Tag Archives: TV and the internet

Lonelygirl15 presents… KateModern

You've probably seen this already, but just in case:

Interactive video show 'Lonelygirl15' has united with social networking site Bebo.com to launch a spin-off of the Californian drama based in London.

"Lonelygirl15 presents… KateModern" will premiere in July 2007 and air exclusively to Bebo members in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The shows will later be released on www.LG15.com and other web sites.

"KateModern" will follow a university student in London as she tries to manage her complicated social life against a backdrop of sinister plot twists. Following the popularity of "Lonelygirl15" last summer, whose success was credited to its interactive features, has been viewed over 50 million times.

The integrated alternate reality game (ARG) will allow viewer feedback to be mixed into the plot. Fans will also help the story to evolve by posting messages for the characters, suggesting narrative ideas and uploading their own videos to the characters' profile pages.

The show will also offer advertisers a platform on which to integrate their brands into the storyline, and be seen by millions of viewers.

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Virtual Me

Electronic Arts and Endemol have announced the launch of Virtual Me, which:

is intended to bridge the gap between traditional TV (how OLD does that sound), videogaming and the internet. A user-friendly tool will help users to create life-like cyber clones or avatars, giving the possibility to be a rock or a movie star (at least in the 10100101011 binary world), and offering them the chance to participate in talent TV shows like Fame Academy or Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.

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Online Drama – Prom Queen

prom queen

Iain Tait brings news of Prom Queen, a new 80 episode internet-only drama:

  • Each episode is just over 2 minutes long and features pre and post-roll ads – a couple of seconds pre and about 10 seconds post.
  • It’s being produced by a production company called Vuguru who are the new media studio for Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company.
  • It’s been broadcast first on http://myspace.com/promqueentv
  • Then it gets shown on http://www.promqueen.tv/ – which interestingly uses streaming from Veoh not MySpace (perhaps not surprising as Veoh is another Eisner backed company).
  • Each character has their own MySpace page e.g. http://www.myspace.com/sadiesimmons and they’re nicely done, each has been styled, written, and lived-in as if owned by the character.
  • The activity in the official Promqueen.tv forum would suggest that no-one’s watching. But the show has 115,000 friends to date on MySpace which is a lot more encouraging. On Veoh the most popular episode has had 20,000 views which isn’t very good (and the rest are a lot lower) but I’m guessing most of the views come from MySpace at the moment.

So is it any good and does it work?

I have to say I’ve got almost no idea. The episodes themselves are OK as far as I can tell. They look like a kind of OC-lite, the acting is a bit hammy and because the episodes are so short it feels like they’re having to over dramatise some bits. But it’s perfectly watchable. And I think the 2 minute long episdoe format might just work. Even the pre and post-roll ads aren’t too annoying – they’re more like typical show sponsorship than ads. It doesn’t look like it’s got as many viewers as it probably needs though.

I’ve read a couple of criticisms of the show that suggest that episdoe 1 would be the biggest (because of the hype around it) then it’ll tail off. I think the opposite might be true. I saw no hype at all and if it works OK the old long-tail principle ought to kick in.

Where I think they’ve done a nice job is integrating it with the fabric of MySpace – I just hope that they use this integration in an interesting way. I’m not sure if the whole series is ‘in the can’ already but it would be great to see them responding to the community in some way or another.

It’ll be interesting to see how it does…

Some other links on the story:

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Joost: it’s the metadata, stupid!

NewTeeVee on why Joost will change everything:

Timestamped comments and tags are certainly one interesting possibility. Combine this with FOAF-like social networking structures, and you got yourself a whole new way to explore TV programming.

Imagine a personalized TV channel that only serves you shows your friends are literally talking about. Or think about the way this could transform programming itself. What if the Lost folks didn’t do their next Alternative Reality Game on the web, but in Joost itself, allowing you to collaborate with your friends and collect clues while watching the show?

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bud.tv update: It’s f*****

Bud.tv, which I reported on in early Feb, is really in trouble:

Traffic at Anheuser-Busch's online TV network cratered in March following an already underwhelming debut in February. Bud.TV drew 152,000 unique visitors last month, 40% fewer than February's 253,000 visitors, according to numbers released today by ComScore Media Metrix.

A-B executives have said that they hope to draw between 2 million and 3 million visitors per month by early next year to the online network, which is costing the brewer somewhere between $30 million and $40 million.

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YouTube primetime: 5PM to 8PM weekdays


So we told you how to game YouTube and get even the most pointless video to the top of the Most Viewed list. The next question is: what’s the best time to execute your evil plan? According to the latest ComScore report about online video viewing, it would be between 5 and 8 pm on weekdays.

ComScore reports that in January 2007, 123 million people in the U.S viewed online videos, racking up 7.2 billion total views. That number accounts for 70% of the Internet audience. The average video streamer viewed 59 streams at an average of 2.6 minutes for the month of January. Not surprisingly, Google-owned sites topped the charts for online video activity, thanks largely to YouTube – 85% of Google’s videos streamed were from YouTube, with Google holding a 16% market share for total U.S. online video streams.

Are viewers trading in their television sets for computer monitors? There are so many factors to take into account, such as the programs being viewed online, whether it’s rerun or sweeps season, that it would be senseless at this point to make large assumptions for this type of viewing behavior. What we do know is that TV primetime is a little later: 8-11pm on weekdays.

The ComScore report shows another trend, too: massive growth in the number of videos being viewed online, raising the question: how will the networks make money here? What’s the best way to integrate ads into online video streams, or even on the sites where they’re hosted and displayed? Including a video ad within the clip would be ideal, as video clips have a tendency to be embedded all over the web, becoming among the most mobile of media. How will marketers reconcile their misgivings towards placing ads with user-generated content, and how will content owners receive opportunities to be rewarded for their provision of good entertainment?

These questions have been around for months now, but a clear-cut answer has yet to emerge. It seems as though the media industry is straddling the fence, offering packaged video ads to be distributed at the discretion of the website owners as their Internet strategy while cooking up new ways to cram commercials into broadcast television during the actual program (an annoying kind of product placement, if you ask me). Whatever the solution may be, it certainly must include a program that incentivizes the creators and owners of content. They are the ones providing and promoting the videos.

In terms of broadcast television producers potentially losing their viewership to the online video market, they too must continue to grow their online presence. It’s not hard to recognize that snippets of broadcast and cable television programs are part of the viral video revolution, and networks must take that and run with it. They must make sure that they are being readily included in the 7.2 billion videos people have to choose from online. NBC and News Corp are trying to seize control from YouTube with their own video plan, while Viacom has chosen to sue. Ultimately, this is a battle over a medium which will eventually become more popular than TV.

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Homes with PVRs, watch less ads, buy less

Stating the obvious maybe, but Joseph Jaffe brings news of:

a newly released study conducted by IRI and TiVo has demonstrated the inevitable: lower product sales within TiVo homes.

Within the CPG category, one product saw a sales drop as large as 12%, where two other unnamed brands registered declines of 5% and 1% respectively.

The study in question is also discussed by AdAge here.

BitTorrent goes legit

Something I missed over the weekend, news that BitTorrent has gone straight.

As Jack Schofield comments:

So now you'll be able to use the same system to download a movie for free and keep it forever, or download it for $3.99 and have it expire a day later. Yeah, that'll fly….

For those that need the background, read the classic Wired article – The BitTorrent Effect.

2007: The year of broadband TV

Netimperative reports:

Downloading TV content via the internet is set to become this year's broadband phenomenon, according to price comparison and switching site, uSwitch.com.

According to research by YouGov of 11,224 broadband users in October 2006, the average UK broadband user is already spending 30 minutes a week downloading films and a further 23 minutes a week watching TV online.

USwitch predicts this trend will escalate rapidly as competition intensifies with Virgin Central channel launch, with more to follow this year from Sky, Tiscali TV, BT, Orange and the BBC.

IPTV delivers high quality digital television content to consumers over their broadband connection. There are currently three main delivery methods: BT, Homechoice (soon to re-launched as Tiscali TV) and soon-to-launch Sky Anytime, use internet technology to deliver digital TV and 'on-demand' services straight to customers' television sets.

Sky, Channel 4, the BBC and soon-to-launch ITV transfer TV content over a customer's broadband connection directly to their computer. Virgin Media's cable customers, on the other hand, receive 'on-demand' content via their cable connection.

Steve Weller, Head of Communications Services at uSwitch.com, comments: "The UK is now in the midst of a full scale roll-out of IPTV. Sky has traditionally dominated this arena, broadcasting a vast array of viewing content, but this is going to be aggressively challenged with the influx of new providers set to launch rival services that will provide compelling content 'on-demand' this year.

The future of online is not network TV

Now, you already knew this of course. But as a reminder, Brand Republic reports:

If you thought the future of the web was TV, you would be mistaken as Google issued a warning to companies that think they can broadcast distribute network TV shows and films globally.

The search engine giant warned that the internet should not be used for TV and that services like its own YouTube, which acquired it last year for $1.65bn, and newer arrivals such as Joost will bring the internet to its knees. Google said that was already investing heavily just to keep data flowing.

Many have talked of the internet in some instances replacing TV with its own online shows and content, but Google said that it simply does not "scale".

Vincent Dureau, head of TV technology for Google, said at the Cable Europe congress: "The web infrastructure, and even Google's (infrastructure) doesn't scale. It's not going to offer the quality of service that consumers expect."

Alexander Cameron goes into the problem in more detail in a comment piece on Netimperative.