Decable

Neilsen’s Ratings: A Lesson For The Studios

decabled450Neilsen put out their 3rd quarter report and there are some interesting trends I hope the studios notice.  Don’t fear online viewership it’s an asset.

...in the third quarter DVR use and online video grew 21.1 percent and 34.9 percent respectively, year-over-year, according to the latest Nielsen A2/M2 Three Screen Report.

The rise in time shifted viewership is a trend the studios need to take advantage of.  What appears to be the main resistance to streaming online content is the fear that it takes away from appointment viewership.  Although there is a slight loss due to the shift the rise in viewership is far larger then the loss.

Regular appointment TV ratings have dropped over the past decade because of:

  • Alternative work schedules / rise in 2nd and 3rd shift workers
  • Working multiple jobs
  • Rise of the MMO
  • Rise in decabled audience

Where is this rise in viewership coming from?  The audience share that has other things to do at the appointed time of the regular show.  Those who are curious about what’s on in their spare time and want to see what their friends are talking about.  Those who are decabled.

I hope the studios realize that their cash cow isn’t dying it’s just started feeding in several different pastures.

(via NewTeeVee)

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Would you pay for a iTunes TV Subscription Service?

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

I am torn about the idea of an iTunes Subscription service.  Rumors are swirling again that it might me on the way.

A subscription service from Apple consisting of a $35 or so monthly fee for access to a large and complete library of current-season television episodes via iTunes would fit well into the TV networks’ overall content strategy — Hulu has proven there is a demand for streaming full episodes, and the cable companies have long shown that consumers are willing to pay for access(NewTeeVee).

When I wrote my Would you pay for a Boxee app? I laid down some ground rules:

Rules for Paid Apps

  1. Paid App channels would have to be commercial free.
  2. Paid App channels must have a free version to test the content.
  3. Apps must be cheap!  The more they cost, the fewer people will pay.
  4. Apps should be available for networks and individual shows.

Reasons I would pay for an app

  • Premium Channels: HBO and Showtime are top of my list.
  • Foreign Content: BBC iPlayer is top on my list, but I have a soft spot for Chinese and Indian TV.
  • Supporting Indie Media:  I would pay to support the Guild, Legend of Neil and other shows, but I would expect extras.

Would I pay for an iTunes Subscription Service?

In an era before Hulu, I would definitely would have paid for this, but I am not sure I would now.

If the Price is $35 a month it would have to:

  • include many channels that I cannot stream online already
  • be commercial free
  • allow me to watch the show when it is airing on Cable.
  • allow on demand streaming the day the show aired not 24 hours later
  • allow all episodes of a season to be on watched at anytime as often as I want
  • work on my Mac, PC, AppleTV, and iPod Touch for one fee

I need a lot more details before I know whether I know if I want to pay for this.

What would it take?

What would it take for you to pay for an Apple streaming TV service?

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Would you pay for a Boxee app?

Image representing Boxee as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

[Avner] Ronen says that the company still has yet to collect any revenue for use of its media center software, but that it's working on a way to allow content owners to charge for the Boxee Apps that they create (Contentinople).

This begs the question:  Would you pay for a Boxee App?  I might but there are a few ground rules that would have to be established:

Rules for Paid Apps

  1. Paid App channels would have to be commercial free.
  2. Paid App channels must have a free version to test the content.
  3. Apps must be cheap!  The more they cost, the fewer people will pay.
  4. Apps should be available for networks and individual shows.

Reasons I would pay for an app

  • Premium Channels: HBO and Showtime are top of my list.
  • Foreign Content: BBC iPlayer is top on my list, but I have a soft spot for Chinese and Indian TV.
  • Supporting Indie Media:  I would pay to support the Guild, Legend of Neil and other shows, but I would expect extras.

How I hope this works

I have hoped for a long time that Apple would open its platform to allow more options.  So far they haven't.  I think Media should have a tiered support system:

  1. Free: Ad supported, let me check it out
  2. Tiny Fee: Watch commercial Free
  3. Small Fee:  Own outright (The content is downloaded to my device)
  4. Modest Fee: Own outright with special features

I want to be able to watch any show and upgrade my content as I see fit.

