Apple #1 music retailer now

April 4th, 2008 Comments off

Did you feel the earth shake?

You should have.

Little Apple, Inc. (formerly Apple Computer) which many were ready to write off as dead as recently as ten years ago is now the world’s biggest music retailer. It just beat out the former champion Wal-Mart.

Who says this is so? The NPD group.

There was no online music industry to speak up five years ago. Chalk up another one to the Internet.

Categories: Media Industry Tags:

Internet TV triumphs

March 11th, 2008 Comments off

If you haven’t heard from me lately it’s because I’ve been far too busy making and promoting Internet videos to take the time to write about them.

If you’re new to the site, just check out the archive. It’s got plenty of very useful, on-target information on Internet video – including the original premise of the site itself.

This is my 15th year of talking about the impending impact of the Internet on TV and my third year of this blog. 

Since then, my clients and I have used Internet video to sell millions of dollars worth of products in all categories. I routinely get uploaded videos to 10,000+ viral view status and have occasionally hit 100,000 plus with one video crossing the 500,000 views mark – all viral without penny one of advertising (or real effort for that matter.) 

A casual, extremely part time video publishing experiment I started in August of 2006 with a mailing to 50 colleagues has now blossomed into an active subscriber list of 23,000 and growing.  Again, all without a penny in advertising. Amazingly, because it wasn’t my intention, the site accidentally nets over $3,000 a month. Imagine if I invested in it a little bit.

A quote in an article in yesterday’s New York Times by Alan Wutzel, the head of research for NBC put it best:

"(Watching video on the Internet) has become a mainstream behavior in an extraordinarily quick time. It isn’t just the province of college students or generation Y-ers. It spans all ages."

I know. I called it three years ago (fifteen really, but who’s counting?)

It was inevitable. After all, corporate TV sucks. Always has. The only reason they were able to get away with it for so long was because an alternate distribution hadn’t emerged. Now it has. "Game Over" for the bad guys.

In the same article, Quincy Smith, the president of CBS Interactive summed up the big broadcasting industry’s problem quite nicely:

"The four and a half billion we make on broadcast is never going to equate to four and a half billion online."

Well, boo-hoo.  After all the big networks have done such a good job maintaining and raising cultural standards and educating people about health, personal finance and citizenship that it would be tragic to see them go out of business. NOT.

Internet television will generate many billions of dollars in revenue and that revenue will be distributed broadly. Network executives may actually have to work for a living some day. Meanwhile, people with their wits about them and content that people want will be doing just fine.

Will it all be good? No, of course not, but a lot of voices that are currently not being heard thanks to what amounts to Corporate Amerikan censorship will be heard and the country and world will be a better place for it.

Categories: Media Industry Tags:

February 14th, 2008 Comments off

You gotta love this.

A web site and TV channel that are nothing but commercials.

It’s called

Content: free. Production values: sky high.

Will people watch? I watched for a while last night in a hotel room. It was better than the cr@p that was on the local cable service.


They do a lot of call outs to people who view the channel online. I think they could be doing a lot better on the monetization front, but hey, it’s a start, and they’re both online and on cable.

To see it in action: Firebrand.

Categories: Internet TV Tags:

Google Product Search replaces Video on the home page

November 29th, 2007 25 comments

For over a year now, "Video" has been one of the choices Google has offered on its very spare home page along with other popular search services like "Images", "News", and "Maps" etc.

Well, I just took a look on my spanking brand new MacBook and "Video" is gone as a home page choice.

It’s been replaced with a button called "Products."

If you google "Google Products" what you come up with are lists of the all the software products that Google makes available above and beyond their search results (ex. gmail, Google Earth)

A very quick search on Google itself turned up nothing about this new initiative.

So what is it exactly?

First, "Products" is shorthand for "Google Product Search" and like all things Google it’s in "beta."

Second, it is a very slick, lightening fast search engine for…products. You name it and it appears Google has got it. Think UBER-catalog.

Not only that, but it appears Google has made is dead simple to shop across multiple online catalogs with a service called Google "Shopping List."

The experience ends, of course, with a visit to Google "Checkout."

Do you selling physical "stuff?" You need to get on this…like now.

By the way, Google’s catchphrase for the service is "search for stuff to buy." Talk about cutting to the chase. I have a feeling this is going to be huge. There’s got to be a cold chill going through the folks at Yahoo Stores and even eBay right now.

Here’s what the page looks like: Google Product Search

Here’s in the info page for sellers: Sell with Google

Categories: Internet TV Tags:

Writers strike

November 2nd, 2007 2 comments

I happen to be in LA this week so I’m seeing lots of new about the looming writers strike.

Writers on strike?

Believe it or not those charming airheads on the tube don’t write the words that come out of their mouths. A back office of writers keeps the game going.

Now those writers are on the verge of walking off the job. Their complaint is that they’re not receiving compensation for DVD sales and other digital repackaging of their work.

Is this really a big deal?

Yes it is for two reasons, one micro and one macro…

Read more…

Categories: Film making Tags: beta

October 30th, 2007 Comments off

If you want to take a look at an NBC/Fox attempt to steal market share from Google/YouTube, you can take a look at the beta here:

It makes sense that some big "me too" ventures would crop up. The smart thing would be for these two networks to promote heavily on their broadcasts. They’ll be able to generate a surprising amount of spike traffic this way.

Interesting counterbalance to Google’s lock on search traffic.

