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Archive for September, 2009

VODKASTER: take a movie shot

September 28, 2009 2 comments

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Who haven’t dream of finding that famous scene in that specific film?

Who haven’t repeated hundred times with friends the dialog of those two actors from that great movie?

Today, your dream came true… at least for French film lovers (to start). Vodkaster, the video collaborative platform has launched its beta service this morning. Users can watch thousands of film extracts, can help indexing them (tag, actors names, category/type of scene), commenting them, linking different scenes together, and sharing their findings with other members of the growing Vodkaster community.

Users have as well the possibility to upload extracts of films from YouTube, limited to 3 minutes length.

Users can create their own playlist from the thousands of film extracts available on Vodkaster and share it with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

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At this stage, it is difficult to evaluate the future success of Vodkaster, which seems to be related to the number of fans that will freely register to the platform and collaboratively help uploading and indexing movie excerpts. The challenge will then be to monetize this audience and catalog of film excerpts. Probably licensing them to VoD platforms as additional teasers selected by film lovers … will see.

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CallSpark: will social media transforms your phone call?

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment

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CallSpark, headquartered in San Francisco, California, makes your phone calls smarter, with its new launched two killer features (as summarized by Ben Parr):

1. Help find a phone number: This feature is essentially a super-smart search engine for phone numbers. It will look through “white pages, yellow pages, Facebook, Salesforce” and more info that relate to the person you were searching for. It then uses GPS to help rank the results so that you get the most relevant.

2. Social media information: When you call a friend, CallSpark will display their Facebook status, LinkedIn and Salesforce info, and even their latest tweet. This can help you figure out your friend’s mood or the past history of the client you’re calling so you have the edge.

To get a better explanation of CallSpark, Ben Parr from Mashable took his flip cam and asked Adrian of CallSpark.

Here’s the video:

Want to try it? Point your iPhone, Android or Palm Pre phone at their web search to get started!

The Social Profile of Your Customers

September 22, 2009 1 comment

As we all know, people increasingly use technology to get what they need from each other, instead of relying on companies and businesses.

“Customers are writing about your products on blogs and recutting your commercials on YouTube. They’re defining you on Wikipedia and ganging up on you in social networking sites like Facebook. These are all elements of a social phenomenon — the groundswell — that has created a permanent, long-lasting shift in the way the world works. Most companies see it as a threat. You can see it as an opportunity.” In Groundswell, two of Forrester Research’s top analysts, Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, show you how to turn the force of customers connecting to your own advantage.

Social media gives a voice to buyers who can now describe their experience and disappointment to a global audience. And, wow, are they saying a lot.
This is a social trend accelerated by technology, not the other way around.

Companies are more stretched than ever on staff that delivers products and services, as well as support for them. At the same time, due to the fragmentation of media and customer interests, their marketing dollars are not going as far as they used to when broadcasting was considered the way to go.

The good news is that businesses can reach customers where they are, and take advantage of the very same tools to not only satisfy their requests, but to gain insights about their buying habits – something that in the past could be done only with expensive research.

Forrester surveyed more than 1,200 business technology buyers and found that they exceed all previous benchmarks for social participation.

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Social participation data for other countries are also available. Try their profile tool here.

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Forrester’s Social Technographics classifies consumers into six overlapping levels of participation.

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Forrester isn’t the only one diving in to research in the social space. Brightkite, which bills itself as a social discovery network and GFK also did some research lately. The ‘big’ insight wasn’t really big at all. It appears 87% of people prefer face-to-face interactions than spending time online and would rather talk in person at a rate 44 times more than through online means. An interesting article by Jason Falls analyses this for us.

In conclusion, social media, this is where consumers are and thus where marketing is going.

Archive and Search your every conversation with Silentale

September 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Don’t lose track of who you know and what they’ve said, try SILENTALE (currently in beta).

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As explained on their web site, ‘the philosophy behind Silentale is simple: with the rise of social networks and mobile internet, the number of communication channels is exploding. Today, almost anybody can be reached through two or three email addresses, social platforms, instant messaging, micro-blogging, text and SMS. It becomes exhausting to try and follow all these fragmented conversations.