Did I miss anything?

What would make you want to pay for a Boxee App?  What rules do you have?  What model would you like to see?

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TV and Movie Streams Up, Push Decabling!

ipsos_8_5The number of people who are streaming TV Shows and Movies online is way up.  Now is the time to push Decabling! Hulu and Netflix are helping in the cause, but we have a lot of work to do.  We need to promote AppleTV (or better the Mac Mini) and Boxee to get more people to move to the next phase, leaving the cable companies for the freedom decabling offers.

How do you think we should push decabling?

(via New TeeVee)

NBC and Fox want to kill Hulu!

Image representing hulu as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

During a talk at an Internet Week event the other night, News Corp.’s chief digital officer, Jonathan Miller, suggested some of Hulu’s content might become available only to subscribers. Miller’s comments echoed NBC CEO Jeff Zucker’s words at the D7 conference last week where he said that a Hulu subscription was a possibility (New TeeVee).

Hulu is successful because it is like broadcast TV, free to anyone who picks up the signal... If Fox and NBC get their way, there are some people who will pay, but the majority will go back to P2P for their free TV.

How Paid Content on Hulu Might Work

The only way I could possibly see this working is if they left the standard definition content (up to the hi-res) free for anyone to watch and made the high definition (HD) a paid extra.  I think the hi res video is good enough to keep most people on the site, but the extra cost of sending HD video could be subsidized by those who really want it.

The only other way I could see this working is if they offered a commercial free Hulu as a paid service.  That is something even I might pay for.

If they make all of the content for pay, then Hulu will quickly go out of business.

The "Good" News

Hulu says they have no plans to switch from their free model to a paid one..  Cold comfort, but I'll take what I can get.

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Hulu Desktop

h10-image-2Hulu have launched a new Desktop app for the Mac and the PC.  It is in beta, but works really well.  This is one step closer to what I want from Hulu but I noticed something in the software's Terms of Service that upset me.

Video their way

2. Permitted License Uses and Restrictions. Hulu grants you a license to install and use the Hulu Software on your personal laptop or desktop computer (“Personal Computer”) for the sole purpose of streaming content that is available on Hulu’s site located at www.hulu.com (“Hulu Content”) on your Personal Computer. You may not download, install or use the Hulu Software on any device other than a Personal Computer including without limitation digital media receiver devices (such as Apple TV), mobile devices (such as a cell phone device, mobile handheld device or a PDA), network devices or CE devices (collectively “Prohibited Devices”).

Grrr, argh.  I am glad they made the software, but honestly, I want it on my AppleTV.  I suppose I will have to get a Mac Mini for my next media center so I can run this on my television easier.

I am surprised that they are continuing to push their content way from the television, while at the same time showing that they understand how people want to watch their content.

Hulu walks the line

I think Hulu is doing its best to walk the line between what their viewers want and what their content partners want.  (sigh)

It is only a matter of time before they come around.  This is at the very least, a step forward.

Download

Hulu Desktop Here!

Decabled: Hulu forced off Boxee

Image representing Boxee as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

The folks at Boxee announced that they are being forced to remove Hulu support from Boxee at the request of Hulu's content partners...

Hulu posted this as their reason:

Our content providers requested that we turn off access to our content via the Boxee product, and we are respecting their wishes. While we stubbornly believe in this brave new world of media convergence — bumps and all — we are also steadfast in our belief that the best way to achieve our ambitious, never-ending mission of making media easier for users is to work hand in hand with content owners (Hulu).

What platform is next?

I cannot understand this.  I spent most of the day trying to find just one rational reason for a content partner to ask a web service to block a platform.  I couldn't think of one.

This is tantamount to saying, I don't want my web content visible in Internet Explorer or Firefox.  Maybe I am missing the point of Hulu entirely.

Isn't Hulu about making money?

