Google TV: Snatching Failure From The Jaws Of Success?

When I first saw Google TV at the Google developer conference in May I was impressed. Google appeared to have created a powerful new combination of TV and web -- and a new market for itself -- built on the Android OS. But since that time the company has very publicly stumbled, getting blocked by the major networks and receiving very mixed reviews for the service itself. Now Google has apparently asked several TV OEM partners to delay launch of their versions of Google TV at next month's Consumer Electronics Show "so that it can refine the software," says the NY Times. A representative examp [...]

Mobile’s New Frontier: Optimized Video

The mobile market continues to grow as we head into 2011. Specifically, the smartphone market has seen an enormously robust 96% growth rate from Q3 2009 to Q3 2010. According to the October 2010 market data from Nielsen, Apple’s iOS (27.9%) and Google’s Android (27.9%) platforms command the largest share of high-end, media-capable smartphones. While operating system version weren’t accounted for, it can be assumed these numbers represent a majority of the most recent firmware iterations for each respective platform, which support the latest web technologies. And considering the data supp [...]

YouTube Releases Top Videos & Searches For 2010

YouTube has announced their top watched videos and top search queries. The top watch videos are broken out by major label music videos and excluding major label music videos. First the top search queries: January - haiti February - luge March - eclipse trailer April - ipad May - eminem not afraid June - shakira waka waka July - double rainbow August - bed intruder September - halo reach October - whip my hair November - firework Top Watched videos excluding major label music videos: BED INTRUDER SONG!!! (now on iTunes) TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke - Key of [...]

Viacom To Appeal YouTube Lawsuit Loss

As expected, Viacom is planning to appeal its loss in a long-running copyright case against YouTube/Google. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Viacom may file its appeal as soon as tomorrow (Friday). Viacom sued YouTube in early 2007, claiming copyright infringement because YouTube users had posted thousands of clips from Viacom-owned programs. The case reached its first "conclusion" when Google/YouTube won a summary judgment this past June -- the judge ruling that the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects Google from copyright claims over the activity of its users. A Goo [...]

Apple TV: My First Day Review & Impressions

I've been looking at various internet-to-TV devices as part of my Life With Google TV series. I've covered Google TV, Roku & Boxee Box so far. Time for Apple TV! If you buy a lot with iTunes or have an iPhone or iPad, this is a great device. Amazing, in some ways. But the lack of Hulu and Amazon support puts it behind Roku, in my view. Real Life Testing Approach As I said with my Boxee review, my approach with these devices has been to use them as if I know nothing little-to-nothing about them. How might a typical consumer start with them, if they selected one from the several choices o [...]

Roku + Hulu Plus = Pretty Awesome

Last week, the Roku player gained support for Hulu Plus. I've been trying out the combo for the past few days, and it's pretty awesome. It further fulfills the promise of streaming TV content from the internet and back to your TV in the way that Google TV hasn't. Roku: My First Day Review & Impressions is my look at the Roku box and how it works from last month. That piece also covers Hulu Plus, a version of Hulu that allows access to more episodes that the regular Hulu offers -- for a $8 per month fee. The Hulu Plus price just dropped last week from $10 per month. Coinciding with th [...]

Viacom Blocks Google TV From Airing Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon

GTVHub reports that Google TV is now being blocked by Viacom. Shows such on popular networks such as Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon are not viewable via the Google TV. Previously, ABC, CBS and NBC blocked Google TV and so did Fox many of those channels returned to Google TV soon after. Viacom, which has a long history with battling Google over YouTube, has surprisingly not blocked Google TV until now. Now, if you try to access any of the Viacom channels, you will see a message that reads: Sorry, this content is unavailable for your device. For more stories on this n [...]

Google TV Ads Coming To Verizon FiOS TV Customers

Google has announced a partnership with Verizon to have Google TV Ads power some of the ads on the Verizon FiOS TV network. The ads should begin showing in "early 2011" and be seen by about "35 million households, or almost one-third of all US cable and satellite homes." To learn more about Google TV Ads, see Mark Piesanen, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Google TV Ads said, "Like Google, Verizon cares deeply about the evolution and future of TV advertising. Together we're thrilled to establish this partnership to offer great inventory and access to your [...]

Hulu Plus Rides To The Rescue Of Google TV?

Hulu Plus, the ad-reduced subscription service from Hulu, just dropped its price to $7.99 from $9.99. It just launched on the Roku box as well. It's also on the iPad and a range of TVs. The company plans to push distribution to a wide range of devices, reportedly including Google TV. That would circumvent some of the problems Google has experienced with the networks blocking access to their content. The combination of Hulu Plus for $7.99 and Netflix streaming for $7.99/8.99 will be sufficient to convince some people to drop their cable. That may be more challenging if it's part of a bun [...]

Clicker CEO Jim Lanzone, Busting Internet TV Myths

Is the future of "internet TV" those little boxes that are appearing everywhere? No, says Clicker CEO Jim Lanzone, who also busted a number of other net-to-TV myths, from his perspective. Lanzone gave a short address at the Web 2.0 Summit today. He oversees Clicker, which is a guide to television, movie and select other video content that's available online. Fair to say, he's been watching the space closely. And from his perspective, many people who are wondering where things may be going are getting it wrong. Why? Enter his "You know you're old if" points, as they pertain to internet TV [...]

