November 21 - 28, 2005
MIT C3 Industry Update
In this issue:
- new mobisodes arrive
- podcasting model evolves
- networks defend DVR
- the donald turns subservient
Download the PDF here: 2005-11-21
--------------- TRANSMEDIA ---------------
BIG MEDIA WARM UP TO FILE SHARING
When AOL and Warner Bros release full episodes of some 100 old TV shows for free, they will rely on special file-sharing network that AOL would control and which uses file-sharing technology from Kontiki.
Meanwhile, two Bit Torrent tracking sites specializing in files playable on the video iPod - iPod Video Torrents and Podtroplis - have emerged.
LOST JOINS THE MOBISODES BRIGADE
Yet another successful TV property migrates to the smaller screen. Lost makes its cellphone debut - 20 mobisodes of the Emmy-winning serial are currently in the process of being shot in Hawaii and will hit cell phones some time in 2006. The mobisodes characters will be related to the action on the TV show broadcast on ABC, but will be exclusive for mobisode broadcast.
NEW STUDY SHOWS WEAK DEMAND FOR MOBILE VIDEO
"The U.S. market for downloadable TV is likely to remain tiny for many years, with relatively few cell phone users bothering to take advantage of the feature. That's according to a recent study from Mobinet conducted among 4,000 cell phone users in 21 countries."
THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER TO COME OUT ON FILM
Will the Prince and the Pauper succeed on film, where Huck Finn, Charlie's Ghost Story and other works of Mark Twain have failed? Sony certainly hopes so - it's planning a film based on the book, with Mark Gordon (Saving Private Ryan, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) producing and Jeffrey Hatcher as screenwriter.
RED TROUSERS FILM AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND ON TIVO
Red Trouser, a documentary, and short film, directed by and starring Robin Shou, described as "a must-see for Hong Kong action fans" is available for free through TiVo Video Download in its unrated version.
TIME WARNER LAUNCHES INTERNET TV ON DEMAND
Time Warner just announced a new on-demand TV service over the internet called In2TV. Features: 100 series, 4,800 episodes of classic shows like Wonder Woman and Welcome Back Kotter. Rotating system of availability. No charge. 15-second irremovable ads. Streaming only, no downloads.
BBC: WILL PODCASTING KILL THE RADIO STAR?
Answer: it depends on the type of radio in question. News is safe, music is vulnerable. BBC reports from the trenches of the first podcasting conference in the US.
PENGUIN BOOKS LAUNCHED PODCAST
Penguin books has launched a podcast, "a fortnightly episode of book extracts, author interviews and features from Penguin Books UK."
CORDLESS SELLS MUSIC ONLINE
Warner Music gets with the program: its new record label Cordless is an online venture that releases and sells music on the Cordless site. Full-track streaming is (remarkably) featured, which alone makes Cordless a better experience than iTMS. Artists retain ownership of their masters; again, remarkable. Bands are signed for 21 months, and a licensing arrangement can continue for three years after that.
--------------- ADVERTISING ---------------
PODCASTING BIZ PIECES ARE FALLING INTO PLACE
Several podcasting-based products appeared in the last few days:
• Podtrac (http://podtrac.com/) debuted a set of third party audience measurement tools.
• Audible (http://www.audible.com) said it would track podcast audiences and ad impressions within individual audio files.
• Fruitcast (http://www.fruitcast.com) will automatically embed short ads into MP3 files of participating podcasts.
• Podzinger (http://www.podzinger.com) indexes podcasts and enables search within podcasts (as opposed to searching tags only).
With the technology pieces falling into place, we can expect to see models that will rely on dynamically-served context-sensitive podcast ads.
NETWORKS CLAIM DVR IS GOOD FOR TV ADS
Researchers from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN and the WB took the unusual step Wednesday of appearing together to share data about the impact of DVRs on TV-watching habits. Preliminary data shows that homes with DVRs average 12 percent more television viewing than those that don't have them, the researchers said.
The press conference comes at a time when more than half (58%) of ad industry execs "have changed or expect to change their ad buys in response to DVRs," and 80% say the recorders, which allow viewers to bypass commercials, will have a "significant" impact on the 30-second spot. (http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6283650.html?display=Breaking+News&referral=supp)
STUDY SHOWS ADVERTISERS CAUTIOUS ABOUT NEW MEDIA
"While industry leaders are very concerned about new media, most are tentative about its effectiveness. Blogs, podcasts and Web-enabled cell phones are seen as relatively weak advertising vehicles. Of all nontraditional ad tactics, the single-sponsor buyout of media, e.g. Target and The New Yorker, was rated the most effective."
WRITERS GUILD LAUNCHES SUBSERVIENT DONALD
Writers Guild of America that pushes for limits on product placement has launched a Subservient Donald website as part of a larger campaign. The Donald dances, wears pantyhose, and peddles paper towels.
FOCUS GROUPS COME UNDER FIRE
"Exasperation with focus groups, while not universal, is growing as companies look for better ways to get inside consumers' heads, often assisted by new technology and the Internet." Business Week looks at alternative approaches for probing consumer brains.
--------------- TOOLS & TECH ---------------
AdEvolver is a template-based print advertising software that allows small businesses to create print ads without the need for outsourcing the design work. It works much like BRANDflex, the solution behind the award-winning Harley Davidson Ad Planner, "a CD-ROM-based application to walk motorcycle dealers step-by-step through the ad generation process."
A how-to on creating 3D "red-blue" anaglyph images from two pictures, and on converting single 2D pictures into 3D anaglyphs:
Tabletop vibration sound system by Fostex could be used for turning billboards into giant speakers.
Slingbox enables consumers to stream content from their DVRs or TVs onto remote computers through internet.
Dream Arcades builds custom arcade cabinets, tables and kits that can incorporate any off-the-shelf gaming hardware (XBox, PS2).
--------------- END NOTE ---------------
Fans as Critics and Authenticators
by Sam Ford
One of my research areas is the world of soap opera, particularly the fans of CBS/P&G soap "As the World Turns." I follow the Media-Domain board (http://www.mediadomain.com/cgi-bin/netforum/atwt/a.cgi/3-124) where viewers react to the show, debate and share spoilers of what will happen next, analyzing storylines, write fan fiction and come up with fictional scenarios.
A particularly important function to the fans is that the most active and hardcore ones also see their role as being a critic and an authenticator of what the show is producing.
Because fans have become really invested in a property, they feel that they sometimes know the true nature of characters better than the writers who are scripting the show, so that they react to what is "true" or "not true" to the nature of a particular character or the show in general. In this case, two respected veterans of daytime television have been playing characters on the show for a while. The fans seem to respect the actors but find both characters to be not-so-good fits in the "feel" of the show. News has just come out that both characters will be leaving the show in a couple of months, and the reaction indicated in the post makes it clear that the fans feel vindicated by this because the producers are acknowledging that they are right.
While many television producers seem to react to these most hardcore of fans with anger because they are the hardest to please, it is important to realize that these fans are also the most loyal who are helping to recruit others. Message boards such as this one demonstrate the complications of trying to reach out to new fans while also keeping the hardcore fan base satisfied.
Compiled by Ilya, Sam, Alec, Geoff, Ivan and Parmesh
Edited and signed off by Ilya (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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