COMSCORE NETWORKS cites a significant stat that shows yet another way that Ireland is slipping down the league connectivity table: More than 94 million people in the States, or 56 percent of the online U.S. population, have watched streaming video online. Over the last three months ending in June, the average consumer watched 73 minutes of online video a month. You need good broadband pipes to enjoy this kind of experience.
Some other interesting developments:
- TechWeb cites an AOL project as an online TV network.
- In October, MTV and Motorola featured original content for mobile screens in an eight episode segment.
- MTV has a broadband version of mtvU, its 24-hour college network.
- In November, Scripps Networks launched My First Place on the web instead of on the TV screen.
All of these examples do more than repurpose made-for-TV format on the web. They add extra video content, interaction among audience members, games and polls. Publishers and advertisers are getting more comfortable with video ad formats on the Web. In fact, AOL's advertising model incorporates streaming advertising within the content, banners and sponsorships.
While browsing consumer electronics shops in the run-up to Christmas, I concluded that the digital future is multi-faceted and time-shifted. Hardware manufacturers see consumers who need time-shifted, on-demand programming as a perfect segment for market expansion. In my corner of Tipperary, you can buy at least three different personal video recorders in electronics shops. Sony Electronics says that its LocationFree Service is now capable of receiving content wirelessly from individual TV, DVD player or digital video recorder. This competes directly with Sling Media's Slingbox, which also delivers content typically viewed at home to subscribers, no matter where they are. I like the look of this kind of digital media future.