People around the globe and across the age groups are finding they have more news, information, entertainment options -- professional, semi-professional and sloppy amateur. They like the new diversity and options. The big question is will Tellywood ever regain its "ownership" of the consumers' eyeballs and viewing habits again?

Content Insider #96 – Online Video…But Different

THE Insider

Insider #96 – Online Video…But Different

Author: THE Insider

This show as prerecorded earlier, because it didn’t make much sense to prerecord it later.” – Gary Owens, announcer – Rowan & Martin Laugh-In (’68-’73)

The pro writers are back writing. The pro producers are back producing. The pro owners are back doing whatever they do. The pro consumers are ... on the Web surfing and when the mood strikes them channel surfing on TV. People around the globe and across the age groups are finding they have more news, information, entertainment options -- professional, semi-professional and sloppy amateur. They like the new diversity and options. The big question is will Tellywood ever regain its "ownership" of the consumers' eyeballs and viewing habits again?

The writers’ strike was all about giving their members a “fairer” proportion of the growing volume of online content.  Since it appeared to be a prolonged affair Tellywood focused a lot of attention and money on indie films at Sundance.
At the same time more than a few analysts wondered aloud if there might be a mass migration from TV to online videos and folks would be less than enthused in returning to the family room set.

Ya Think – With an increasing number of people around the globe making the Internet their first choice for news, information and entertainment, many industry pundits wonder aloud if TV has lost its grip on the consumer’s eyeballs and if they will ever get them back from the Web.  Source – Rowan & Martin Laugh-In TV Show
On a recent dive trip to Kona we met a couple who said they were part of the second wave of hippies to Santa Fe and were writers/artists/videographers.  We asked if they had shown the work at any of the growing number of film festivals around the globe.  The videographer part of the duo said no but he had been turned down by a lot of them.  

Then he added that in the past few months he had had a lot of interest in his work from both Tellywood and online outlets.  In fact five had been sold…two to Tellywood, three to online firms.
It made us wonder or as Laugh-In’s Arte Johnson would say, “Veerrry eenteresting…”
In markets such as the U.S., homes have more TV sets and DVD players than broadband access.  It may be growing but if it weren’t for our wireless card in Kona we’d have been stuck with dial-up (don’t even ask!). 
Screen Differences
A number of folks like to say convergence is taking place and soon we’ll be three-screen households.    Maybe yours but not ours!
They’re different.  They’re viewed differently.
TV is static fare and at least in our household used less and less.
Wireless devices are increasingly used for video but minimalistic video (well under three min) that is used and discarded. 
Broadband video though is about as varied as you can get and is a lot more interactive, more versatile, more interesting.
For our kids, the Web is still the primary source of their music.  But it is also the place where they go first for their news, information and entertainment.  

Figure 1 - What’s Important -- While Tellywood would like us to think that teens/tweens/college kids are doing nothing but spending their time hacking, cracking and spreading their content around; most research disproves their allegations.  There seems to be too much good stuff readily available that doesn’t require a lot of hard work to access and enjoy.  Source – Ipsos

Having become accustomed to tailoring their content to what they want to watch at any point in time we no longer punish them as Dan Rowan did, “Go to your room!”
Online Viewing
Like people around the globe who have decent connectivity they are watching their video content online.

Figure 2 - Numbers Growing – While the TV industry has built its success on the number of households and individuals they reach at various times of the day, there is a steady increase of people who view their video content online.  In the always-on, 24-hour world of the Internet; time of viewing is irrelevant.  Source – eMarketer

So, we visit them there…
Much to the MPAA’s chagrin they aren’t stealing and watching their content.  Instead of their original assertion that kids (14-24) were the primary reason they were losing so much money, they now admit that instead of them stealing 50% of their content it is probably closer to 15%...maybe even less.
Sorta like Goldie Hawn saying, “My IQ has never been questioned.  Actually, it has never been mentioned.”
Folks are a lot more into YouTube, Yahoo! Video, MySpace and the growing volume of video sites to work at grabbing Tellywood’s content.

