Posts filed under ‘Big Players’
Mozilla’s Firefox could lose the love of many if it continues its guerilla tactic of interfering with browsing with IE. People like to make their own choices. And to have your viewing highjacked while in process is simply annoying. I downloaded Firefox having heard the buzz; yet, the only way to get it to stop this behavior is to remove it. I thought Firefox could take the place of grace. One of our programmers said, “I don’t use Firefox because of this annoying intrusion”. Be careful Mozilla, this behavior is unlike the glowing chatter in the marketplace. I’ll bet the buzz is abating.
Seems getting a payment from Google Adsense is not what you’d imagine. And even if you are a top world blogger the revenues are so small that I quote Chris Anderson (of Long Tail fame), “Don’t give up your day job”. When a prolific web 2.0 thinker and serial entrepreneur like Guy Kawasaki warrants (according to Google) revenues as low as $200 + per month for his blog with an average of 6,200 page views per day…the revenue is inane. That is simply discouraging to all bloggers seeking revenue. There are now several paid advertising networks like PayPerPost that render far greater revenues for your blogging time. And Guy has moved his ad management from Google Adsense to Federated Media.
Time is money. That will never change. The internet is no longer about pennies. The value of a page view is high compared to traditional media and far greater in value than set by Adsense at less that 1 cent per view. Remember we are talking about viewers who actively come to your site or blog–not intrusively interrupted by an unrequested message. This is where the gold is. Everyone is asleep at the wheel on this. Guy Kawasaki’s blog: High, high value. Top 100 blogs too. Top 1,000. Top 10,000. And then there are the niches who don’t make the top but have an unshakable following. I’ve been in the ad biz all my adult life and I stake my livelihood on it.
The industry needs to rethink! The distributors need to take a smaller cut and compensate quality content producers for their real value. There’s not a moment to waste here. If left unchecked, the outcome will be the attrition of quality blogs. The Kitty Liner magazine (parody-dont’ go looking for the URL) and The New Yorker are not at the same page price. Value must be reflected. Time for a market correction. Now.
The Venice Project, another creation by the founder of Skype, Janus Friis, is in beta. It’s the long-awaited internet TV beginning to sprout! Although systems require gobs of ram (512mb) and good video memory (48MB) and 600 mhz of speed, most PCs can now easily accomodate. The interface is nice and crisp and allows you select channels, programs, etc… with ease. Does this spell the end of the top box? Apple is delivering its own this January (last I heard). If so, Yahoo! (no pun). I once heard the word streaming is outdated–”internet TV” is indeed the cool new term. And it’s getting more real and real close.
For advertisers, this spells a new medium, targeted and affordable. Since Venice is aimed at delivering free TV, advertising is how it will monetize itself and compensate the content producers.
Question is, how will service providers kick-up their offerings to accomodate internet TV? This is surely a satellite TV killer which bundles unwanted offerings at a high cost. Now customers can customize their their programming selections with ease. That’s authentic one-to-one marketing offering brand relevance to advertisers as never before. We are in for a luxurious gondola ride in Venice.
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have agreed to support the SiteMaps protocol today, upgrading the quality of search results under the stratosphere. Finalement! This spells a death challenge to crawl algorithms which until now controlled searches. Now SiteMaps enabled search engines look for content on web sites–it’s that semantic thing that’s blossoming on the web. It’s about the way humans function and not scripts. I love it. Kudos to our behemoths. This standard offers site owners one simple way to share information with all search engines simply by publishing a site map (I am belting out instructions to our programmmers as I post!). It’s free and that should make its adoption viral by developers everywhere.
Google is rumored to be courting YouTube (not yet profitable but it does broadcast a reported 100 million videos each day) for $1.6 billion as we speak. No doubt this will be its biggest acquisition yet. But don’t reach for the Rolaids yet because Rupert Murdoch, Yahoo, Viacom and Microsoft, also have their eyes on YouTube. By all accounts, Google seems ahead of the race. Until 2006 Google was on a steady diet of smaller start-ups that provide turn-key features to Google’s various tools. But the YouTube ten-course meal is a good one. For Google who has had some difficulty with building communities via video sharing, YouTube will prove useful. And for YouTube, tormented by claims of intellectual property, Google could be its salvation. It will be interesting to see how Google integrates this complex platform and content into its own, never mind the difficulties of merging itself. Google’s steady diet could slow its innovation especially when we hear Sergey Brin repeatedly admonishing his organization to not develop any new products but rather, improve on the products they have. This in the same year staff functioned within a culture of innovation, where 20% of their salaried time was freed to start something new. Slowing innovation… True to the nature of a corporate behemoth.