Image representing hulu as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Unless I am horribly wrong, the purpose of Hulu to make video available to viewers in an easy to use way so their content providers could make money off of the ads.  Am I wrong?

Well Hulu says:

Hulu's mission is to help people find and enjoy the world's premium video content when, where and how they want it. As we pursue this mission, we aspire to create a service that users, advertisers, and content owners unabashedly love (Hulu).

The need to rewrite that mission statement a bit.  Here let me help.

Hulu's mission is to help people find and enjoy the world's premium video content when, where and how they want it as long as they only visit our site through approved browsers. As we pursue this mission, we aspire to create a service that users, advertisers, and content owners unabashedly love.

There, that is more like what they are actually doing.

Contact them and their partners:

Let them know how you feel about them banning an browser from their service.  The next thing you know, they will have to scan for a media center before they  allow access to their video.

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Boxee Box Inbound

Boxee
Image via Wikipedia

I love Boxee.  It has helped to bring me more content with the greatest of ease.  Now I’m even more ecstatic to hear that device makers want to embed Boxee into existing products.

During CES we were approached by several device makers that wanted to speak with us about embedding boxee into existing or future products. we would love to get your input on whether it is relevant for you, what will you want to see in a boxee-based device, and how much will you be willing to pay for it..

This is great news because:

  • Boxee will become more accessible to more people
  • This can help me and other move toward reducing the number of devices hooked up in the entertainment system.

Boxee is an alpha product that handles online video on multiple platforms (Mac, Ubuntu Linux, and Windows).  For my set up I installed it onto my Apple TV and it has made my decabling experience even more enjoyable.

(via boxee)

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TV to Stream Netflix Videos Directly

Netflix, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

LG Electronics will start selling high-definition TV sets that stream Netflix videos directly from the Internet, without an additional device.

This is great news for several reason!

Less devices to have hooked up in my entertainment center.

I am overjoyed that LG Electronics is making it easier to stream internet content directly to a TV.   My entertainment center has so many devices, wires, plugs, and switchers that I can not hook up another device.  I finally got fed-up with having to switch between devices and buying new switchers and having to sort through wires and plugs that I had to draw a line in the sand deciding there needed to be a simpler process.  Why can’t I have my streaming shows, DVD’s, and video game consoles fed through just a few devices.  Thank you LG Electronics, hopefully this will begin a trend for other TV designers.  Thank you Netflix for offering options to your customers and not forcing us into another single purpose device.

Making it easier for people to Decable

With Netflix and LG making it easier for the mainstream market to stream content through the internet more people will realize the joy of breaking free from appointment content.  For many years I have worked irregular schedules which forced me to miss all of the appointment content provided through cable.  Because of that I had to  find alternative means to get that content.  I have been an advocate of the process of breaking free of appointment TV for almost a decade now I just didn’t have a name for it.    Now thanks to Jeff over at Command N I have a term for the process which is to Decable.

(via Fandango: Entertainment News)

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New Media is not Small Media or Binding

I was reading an article on The 10 movies you shouldn't watch online.  In which, once again they demonstrate how people don’t get the new media.

Hulu recently added 1962's "Lawrence of Arabia," which raises the question: Should anyone watch a nearly four-hour-long epic of sweeping grandeur on their laptop? Or, heaven forbid, their cell phone?

New media is about being freed from schedules and opening up more choices.  Yes, some watch Hulu and other shows on their portable devices but the growing trend is like myself to have Hulu tied into our main entertainment center and watch it like one would watch a DVD or Television.  I love my Apple TV and Boxee which I run on it to allow me to watch Hulu on my Big Screen.  Besides if you were on a long flight with internet access and I had to choose between the big screen in-flight movie or Star Wars on my laptop, well the decision is easy.

Watching movies on Hulu is about being freed from appointment TV.  This way if they show his #5 pick Star Wars on TV I would probably have something going on during the time slot when it would be aired.  Yet on Hulu I can load it up when I have time to watch a movie on my schedule.

What do you think, do you watch movies on Hulu?  If so how do you like to watch them?