Speaking of not quite getting it, a big announcement this week was Google’s long-awaited foray into Video Advertising (with both online and TV-based), pushing their (acquired) AdSense and (original) AdWords Contextual Advertising technologies. The impact these announcements will have on existing Ad models (and budgets) remains unclear. To us, the answer is clear, however. Looking back at our post on: “Pipes“, you’ll be able to have a much clearer picture of what we’re talking about, and working on.
Just 4 Mondays to go…
That’s right, just 4 to go between now and the Tokyo MobileMonday Peer Awards & Business Plan Competition, taking place on Monday, March 24th in Harajuku.
On Monday, February 18th, 2008 at the first official (non-shinnenkai drinking party that is) MobileMonday event in Tokyo, BC$ MobileTV was officially offered a position to speak at the Tokyo MobileMonday Peer Awards.
We consider this a great honor and will do our best to represent our country, our company, our idea, and most importantly ourselves.
During the competition we will be given the stage for a total of 3 minutes, with the objective of convincing the panel of judges that we are somehow worthy of one of the 3 spots to go to the final round for Asia-Pacific, which will ultimately decide who goes to Malaysia for the Global Mobile Summit.
We hope our new and by times *questionable* ideas will somehow be well received. The competition will be stiff, so we’ll be putting everything we’ve got into the Business Plan and Technology… expect LOTS of updates and changes over the next few weeks, but (sadly) few posts, while we focus our efforts on creating a truly innovative service that can realize our vision for online and mobile video.
Some good luck wishes, positive encouragement, or last-minute advice would be much appreciated…
For full details of the competition, check out:
Coull.tv is trying to innovate in the online video space and has secured a 7-figure 1st Round of VC funding.
Here’s a preview of what’s to come from their innovative object tagging method, which, ironically enough, we at BC$ have been working on ourselves for the past few weeks:
This code should be MySpace compatible… so feel free to take notes.
It is kind of shocking when you think about what type of content is readily available nowadays to men & women, boys & girls, children of all ages.
I’ve had the good… or… lets just say, fortune, of having grown up and lived out my formative years in the 80s and early 90s. This was a period where for the first time, widespread satellite distribution meant you get basically an entire continent’s TV programming (and eventually the most significant programs of the whole globe) live at your fingertips. Not exactly on-demand, but here the syndication concept tested in the 70s really saw a market boom, and through re-run programs broadcast at off hours, you could eventually find what you were looking for, if you were patient.
This was also a period when music came to the TV in a big way. Through the Music Video, the industry found a whole new outlet for “creatively” reaching their desired audiences. The Music industry enjoyed its newfound home with TV, and exploited their stay accordingly through MTV, creating a legion of fans and followers through a lot of hype, some moderately elaborate sets, and a few teen heart-throbs. All this created a cycle of watch-shop-buy, share with friends, repeat consuming which would last over a decade and fuel one massively over-sized market. For all intents and purposes this was an ecosystem, without the eco… buyers being the real pawns as the industry went through storage format after storage format (from vynil to 8-track to cassettes to CDs, all within the span of a little over a decade); each time requiring the “hip and with it consumer” to go out and re-purchase their entire collection on the new format I might add.
Then, something happened. Napster, a small decentralized Peer-to-Peer music location and file sharing service created by Shawn Fanning – while still a student at Northeastern University in Boston – came along and changed the Music industry forever. The major studios and record labels reeled in horror as they saw digital, copyright-bypassing music distribution take off. People finally began to realize that music transcends formats, studios, labels, venues, albums or even the artists themselves. Music was an idea, an idea that could be shared with others, but still retained by the sharing party. It always had been, but somewhere in between the days where outdoor concerts were the only way to perform music for an audience, and the creation of storage media, this concept was forgotten. As society woke up, the concept empowered the masses, and… well… the masses went a little Black Monday on the industry. Sales dropped faster than a speeding bullet, and the executive types tried anything and everything they possibly could (i.e. lawsuits for everyone, from Jane & Joe customer to application developers to internet service providers) just to retain market share and hold on to their “golden hen“.
Now that wasn’t just a walk down memory lane, this case study of what happens when one industry that relies on a particular media of delivery to maintain its (captive) customer bases and operating margins, converges into another media that can’t possibly sustain such disproportionate cost-expense ratios, is a cautionary tale for the TV and Movie industries.
Looking now at the convergence that is clearly taking place between TV and the Internet, it seems all too clear what is inevitably bound to happen. History WILL repeat itself, and the powers that be realize this. They are already scrambling in advance, in attempts to prevent the same kind of loss of control on customers’ mind-share (and pocket-books). Efforts like Hulu, the co-opting of BitTorrent and continued attacks on Net Neutrality are just the most obvious examples.
In alot of ways we (Children of the 80s) were THE Video Generation… It was all around us. Parents would often plop their kids down on a sofa in front of the boob tube with a stack of Disney videos, Saturday Morning cartoons, or Nickelodeon… all in good faith that their child would:
A. Be entertained (in which case they would almost certainly shut up & keep quiet for an hour or so)
B. Be educated (in which case they were improving themselves, so nothing to worry about)
C. In the very least have some pretty moving pictures to look at (see result of part A)
Meanwhile, toddlers nowadays are said to be the Internet or Information Generation. What was previously controllable by the same powers-that-be that have your pocket-book close at mind, is, thanks to push-button publishing, now completely and utterly beyond control. Adult and Mature programming is readily available in all corners of the web, and as adult content filters to the top of search results (maybe not the top 10, but have you checked the top 50 lately) it has never been easier to find either.