Silentale is a new way to keep track of who you know and the conversations you have, no matter how or where you communicate. Whether you start a conversation on email, continue on Twitter and finish with a SMS, Silentale automatically captures, stores and indexes all your messages, including the contact details and attachments. We provide a simple interface and tools for you to find, retrieve and manage this information, in your browser, on your desktop or your mobile.’

In a recent  article, TechCrunch Europe highlights the present and future issue of dealing with the amount of data we are day after day producing. According to one estimate the total data storage capacity produced by humans each year is expected to surpass 1 Yottabyte by 2013. Demand for storage is doubling every 18 to 24 months. And the mountains of content being produced by ordinary people as lifestreaming* becomes more and more popular is only adding to that growth.

Silentale is aiming to store all your digital conversations in one place and allow you to access them from anywhere. Founded by Paris-based French Canadian entrepreneur Laurent Féral-Pierssens and his team, Silentale is going to set out with a very clear business model: they’ll aggregate everything you do out there: Twitter, Email and even SMS. they’ll store it and let you search it. Simple.

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Check out as well the article in TechDigest.

Another start-up offering very similar services is LifestreamBackup. The more services you use, the more information you leave about yourself around the web. The more your pictures, data, and information are scattered about the web, the more likely it is that you will lose some part of it. Lifestreambackup.com is your insurance policy against losing that data.

* Lifestreaming is the cumulative stream of information about yourself that you leave on sites all over the web. Blogs, social networks, twitter, facebook, youtube, these are all services that comprise lifestreaming.

VoD market size, forecast…

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

As some of you already know, I take some pleasure animating the GLITNER group on LinkedIn. Recently, André Lange from the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) has posted the following question:

Does the cable consumer spend more for VoD than the IPTV subscriber?

One of Screen Digest assumption in assessing the VoD markets in Europe is that a cable subscriber will spend more in VoD than an IPTV subscriber. Does anyone have any evidence on such thesis?

It is true that when researching the net looking for some evidence of such thesis or looking for some available market studies, it is disappointing to find out that often, the info, articles and/or reports found have conflicting forecasts and statements. In order to keep track of the most updated (and relevant) info, I have listed here below some my key findings of the last few months:

–       Global annual revenue from rental transactions of full-length movies and TV shows on pay-TV and online platforms generated $2.2bn in 2008. This is forecast to grow to $3.7bn by 2012 (source: Adam Media Research a division of Screen Digest).

–       VoD will generate $330 million a year (in the UK) in ‘direct revenue’ by 2013 (source: PaidContent:UK quoting Claire Enders speaking at the Westminster eForum on September 15th).

–       The sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand, Internet, and P2P) will account for over 91 percent of global consumer traffic by 2013. Internet video alone will account for over 60 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2013 (source: CISCO – Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology 2008-2013).

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–       Digital media revenue will jump about 270% between 2009 and 2013 to $3.28 billion (according to a Futuresource Consulting research).

–       The total home entertainment market in the US (all platforms – DVD/BD, TV-based VoD, online video and mobile video) is projected to generate over $25 billion in revenues in 2009. “Paid-for VoD revenues are expected to witness steady growth moving forward, as the closure of VoD windows increases the appeal of premium on-demand content. However, looking ahead, packaged media will remain a significant revenue generator for the home entertainment industry, accounting for close to 70% of total revenues by 2013,” said Carl Hibbert, business consultant, Futuresource Consulting (source: one to one).

–       Global revenue for digital formats will grow to $2 billion in 2013, from about $500 million this year. US revenue in the first half of the year was about $140 million, with a significant growth in EST – electronic sell-through (source: Screen Digest analyst Arash Amel cited in an article of videobusiness.com).

–       Over-the-top video (delivery of internet video to the TV) will grow nearly six-fold in the newt five years, from a meager $1 billion in 2009 to $5.7 billion in 2014 (source: TDG – Broadband-Enabled TV: Rise of the OTT Provider).

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–       On December 2008, the EAO has counted 691 on-demand audiovisual services in Europe: 142 in the UK, 108 in France, 92 in Italy and 55 in Germany.

