We Don’t Want to Watch What You Want Us to Watch

Especially when you want us to watch it.

Times are changing in TV land.

While we in NZ still have restrictive broadband limitations in speed and monthly data caps, the world moves ahead in the use of streaming video.

Offerings such as Hulu and Netflix, plus streaming options through other providers such as Amazon mean that video delivered over the internet is dominating internet traffic in those markets.

But even in New Zealand, on demand video is becoming more and more prevalent. MySky allows for easy recording and playback of shows from SkyTV’s plethora of channels and the free to air networks have the OnDemand services where you can catch up on shows you have missed only a day later.

But what this “on demand” method of consuming video (and audio) does, is it puts the control of the content back into the viewers hands.

Apart from live events such as sport, where the “watching it live” component is eminently important, most other forms of TV or movies can be consumed at the viewers leisure. No more checking the TV guide and planning your life around when a particular show is on, just watch it when you like.

Imagine a world where you can pick and choose all of the shows you want to watch with no reliance on date and time.

What impact could this have on the different parts of the ecosystem?

Producers of Content: Major producers might be more selective of what content they invest in and so the number of productions might reduce in size (possibly better funded). Independent producers of content such as the Twit Network may be encouraged to produce more content to fill the gaps left my changed in major network production.

Advertisers: Much improved analytics and viewer statistics will allow for much more targeted advertising. Ads for lower rating shows will reflect those lower ratings and advertisers can get a real idea as to the viewership of their ad portfolio.

Consumers: Fringe shows (from the current model) will become even more marginalised until they disappear. Niche shows will be created by nimble producers focussed on fanatical audiences. The only scheduled shows will be live events.

I like this future as it enables true choice for the consumer and a better experience.

Incubus’ Clever Use of the Internet

There are an increasing number of clever uses of the internet as a marketing tool for companies, products and brands.

Once that I think is really good is that of the band Incubus.

They are releasing a new album soon called If Not Now,When? and using (as far as I can tell) a novel method to promote the album, have been using a website called http://www.incubushqlive.com/ where they have been streaming live performances from the band plus interviews and clinics from band members.

But it also seems to be a great way to promote the band while practising for upcoming appearnaces and concert tour.

Each of the performances can be attended by emailing the site and getting an invite. The venue is small, only really big enough for a ring of people around the band as they play their set. The performances have been a mix of old songs and those off the new album.

The interaction of the band with the small audience is great too, they make mistakes, laugh about it and go again, till they get it right.

Most performances I have seen there have been over 4 thousand people watching the stream. Tweets with the bands hashtag get displayed live on the screen behind the band.

All in all a great use of social media and technology to promote an upcoming album.

Speaking of social media, how did I find out about this? Facebook. I’m a fan and so follow them on Facebook, where they have been advertising what has been happening at “HQ” leading up to the album release. This along with their website provide all of the information needed for fans to get prepared.

All we need now is for them to come to NZ   *hint, hint*

Hulu and Vimeo vs Youtube

There has been plenty of talk about online video.

When Google bought Youtube, that seemed to be the end of online video sites, as they had with Google Video over 80% of the video market.

However, Hulu and Vimeo have made waves for different reasons.

Hulu is the one closest to Youtube in style and delivery. The key change seems to be the promotion of commercially produced full length episodes of TV programs so often banned and taken down on other sites.

Youtube is still the choice for uploading any kind of content, subject to the terms and conditions. If you are quick enough, you can find replays of Champions League, Premier League and more. Wait a couple of hours and the videos are starting to be taken down as violation of copyright.

The surprising thing is that people do it every day, knowing they will only last a short time. The amount of resource that Youtube (and other providers) need to put into the policing of this is amazing.

However, for non US residents, Hulu is not available, due to copyright agreements in place in other countries around the world.

They provide a popup, where you can put your email and region, so they can let you know when Hulu becomes available. (It could take some time)

Then there is Vimeo. Vimeo is a different kettle of fish. They provide this as a simple guideline to the content they want on their site

Vimeo exists to provide you with a space to showcase your creativity and share your life. As such, we do not allow you to upload videos that are commercial in nature or videos that you did not make yourself

So, this gives a completely different feel and purpose for this video site. I have seen Vimeo used for hosting training, video tutorials, video blog files and more.

The quality seems better than Youtube (even though the controls seem a bit obtrusive) so looks like a nice platform.

You won’t beat Youtube for potential traffic and viralness (Is that a word?) but Vimeo looks like a great alternative for staging video content on your site.

Do you have a preference, any others  worth noting?