Yahoo’s appetite is no less sizeable as it negotiates to buy Facebook, a social networking site, for over $1 billion. The feasting has undoubtedly been fueled by Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of MySpace (a rivalling social network of sorts to Facebook) for $580 million. It is now valued at $2 billion.The conglomerates want to buy before this type of valuation escalation uhh… escalates! Gosh this sounds more and more like the bubble of the recent past: sky-high valuations on unmonetized properties. For social networks only advertising will provide revenue and unlike the bubble there is now a keen and mature interest by advertisers since audiences (especially youngs ones) have grown up on new media and are virtually absent in traditional media ratings. I just can’t understand why traditional media are never at the bargaining table. It will be their undoing. Is Rupert Murdoch the only player with neurons firing?
Last Thursday, September 28, a US federal court ruled for Google against a small player that it’s OK if Google sells ads to advertisers adjacent to name searches for their competitors. (Why does Bill Gates saying “it’s like they’re asking us to put a Pepsi in a six pack of Coke” come to mind). Issues of intellectual property rage on.
The small company, Rescuecom, argued Google was breaking trademark law by “free-riding” on the brand equity in their name. Also that Google made it difficult for searchers to find Rescuecom’s web site by deliberately doing the following: manipulating the search results, hence using the trademark internally.
Hmmmm. Gives us pause.
Rescuecom is contemplating an appeal. David Milman, founder and chief executive of the company, states, “A dangerous precedent has been set that allows a behemoth to pit smaller competitors against one another, while it rakes in the additional revenue”. “The immense power enjoyed by Google will be compounded by this ugly tactic as advertisers clamor to reach critical online audiences. Rescuecom will not be the last company hurt by this scheme.”
This case may set a precedent in trademark case law (if the ruling is not overturned on appeal): that keywords are not trademarks. Yet Google lost trademark lawsuits filed by designer Louis Vuitton in June 2006, and last year, by Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts. So this is not global consensus. Again the new world services must tread carefully when travelling out of N.A.
The release form will become an important tool on the web. Don’t steal this idea lest I pursue you but shouldn’t someone start a release service? http://www.pleasereleaseme-letmego.com. Don’t click this — it’s a parody!! I have not obtained a release from Engelbert yet.
All these skirmishes have driven me to get that Creative Commons button uploaded to my blog “forthwith”. Et tu?
Web content services are now starting to negotiate user rates lest they be sued by studios (sound or screen) or authors for sharing their content. A lawsuit was launched by a journalist against YouTube in July for copyright infringment. Now the head of Universal Music is blasting YouTube and threatening to take action with the same cause. The value web services like YouTube bring to these studios is shadowed by the windfall the studios can obtain in US courts notorious for generous judgments. But this is incredibly short-sighted. Other media corporations see the future value and are cooperating with YouTube and similar services. The studios and media were asleep at the wheel while folks at Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo! (to name few) and YouTube where busily developing the technology to enable massive entertainment distribution. YouTube reports 100 million viewers per day–that nears superbowl status! Gives me goosebumps. YouTube may be the poster child for opportunistic studios who were slow to act in a whole new paradigm. Surely the Belgium claim against Google will serve as fodder in a YouTube settlement or ruling. Brace yourself for more action; ambulance chasers are actively sniffing every opportunity (it’s more lucrative than a “slip and fall” practice).
What’s sad for start-ups like YouTube is that they are barely monetized with mostly VC money keeping them afloat. The pressure is on to tack ads on videos, web pages and perhaps even start charging a fee to users–so they can compensate the content producers whoever they may be. While studios were slow, the devices were even slower at keeping up the pace. The masses don’t want to watch TV or movies on their computers; however mobile devices have great appeal. Apple will be the first to offer the Apple iTV module early in 2007 making TV viewing possible. Yet analog TV still reigns. Digital TV is in progress. Broadband isn’t here yet–not for internet TV.
Perhaps there should be a fee levied by content producers (counterpoint) but value must also be placed on distribution. And valuators must assess the value of distribution and audiences delivered by YouTube–it is high and not to be undervalued. (We need the equivalent of Nielsen ratings for the web.) YouTube should be on the offensive and recognize their immense power and value in building these entertainment brands and their many licenisng initiatives. For Hollywood it is free advertising. It is a two-way street. And this is not about replicating the old model where all is downloaded to the audience–after all YouTube cannot sell buckets of popcorn at 100 times the cost; this revenue stream is just not there. Can surfers tolerate streamed 30 second spots in the TV model? This intrusiveness is what endeared users to the web. So many questions.
The studios need the YouTubes; hence, visionary media players are now collaborating. I do not believe YouTube will go the way of Napster. We are at a “medium tail” point. Change always meets with resistance. People kept burning oil lamps when bulbs were in use. I for one am offering my dirge herein at no fee but I always expect credit. Aye! there’s the rub.