its publicity materials.
Chad and Steve, the billionaires of YouTube, are the new stars
Do you know what is the most viewed video this week on YouTube with more than 1,7 million views? The message from Chad and Steve, the founders of YouTube who hit the year's jackpot.
As interesting at this post, which a new way to spread a news story, are the comments of the user, mostly critical. See also how people laugh at them.
Paid downloads and ad-supported streaming video, the big winners
When trying to monetize the online TV projects, ad-supported streaming and pay-to-play downloading are proving themselves to be the leading avenues. Newer platforms like podcasting and IPTV, while promising, still need more time to mature as technologies and business models, and also for their audiences to reach critical mass. The mobile phone space is the platform with the most immediate ability to be profitable.
Great enthusiasm with ad dollars are moving online, but still a long way
Todd Herman, director of MSN says: "When we started MSN Video a couple years ago, we had four or five advertisers. We now have 60 of the top 100 television brands. We've seen three years in a row of 400 % increases in revenue". There is a remarkable enthusiasm in the streaming sector, but there is still a long way to go before it can mount any serious challenge to TV.
Traditional TV still has 45% of all ad dollars while online has just 5%. The fact is that viable business models, sufficient broadband penetration, and proven enabled technologies are only months old.
NBC.com hits two million streams in first week
NBC.com is having a big success with its new feature called NBC Rewind, which consists on free full-episodes, displayed on a large-format video player. Two million streams served in first week and an average time spent per visit clocked at 20.2 minutes.
"It's further evidence that a strong digital presence is vital to satisfy today's audience and to expose our new shows to more potential viewers," says Jeff Gaspin, President of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment. In September, NBC announced its plans to stream primetime content on nbc.com for free (in an ad-supported model) beginning with the new Fall season's programming.
CBS Evening News 'not different enough' to change viewing habits
Remember all the buzz around Katie Couric? Well, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric is now, only five weeks after her debut, third place in the ratings. Her show is not different enough, and the ratings have dropped since week one, from 13.6 million in her first night to an average 7.04 million last week. NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams continues to be number 1, with 8.54 million total viewers.
"Although she is doing a fine job, her presentation is not different enough, young enough, radical enough a departure from the show before Couric to change American viewing habits," says Paul Lewison, professor and media expert at Fordham University.