YouTube Passes 2 Billion Viewing Sessions; Hulu Shows 1.1 Billion Video Ads

Impressive numbers related to video viewing and ad impressions today: According to the latest comScore statistics, YouTube passed the two billion session threshold in October and Hulu showed more than a billion video ads. For the month, YouTube ("Google sites" below) saw an increase in both unique viewers and in viewing sessions. It's the first time YouTube has passed two billion sessions in a month. While Hulu may be at the bottom of that chart (based on unique viewers), it's the top video site when it comes to ad impressions. comScore says Hulu showed a record 1.1 billion video ad [...]

Boxee Box: My First Day Review & Impressions

As part of my Life With Google TV series, I’ve been looking at other internet-to-TV devices. Previously, I reviewed Roku. Next up? The Boxee Box. If you're already a fan of the Boxee software service, the device might be worth it. However, it left me underwhelmed. That may improve when Netflix & Hulu Plus support finally comes. My Real Life Testing Approach I know that Boxee has legions of fans who have been using the software version for ages. If you're one of those ready to scream at me about why the Boxee Box is awesome, hang on to those thoughts for a moment. My approach with th [...]

The Networks vs. Google: Fox Now Blocking Google TV Too

Fox Broadcasting has become the fourth major US network to block Google TV from accessing its programing. The Rupert Murdoch-owned entity joins ABC, CBS and NBC, which all  previously blocked Google TV access to their shows. Google has said it's "actively negotiating" with ABC, CBS and NBC to restore access to the programming. Add Fox to that list. I believe the programming dispute will ultimately be resolved but the networks are arguably in the stronger bargaining position; Google needs them more than they need Google here -- especially if "cord cutting" isn't happening and they don't ne [...]

YouTube Topic Search Offers Way To “Explore” Related Videos

Around 6pm tomorrowPacific Time, YouTube will be making YouTube Topic Search available through its TestTube "labs" area. The new feature allows people to easily explore videos by topic. I got a demo of this about three weeks ago, and it's pretty cool. For example, you can search for videos and then narrow them down into areas such as "LOL" to find those that are especially funny. The screenshot below, which YouTube sent me, give you a flavor for the new feature: Since it's not actually live, I can't do further screenshots that show how when you select one of the Explore topics, yo [...]

How Old Spice Found The Sweet Smell Of Viral Video Success

In a recent session at SMX East, I discussed "The Five M's: A roadmap for creating and executing winning YouTube campaigns." The session dissected multiple layers of genius at work in the Old Spice campaign created and executed by Wieden+Kennedy. So let’s dive in and consider the Five M's that will keep your YouTube campaigns smelling great. 1. Move No. You don’t need to "move" from a shower, to a boat, to a horse in one continuous shot. You do, however, need to move your audience emotionally. Start with a clear vision of how you want people to react to your video or interact with yo [...]

Roku: My First Day Review & Impressions

Until recently, I'd never heard of Roku, a little box that makes it easy to download TV shows and movies through the internet, for viewing on your TV. But as part of my Life With Google TV series, I'm looking at other internet-to-TV devices. Roku is pretty cool, and a no brainer for anyone who often uses Netflix or Amazon rentals, I'd say. It's forthcoming Hulu support makes it even more attractive. Roku and Google TV are similar in that they bring video content from the internet to your television. But that's where the similarities end. Google TV an ambitious attempt to let you search for [...]

Life With Google TV: Watching, But Not Finding, Free Caprica Episodes On The Web

My Life With Google TV series continues. Yesterday's test: how well could Google TV locate free (and legitimate) episodes of Caprica on the web? Answer: not very well. But once I found them the old fashioned way, Google TV did make it pretty easy to watch them on the "big" screen of my TV, versus my laptop. I always seems to be missing episodes of new TV shows when a season begins. The promise of Google TV is that wherever a TV show might exist legitimately -- be it pay-per-view, broadcast TV or on the web -- Google TV will locate it. Looking For Caprica Using Google TV Yesterday, I tried [...]

A Tour Of How Networks Have Blocked Google TV From Their Web Content

After less than a week since its release, three of America's largest television networks have started blocking Google TV users from watching video content on their web sites. Sort of. While ABC and CBS keep Google TV viewers out, as does Hulu, NBC actually still seems to let them in. Below, a visual look at the blocked world of Google TV. Google TV & Network Content Before doing the blocking tour, I think some basics are in order. For one, none of the networks are blocking Google TV users from accessing broadcast television. You can still go to ABC, CBS and NBC directly to watch over-the [...]

Optimizing For Google TV

Google TV is here! It includes a full web browser, so if you have a lot of video content, you might want to optimize for larger screens and audiences who are sitting on their couches. Fortunately, Google has published some optimization tips. In a blog post, they suggest optimizing for the "10-foot user interface" and a remote rather than a mouse, which they've done with YouTube videos with YouTube Leanback. The post links to their TV viewing design guide and recommends ensuring: The text is viewable from the "sofa-to-TV" distance Navigation can be done from the arrows of a remote rath [...]

Networks To Google TV: Talk To The Hand

TV is changing for better or worse. And perhaps sensing that their control over audiences and distribution is further slipping away and that their expensive programming is being reduced to mere "content," the major broadcast networks are blocking access from Google TV. According to a story this afternoon in the Wall Street Journal: Full-length episodes of shows like NBC's "The Office," CBS's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," and ABC's "Modern Family" can't be viewed on Google TV . . . Spokespeople for the three networks confirmed that they are blocking the episodes on their [...]

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