Archive for December, 2008

Where is your viewing community?

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Felicia Day said something interesting yesterday at the Hollywood Web Television Meetup, I am paraphrasing but something along the lines of,

“You have to go to your community, the [viewing] community is anywhere they want to be”.

In the old model of TV, you knew where our community was.  Watching Channel 8 at 7pm, most of them on their sofa.

Today on the internet, this isn’t the case.  You can’t control where people watch your shows and where they talk about you with one another.  Also, everything they talk about is public, in comments, in blogs, in wikis, in social networks…

There’s no intermediary that fronts your story, that takes the flack for scheduling or poor quality content.

You now have a direct link to your viewing community.  You are at the point of the arrow.

It must be empowering, but at the same time overwhelming.


Advertising – the missing value proposition

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

I find it strange that advertising has become such a one sided proposition, or two sides of a triangle.

Go to every single advertising platform provider, ad network, ad server or video player provider site, and what you see is two value propositions;

1. For Publishers
2. For Advertisers


What’s the value proposition For Users?

How do these organisations bring benefit to peoples’ lives?

The best any of them can do is provide a privacy/cookie statement and opt-out option.

There has to be a better way.  Something that creates more value, for everyone, especially those that suffer the nuisance.

Attention Scarcity in Numbers

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Fred Wilson posted some stats about YouTube and it inspired me to back up the principle that attention is relatively scarce and content relatively abundant (he also talks about this too), it is interesting to use these stats to work out the average ratio of Available Video : Attention.

On YouTube (US numbers only)
Total Attention
80 Million Uniques x 54.7 Average Views x 2.9 Average Mins Viewed ~ 12.6 Billion minutes / Month

Total Available Video
780 Minutes Uploaded Every Minute x 60 x 24 x 30 x 23.3% (US % of worldwide) ~ 7.8 Million minutes / Month

Video : Attention ratio ~ 1 minute : 1616 minutes

So for every minute produced, it is viewed for 1616 minutes.  I didn’t even factor in what is already on the site, this is assuming all attention in one month goes to what is uploaded in the same period of time.

On Traditional TV (US only)
Total Attention
300 million people x 275 Average Viewing minutes per day x 30 days = 2.5 Trillion minutes / Month

Total Available Video
104.2 Channels available on average * 44 minutes broadcast every hour * 24 x 30 days = 3.3 Million minutes / Month

Video : Attention ratio = 1 minute : 750,000 minutes

Content availability is exploding and attention is decreasing.

Attention really is relatively scarce.

Source notes:
These numbers also don’t consider an individuals total viewing minutes across other sites, not just YouTube, but average viewing should increase in line with increases in video availability.

YouTube – Average Videos / Viewer – 54.7
YouTube – Average Minutes Viewed per Video – 2.9 minutes (Numbers from Google Sites Sept 2008)

YouTube – Content Uploaded – 13 hours uploaded every minute (YouTube Sept 2008)

TV – Average Viewing Per Day – 275 minutes per individual

TV – Average Number of Channels Available – 104.2 Channels available on average (2006 numbers)

Discovery questions online economics

Monday, 1 December 2008

Discovery doesn’t see online as a viable option.  They aren’t the first, NBC’s Zucker is famous for his “digital pennies” quote.

The thing is, these guys are spot on.

They are not going to be fired for not giving up all their content online because online isn’t a viable environment in which to see the ROI needed.  You simply can’t guarantee a hit on TV, let alone Online.  There’s way too much competition to drive mass market audiences.  You can’t spend enough money marketing your shows to drive demand.

So what is a online content creator to do?  Well I would work through answering questions in the following steps;

1. To understand where we are today, ask who is viewing my content today?  What else do they like?  Not just my stuff but other peoples?  Where are they viewing it?  How are they sharing it?  What are they saying about it?

2. On deciding what content to create, ask what are people interested in?  What are they searching for?  What areas are growing and why?  What are the memes?  Instead of defining what I think people want (e.g., story about a spy with a split personality disorder) and marketing it to death, how do I plug into people and gain some real insight?

3. On creating the content, how do I involve potential viewers and fans of previous shows?  How do they inform the stories?  How do I keep them warm as I produce the content?

4. Once I create something people want, how do I drive demand?  Where do I make the video available?  How do I make it available?  How do people interact with it?  How do I promote it?  How do I drive revenue from viewership?  What do I let viewers do with it?  How do I let them create complimentary content related to it?

5. Once people are viewing my content, how do I interact with them?  How do I keep track of the communities that form around the content?  How do I grasp who is saying what and why is it important?  How do I track how many views I have?  How do I feed this real time information back into Step 4 to continue to drive demand for the content?

6. Go to step 1 and do it again.

These questions are really no different from the ones that are asked today, except you need to ask the questions with a fresh mind.  You can’t generate audience by spending more and more on advertising to promote your shows.  So ask these questions assuming you have $0 to spend on advertising your new web show.

I don’t know how much runway the major studios have if they don’t really have a plan for internet video, comedy on network TV is already irrelevant as kids look to YouTube instead.