Online Video: It Only Gets Bigger and Better

April 16, 2009

neilsenNielsen Online’s latest report found that the average person in the U.S. watched more than three hours (191 minutes) of online video in March. This equates to a 13 percent increase over similar data from February.

 The stats indicate one thing: online video is growing in preference.

Hypothetically, if we continue to grow at this rate, by the end of the year people may be watching up to eight hours of online video a month – which equates to around 15 minutes a day!

CNET News also covered the findings, further noting that video streams totaled 9.7 billion in March, a 9 percent increase from February and a 38.8 percent increase from the same period last year.  Still dominating in the online video market is Google’s YouTube, followed by Hulu and Yahoo!

Below are some charts to help provide more of a visual:

march09_videocensus


Cable TV’s Big Dilemma

April 10, 2009

Stemming from last week’s cable show, we saw a ton of coverage around cable and satellite providers looking to keep their momentum and prevent being undermined by Internet TV sites. As we all know, more and more people are going on the web to watch their favorite shows, which means traditional TV is becoming less of an option and cancel the cable and satellite subscriptions is becoming increasingly popular.

One of the discussions that derived from The Cable Show is the idea of a “pay-TV subscription,” where cable providers would give users access to shows online through a site only available to cable subscribers.

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Man on the Street – How do you watch TV?

April 8, 2009

We recently ventured outside of our cubicles (but couldn’t help filming inside the office too) to ask random passers-by how they watch TV. Is it on the PC? On the TV? What are the reasons behind their preference? See the resulting video montage below.

Not surprisingly, the answers varied greatly among each interviewee but there was a common point that recurred throughout: watching TV on your PC allows you to watch what you want, when you want it. Conversely, the point was made that watching longer length content such as movies (aka a sit-back experience) is more desirable on the TV. This is also something we pointed out not too long ago on our blog.

Do you have a preference for viewing your TV content? What are your reasons? The net is that there isn’t a right answer or justification, and that this discussion is going to get exponentially bigger as we continue to realize the continued convergence of the PC and the traditional TV down the road.


Living the Dream as an L.A. Clippers Fan

April 7, 2009

steve-perrin1What’s a dream job for someone who’s worked in the corporate world most of their life? Perhaps it’s following one of your favorite NBA basketball teams and blogging about them for a living. Steve Perrin, a witty family man and an avid supporter of the L.A. Clippers (often  overshadowed by the well-known L.A. Lakers) values the ability to share his thoughts and rally sports fans from all over to support his “underdog” home team. He also recently had the opportunity to attend our on-campus focus group session and blog about his personal experience with the Sports Channel and other aspects of Windows Media Center.

Prior to joining SB Nation’s ranks in September 2006, Steve was a CTO for Tickets.com and still takes on various consulting opportunities. Read on to hear more about his natural transition into sports blogging, how the DVR has changed his family life, and the three little words that would make his TV on the PC experience a slam dunk…

What compelled you to start Clips Nation and what do you enjoy most about sports blogging?
There are at least four factors that are significant in the creation of Clips Nation.  (1) For some strange reason, I have an unhealthy interest in the Clippers. (2) I have strong opinions and a need to make those opinions known.  (3) I like to write.  (4) I have time to write.  Let’s face it, blogs live at the intersection of those four things.  For several years, I just wrote unsolicited and unwelcome emails about the Clippers to my friends.  Little did I know that the blogosphere would suddenly appear just to satisfy my personal need for attention.
What I really enjoy about it is the community.  I have active members of my community from all over the world – the UK, Argentina, Peru, Australia, Italy, Germany – the only known Clippers fan in all of Sweden is a Citizen of Clips Nation.  How cool is that?

You mentioned becoming a die-hard Clips fan in the early 90s. What has been your most memorable TV moment for the team?
The Clippers are on TV?  Whoa, I’ll have to check that out.
Sadly, given that we’re talking about the Clippers here, the most memorable moments tend to be sad memories.  Even when they made the playoffs, I tend to remember the elimination losses to the Jazz and the Rockets back in the day, or the Raja Bell three that tied game 5 in Phoenix in 2006, or Shaun Livingston’s knee injury (there’s something I’ll never forget no matter how much I wish I could).  I suppose this all says something about the psychology of Clipper fans.

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Sports Bloggers weigh in: TV on your PC, Windows Media Center and What’s Next

April 3, 2009

3382057793_9f3fd86e1311As we mentioned a few weeks ago, we invited a group of sports bloggers to Microsoft for a Windows Media Center focus group to talk about their sports viewing habits and to hear their feedback on the sports viewing experiences in Windows Media Center.