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–       Eight percent of all consumers in Britain, France, Germany and the United States admit to downloading video illegally from the Internet (source: Reuters UK according to a survey).  I have done the math (based on Universal McCann Wave 4 Social Media Tracker): there are 158 million active Internet users in those 4 countries, from which 12.6 million (8%) are therefore downloading video illegally…

–       VoD server revenue tripling by 2013, date at which telco service providers are expected to derive about $56 billion worldwide revenue from IPTV services offered, not including mobile IPTV services  (source: Infonetics Research).

–       While overall streaming video is more popular than downloading video, users still in the US lean towards downloading when it comes to long-form video content in particular (source: an IPSOS study summarized on Reelseo.com)

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–       Total videos viewed per month went up from 7.2 billion in Jan ’07 to 21.4 billion in July ’09. The number of online videos watched per viewer per month went up from 59 in Jan ’07 to 135 in July ’09. The number of minutes of video watched per average viewer went up from 151 minutes (2 hours 31 minutes) in Jan ’07 to 500 (8 hours 20 minutes) in July ’09 (source: comScore as reported on the VideoNuze web site).

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–       HD online revenue will reach $2.25 billion by 2012 (source: AKAMAI presentation at the Content Delivery Summit in NY May ’09).

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As you can see, the VoD business, which barely registered as a revenue stream 3 years ago, has almost overnight changed the content distribution business. I strongly believe that VoD has a great promising future.

Creating better technology: the Red Hat way

September 16, 2009 1 comment

Reading this morning the different friends’ blogs, I found this on David’s (David Cushman): a short video from Red Hat (via Chris Brogan) which shows how a company find it helpful to succeed by contributing and participating in communities via the networked world.

If interested by social media, David will be speaking at ‘Everything you ever wanted to know about social media but were afraid to ask…‘ conference to be held in Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire), Friday, October 2nd from 10:30 AM – 12:45 PM. More details here.

Dotan – Since I saw you

September 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Dotan … since I saw you…can’t download you!!!

I’m always amazed (and surprised) about HOW complicated it can be to download sometime legal music on the net… a quick experience I like sharing with you.

My wife and I were in the Netherlands (Holland) during the summer break. We came across a new upcoming artist (discovered on MTV): DOTAN. ishot-0909141We liked his music, rythm and song. We took down the artist’s name, so when back home in Paris (France) we could go (like we usually do) to iTunes store and download this new song into our library.

Surprisingly, we couldn’t!! Dotan’s song was (an still is) only available on the Netherlands iTunes store (not the French one).  My wife (being Dutch), tried to get an iTunes account in the Netherlands (giving her parents Dutch address)… that doesn’t worked either: the credit card details were France based!

Frustrated… YES!

Dotan is from the net generation, using social media to share his content. He has his own web site (and blog), his Facebook, MySpace and Hyves page, and his music video clip is available on YouTube.

So you can stream it as many times you want on your PC, your iPOD, iPhone etc… but you cannot own it!

For the last 5 years, I’ve been in the entertainment industry, working weekly with producers, rights-holders, authors, software vendors (such as Apple and Microsoft), has dealt with DRM issues, content identification, fingerprinting, watermarking and all these filtering technologies used by YouTube, Dailymotion and others… and had great difficulty to explain (simply) to my wife – a consumer – why it was SO DIFFICULT for her to get that song from a European artist, discovered in a European country, where goods are supposedly to circulate freely…!

As you may or not know, currently, most online retailers (including Apple) limit sales of digital media to either the countries in which they are based, or where the buyer is based, due to complex copyright rules and fees across Europe.  In fact, each E.U. country has its own collecting society, which has the exclusive right to collect royalties for the use of music of songwriters in that country. A percentage of the royalties is passed back to the artist who has contracted the society to look after its copyright.

The good news is that, apparently, music rights holders are nearing agreement on a pan-European music license, which would enable music to be bought online across the European Union, as stated last May by the European Commission (here). The commissioner Kroes notes Apple‘s statements that if iTunes is readily able to license rights on a multi-territorial basis from publishers and collecting societies, it would consider making its content available to all European consumers, including those in EU countries where iTunes is currently not available.

Let us hope that this multi-territorial music licensing issue is dealt with rapidly, so that consumers are (still) encouraged to ‘legally’ download and for Dotan to get his music out of the Dutch boundaries!