Parents can no longer sit their children in front of “the box of our day”, and be assured that their children will be entertained, educated or be able to nicely and safely kill time… instead they must be concerned that their children will not be “shocked”, “seduced” or “recruited for a cult” as this article from MediaWeek reminds us, even TV still has its problems.
But far beyond Dexter there is a plethora of much more offensive and shocking material becoming available at children’s finger tips. This is a harsh reminder that in fact, perhaps we do need the facilitators of content to provide at least some level of self-censorship to the content that they facilitate. Case in point, kids today can go to YouTube and within seconds command the power of the over 3.5 million questionable “Booty Shaking or Webcam Dance” videos, for which the online video provider gained infamy in its early growth stages. They can also find at least another few million odd videos which include the word F@%K.
So, perhaps it is not enough to leave censorship up to the individual… and what we need are a set of technical and/or legal guidelines that more strictly regulate the publishing of content on the web. A solid ratings system built on existing open standards such as ICRA or SafeSurf for the internet could go a long way, as could browser-based Parental Controls. In addition, it would seem that the successful studio of the future is not just the one that is most accountable when things go wrong, but the one that is best structured to ensure things go right, and that content is pushed through their pipessustainably, without offending the masses.
We at BC$ are constantly considering such issues as we develop our content recommendation and recognition technologies, and we are working on a future that can create a truly fair ecosystem in this new digital market place.
- Megaupload Sues Record Label For Censorship (gizmodo.com.au)
- WATCH: This Week In Unnecessary Censorship (huffingtonpost.com)
- Burma: Censorship Abolished In ‘Months’ (censorshipinamerica.com)
- Censorship is inseparable from surveillance (guardian.co.uk)
- Media Censorship: Media Freedom Worsens in China (censorshipinamerica.com)
- Media Censorship and the Effects of the Web (thejrexpress.com)
- Music Industry to Business: If We Can’t Buy SOPA/PIPA Laws, We’ll Just Sue You Instead (cloudave.com)
- The Music Format Bill of Rights (jdobypr.wordpress.com)
- Is the Music Industry Giving Up or Waking Up? (wire.kapitall.com)
- Internet Censorship (ourlovelywords.wordpress.com)
- Indie filmmakers says the MPAA is nothing more than a censorship group (inquisitr.com)
- File-sharing site Pirate Bay faces being blocked in UK after High Court rules it infringes copyright (dailymail.co.uk)
- Say NO to Government Censorship of the Internet in Pakistan (community.websense.com)
- Censorship is surveillance, and privacy is a public health problem (boingboing.net)
Well in case you missed it, some big, potentially industry-shaping headlines in the news this week. In the face of a recession investors are making big, often times bold stock moves, and (dare we say) reminiscent of “Web 1.0″ Bubble Burst days, Technology stocks are once again at the forefront.The recession couldn’t possibly have worse timing for social networking and the Web 2.0 digital media boon, as pockets tighten and Ad Budgets disappear. Seems like bad news as ComScore and BusinessWeek reports seem to indicate that users are growing tired of the increasingly aggressive advertising tactics being pushed by many of their online social networking havens:
Generation MySpace Is Getting Fed Up To complicate the Tech sector even more, this week we saw Microsoft make Yahoo “an offer it can’t refuse”. With an offer of $31 per share, it’s hard to believe that Yahoo execs still want to struggle and fight for independence. That offer has already been de-valued to $29 due to market repercussions since the announcement. The devaluation was lead by some of Microsoft’s long-time, big investors, who are now questioning the company’s management strategy, and beginning to dump stocks. However, the Yahoo acquisition represents a pretty significant move in the history of the Internet. Yahoo, the world’s largest Internet Portal services provider, is now poised for acquisition (and maybe even dismantling, though Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer denies such claims) by the Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest Operating System provider. If you read between the lines, Microsoft’s strategy seems clear:
Microsoft Poised Itself to Take Over Yahoo to the tune of $44.6 Billion Speaking of Google, they seem to have their own troubles lately, as analysts criticize the company’s latest foray into the Mobile sector. CNET especially took a close look at the Search giant’s newfound interest in everything Mobile in:
Is Mobile Really a Sure Thing For Google?
Seems like bad news across the board, for once, with the exception of the ongoing Writer’s Guild of America Strike. We picked up the trail of an interview with Disney company’s ex-CEO Michael Eisner, that seems to indicate the end of the WGA strikes could be as early as this weekend … Reports claim that it is finally coming to an end, much to the relief of an incredibly bored, frustrated North American TV audience. However, we’ll take these reports with a grain of salt until we hear it straight from the horse’s mouth… of course executive-types want this strike to be over, but shouldn’t we wait until the official WGA announcement before we start rejoicing?
Writer’s Strike “Effectively” Over Either way it seems like good news, and the strike may have been even better news for Canadian productions. Reports came in earlier this week as several major studios announced some pick-ups of Canadian content. At least 3 Canadian shows have been picked up for the prime-time, with more to possibly come as the studios scramble to fill their now gaping Fall 2008 line-up:
U.S. networks find Canadian shows ready for primetime
BC$ = Behavior, Content, Money
The goal of the BC$ project is to raise awareness and make changes with respect to the three pillars of information freedom - Behavior (pursuit of interests and passions), Content (sharing/exchanging ideas in various formats), Money (fairness and accessibility) - bringing to light the fact that:
1. We regularly hand over our browser histories, search histories and daily online activities to companies that want our money, or, to benefit from our use of their services with lucrative ad deals or sales of personal information.
2. We create and/or consume interesting content on their services, but we aren't adequately rewarded for our creative efforts or loyalty.
3. We pay money to be connected online (and possibly also over mobile), yet we lose both time and money by allowing companies to market to us with unsolicited advertisements, irrelevant product offers and unfairly structured service pricing plans.