A few of the participants this week shared their thoughts on their visit, Windows Media Center and the future of TV:

Pacific Northwest blogger and Portland Trailblazer enthusiast, Ian Thackaberry, posted on his blog, Thacknet, that when he originally thought of  Windows Media Center, he assumed it to be just a hub to store music and photos, but now, through content details and new features, it is “working to bridge the gap between the Internet and the Television.”

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably seen that the TV/PC convergence topic Ian mentioned is hot and buzz-worthy. As we -content enthusiasts- look for different and innovative ways to watch our favorite shows, games and movies, we’re interested in see what’s next for TV on the PC enthusiasts.

Steve Perrin, aka Clipper Steve, also wrote about his “Trip to Seattle to watch TV” on his SB Nation blog, Clips Nation. Steve talked about his first encounter with the TV/PC phenomenon and questioned whether it was necessary to rely on both as they ideally had the same functions.  He also noted his reliance on his DVR and the “harrowing” experience that followed after the DVR broke and he was forced to watch everything in real time.  He noted that one of the good things about Windows Media Center is that “in theory I could rewind and record and do all those cool DVR things to my heart’s content.”

 What are your thoughts on the buzz around the convergence of the TV and the PC? We’re curious to hear your thoughts on what’s next.


Trendspotting: TV is still the king

March 30, 2009

66757-cosmictvmThis week, we found an interesting article from MediaWeek that discusses how even though new media devices are big and becoming more popular in our digital world, the television is still dominating the home.

Despite this key takeaway, there are several interesting points that emphasize the increasing use of online video, DVR and Internet TV:

  • The computer has replaced the radio as the No. 2 media activity, behind television
  • Digital boomers spend 9.5 hours with all four screens (TV, computer, mobile and out-of-home) compared to 8.5 hours for all other age groups.
  • The average adult spent 309.1 minutes watching live TV and only 14.6 minutes playing back programming via DVR. DVD use was higher at 22.9 minutes

Even though the radio and the computer have a fairly similar reach, on average people spend about 2 hours and 33 minutes on the computer – almost an hour longer than the radio. We wonder if this shift will change drastically as more options are made available? On the flip side, we’re also seeing cable and satellite companies offer interactive service, which will make the television set even that more appealing. As the article notes, this shift may be dependent on generations as their consumption is often loosely based on their day-to-day habits.

I often wonder why some people prefer one device over another. The New Jersey Business News also wrote an article discussing this similar subject and noted that for the following reasons, people are choosing to watch TV over any other device…

…partly due to the drawbacks of online video. Watching video on a PC isn’t as comfortable as watching TV while relaxing on a couch. And the quality of Internet video, while improving, still isn’t as good.

What do you think? Will TV continue to be the number one source of media consumption or will this trend slowly change?

If you are strongly for or against traditional TV, what are your reasons?

(photo courtesy of MediaWeek)


Talkin’ Sports with a Baseball Enthusiast

March 26, 2009

paulgreco

Paul Greco loves baseball and sports. He loves it so much that not only does he own Gotham Sports Media, he is the Associate Editor at Baseball Digest and recently created FantasyPros911. Paul uses these sites to write and chat about Baseball (both real and fantasy). Knowing the popularity of multimedia, Paul uses YouTube and BlogTalkRadio to provide videos and audio clips on his site to give his viewers the ultimate baseball experience.

Tell us a bit about your background in sports blogging.

In May of 2006 I become a partner of Gotham Sports Media, which covers the Mets and Yankees. After discussing what my role might be with the company, I brought up to my partners the fact that Fantasy Baseball was a big part of the baseball community and was a niche I’d be good at with my 15 years of experience. With that “The Fantasy Baseball Guy” was born.  I started posting to my blog two to three times a day and working the social media scene to get my name out there within the fantasy community.  After the first six months I saw my traffic increase from 200 readers a day to over 750 readers.

Then in 2008 I joined up with Fantasy Baseball legend Lenny Melnick and we started up MelnickandGrecoFantasySports.com.  Finally, in January of this year, Lenny and I joined up with Patrick DiCaprio, owner of FantasyBaseballGenerals.com, and Tony Cincotta to form FantasyPros911.com. Now, we have a staff of sixteen writers that produce anywhere from five to 10 articles a day for both our free side and premium content and have grown our customer base to 1,200 unique visitor’s a day. 

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