Figure 3 - World of Viewing – There are a number of obvious first sites individuals visit for their content but their viewing habits and movement around the Web constantly changes.  Everything is only a mouse click away.  Source – comSearch

It’s hell when your stuff isn’t even good enough to steal !
A recent McKinsey study found that:

  • Online viewers watched an average of more than three hours of online video during the month (181 minutes).
  • The average online video duration was 2.7 minutes
  • Nearly three out of four (74.2%) U.S. Internet users viewed video online
  • More than one out of three (36.7%) U.S. Internet users viewed video on
  • The average online video viewer consumed 68 videos, or more than two per day

Males and females viewing on line are fairly equal in number and even older age groups are getting into the groove.

Figure 4 - All Ages – While younger people obviously lead the age groups in viewing content online (because they have grown up on the Internet), it is also easy to see that everyone is going online for video content.  Source – Ipsos

Viewing Differences
But age groups and sexes view and interact with the content differently.
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project:

  • ¾ of the 18-29 year old Internet users watched online video
  • More than 50% of the 30-49 year olds viewed online video
  • 4 out of 10 65+ folks logged onto online videos

A recent report by notes that online activity has an impact on television as well:

  • 29% of men say online video usage cuts into TV
  • 16% of women say online video usage cuts into TV
  • 12% of those who view content once a month claim that video usage cuts into their TV

  While the amount of online content was OK, the younger groups 14-29 wanted more online video. 
  More importantly, they were more involved with the online video.  They were more interested in forms or stages of what a recent Nokia study called Circular Entertainment.
  Circular entertainment is described as: 

  • someone who shares video footage they shot on their mobile device or webcam with a friend
  • the friend adds an MP3 file soundtrack and passes it along
  • another person adds photos and passes it on
  • and so the stuff grows in quality and content

Female Touch
This is the way our daughter uses her Cyberlink YouCam software, developing special, interesting and entertaining content with friends and acquaintances around the country and around the globe. The result is entertainment that is collaborative, democratic, emotional and customized

Our son and his circle of cohorts seem to straddle what Future Laboratory calls Emmersive Living and Geek Culture categories.

They use products and tools that often blur the boundaries between commercial and creative activities

For example he and a number of associates often use the Pinnacle Video Transfer device to grab content and convert it to H.264 files. At other times they ’ll grab events that are taking place in SecondLife and repurpose them.

He and friends in Boston, Vancouver and Greece often drop in photos of people or “things.” To personalize and bring the items to life they use Reallusion’s CrazyTalk to give them a voice and help enhance or expand the story and plot.

The video development can go on for days, weeks and sometimes even months. When everyone is satisfied with the creative work it is usually posted to one of the top 10 video sites that account for more than half of all videos viewed online.

More content begets more viewers which begets more content.

Audience Attrition

According to comScore research the audience lost by TV can be found grabbing their entertainment on the Web.

Like the indie videographer from Santa Fe they are not only creating online entertainment but they are finding an eager audience. It’s no wonder that a Deloitte study found that nearly half of the online Americans not only consume video content but also create it. And with all of the low-cost, easy-to-use tools that are available the number will continue to increase.

Figure 5 - Content Producers – While Tellywood once held the corner on video content writing, editing, post production; the Web has leveled the playing field opening excellent opportunities for independent producers as well as folks who just want to have fun. Source – eMarketer

While the ability to create your own content and rework other people’s content seems to be an almost irresistible siren song to people who are used to enjoying what they want, when they want and where they want; it doesn’t mark the death kneel to Tellywood.

While there is a growing volume of video content watched on the computer, Tellywood needs to appreciate that there are still more TV sets and DVD players in homes than there is broadband to the house. And there are times when you simply want to lie down in front of the TV set and watch an escapist DVD.

Figure 6 - New vs Old – When it comes to really long, intense movies; the disc is still preferable to browsing. At the same time, the self-produced content acceptance is growing rapidly. Source – ABI

The changing viewing climate should encourage Tellywood to gain a new perspective at their audiences – not as adversaries but participants.

Indie Opportunities

Of course if the past is any indication of tomorrow, indies will have an increased opportunity to sell their creative works by sharing proceeds with ad supported sites (folks are willing to watch the ads if they aren’t oppressive!). Or there’s nothing wrong with spreading trailers around the video sites and offering pay for view.

The consumer isn’t hiding his/her views.

Source – Rowan & Martin Laugh-In TV Show

Or as Arte Johnson said, “Well…then, you know what I’m here after!”

It’s sorta Tellywood’s game to lose.

The RIAA showed lawsuits don’t work!

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