TV still trumps search when it comes to eye balls, but of course the the Internet, the distance from screen to play button is a whole lot shorter.

Categories: Internet TV Tags:

Online TV App Breaks the Mold

October 12th, 2007 No comments

Joost Logo

There have been illegal TV episode viewing sites for years, each getting shut down by the MPAA and similar entities for illegal distribution. You might have visited one of these sites, watched a few episodes of The Simpsons Season 4 and the next day, the site vanished. Apple Inc. in the past year has been making agreements with cinema and television companies in order to provide video content for iTunes and the iPod. Other companies are beginning to follow suit.

An Online TV Application called Joost was recently released to the public. Joost claims to be the first Broadcast Quality Internet Television service. The Online TV Company secured $45 million in financing back in May 2007. Joost has since made agreements with major networks like MTV, CNN, Discovery Channel, WB, and CBS so they can provide over 15,000 shows and several channels at launch.

Joost Interface

Joost is an application that you can download for free for Windows and Mac. You need a broadband connection to use the service. Joost boasts an amazing interface that allows you to browse channels via a grid. You can search for a show you want to watch. There are chat rooms, so you can talk with others watching the same show, similar to watching TV in your own home. There is instant messaging support for gMail and Jabber. Joost supports multiple accounts, so different users can customize the interface to their liking. There are commercial breaks with only one commercial per break.

Look at Joost Press Releases Here.

Download Joost from the Official website to see what the buzz is all about.

Categories: Internet TV Tags:

Microsoft video

October 1st, 2007 Comments off

Microsoft has now launched its online video service out of Beta.

Aside from the fact MSN Video will distribute content for NBC Universal and News Corp, and this video content will include full-length programming, movies and clips from at least a dozen television networks and two major film studios.

Forget the fact that they have years of experience in encoding and distributing video across the Internet, or their robust and scalable content delivery network. 

The real buzz is the other side of the new MSN Video portal.

It’s Microsoft’s "User Generated Content" section called SoapBox on MSN.

There are over 100 websites that offer the ability to upload your videos for the world to view, most notably YouTube and Google Video.

So why would Microsoft’s SoapBox be important?

Three words: "Mass Market Reach".

For the last 24 months Microsoft has really been investing in a collection of integrated services and products called Windows Live.

The most familiar is Windows Live Messenger, the replacement for the market leading MSN Messenger.

So wouldn’t it be a nice idea if Microsoft would let you create a list of videos on MSN Soapbox and then actually watch them with your friends and family in Windows Live Messenger.

Well you can… here is an image of how it looks:

Now realize that Windows Live Messenger is free to download and is available in 26 languages and is used in more than 60 countries by more than 240 million active accounts each month. And you should start to see the attractive nature of this new video portal.

Can anyone say "Viral Video"? But it does not end there.

Microsoft is adding MSN SoapBox functionality directly within other Windows Live software that can be downloaded free of charge.

Windows Live Writer (Blog posting software for the desktop) and Windows Photo Gallery (desktop photo/video management software) now offer SoapBox support for uploading videos to Microsoft’s portal, and in the case of Live Writer actually posting SoapBox videos you find directly to your blog.

Also don’t forget the Microsoft Search engine "Live.Com" which serves up videos direct from its own MSN Video portal!

After purchasing YouTube, Google always seemed to be unrivaled in terms of online video.

But that may be about to change now Microsoft has entered the arena in a big way and with a sound business model included. Whilst you may argue SoapBox is no YouTube, Microsoft does have a huge user base to tap into – and it is!

Let the battle begin.

Marc Liron
Microsoft MVP

Note from Ken:

P.S. Did you know I’m on the road this fall?

For the first time in three years, I’ll be
offering small group trainings in Internet

Here’s where I’ll be and when:

Toronto – October 13
Los Angeles – November 3
San Francisco – November 10
Vancouver – November 17


Categories: Internet TV Tags:

Think again – about Internet video

September 27th, 2007 Comments off

I like this promotion from the magazine Streaming Media

It expresses the urgency that small businesses should be – but for the most part are not – feeling about the unfolding Internet video revolution.

It’s an advertisement for a white paper on Internet video and education, but it equally applies to anyone who has a story to tell or a product to sell.

The old adage "the more you tell, the more you sell" is as valid as it was 100 years ago. Internet video is evolving into one of the premiere ways to tell. Ignore it at your peril. I guarantee your more ambitious competitors are not:

"Think the video revolution is limited to user-generated content and online movie downloads? Think again.

And you’d better think fast, because learners of all kinds-whether college students, outside sales forces, or technicians in the field-are increasingly demanding the ability to receive both traditional academic courses and training materials on video. They also expect that video to work as seamlessly and easily as YouTube and with the portability of their iPods, but with the kind of interactivity and supplemental materials they’d receive in a traditional classroom.

All of which means that academic institutions and enterprises alike are looking for the most advanced, efficient, and cost-effective ways to teach and train online…"

Categories: Internet TV Tags:

Three business models

September 23rd, 2007 Comments off

Here’s Shelly Palmer, president of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the guys who award the Emmy’s. Palmer shares some very good business advice for people who want to create Internet TV channels.

Of course, the smartest use of Internet video is for entrepreneurs to use it to sell and educate their customers directly without a media middleman.

This is a hard concept for people from the traditional television and advertising industries (the middlemen) to grasp. They’ll get it – some day. In the meantime, here’s some state of the art advice on niche video publishing.

Categories: Internet TV Tags: