Monday, January 29, 2007

Superbowl YouTube Style

For better, worse or somewhere in between, Superbowl Fever is here. The WSJ commented this weekend how the first contest seems to be between fans who are posting videos to YouTube. In the last week alone there have been more than 60 take-offs of the Bear's much remembered "Superbowl Shuffle." Interestingly, the original video circa 1986 was removed at the copyright holder's request. YouTube itself is actually holding a competition for users to submit their own takes on Superbowl commercials.

Sundance Takes to the Web
While we're at it, the WSJ also comments how Sundance has gotten websavvy. Of the 71 shorts at the festival, 44 can be watched for free. 17 can be downloaded via iTunes. This year, the organizers also commissioned several short films exclusively for mobile devices.

Online TV Revenues to Raise the Roof
Call this burying the lead on this blog entry, but it is predicted that online TV revenues will jump by ten-fold in the next ten years. That, ladies and gentlemen, will amount to some $6.3 billion. That forecast is announced in a study released today by British research firm Informa Telecoms and Media.

According to Adam Thomas, Media Research Manager at Informa, "these trends are now so pronounced, that the term 'social revolution' no longer seems too much of an exaggeration. With social change occurring on such a large scale, traditional media companies are being forced to change their behaviour and business models to adapt their offering to consumer demand. The challenge for the TV industry is to monetise this massive interest in online content."

The big risk here for traditional media is that they will blow it, in the same way that the recording industry has never recovered from early missteps in dealing with the Internet and piracy. NBC and CBS and to some extent ABC have all found ways to deal with -- and increase viewership and revenues, potentially -- through digital means. There is a real opportunity for traditional media to use these developments for good, at least their own good.

Broadband penetration is a factor that will make all of this possible. Japan and Korea are expected to lead the way with penetration expected to reach 91% and 81%, respectively by 2012. The UK will be next at 79%. The US at 76%.