Monday, August 10, 2009

Delicious Today: online video, content, Twitter, $$

#1: UK: Faster broadband won't make us watch more TV online, viewers tell survey
#2: U.S.: The Audience for Online Video-Sharing Sites Shoots Up
This survey in UK found that "53% of people would not watch more online TV or video clips even with a faster, more reliable broadband connection. Some 29% of the 2,123 viewers surveyed felt that there was "little importance" in being able to watch TV using an online service." The trend of online video watching in U.S. appears to be opposite. A 2009 survey by Pew found that online video "has started move into the spaces that are typically reserved for traditional television viewing."

In the competition for audience between online video and traditional television, online wins in terms of content choice but television scores higher in simplicity. Having to tolerate technical inconvenience to access video, online viewers are much more picky about content and have shorter attention span. For public broadcasters, this means that quality of content should be their concern number one. If a program has no compelling content, putting more episodes or distributing it to more places online will have much less return for their investment than having less but really good content that resonates with viewers.

#3: Traffic on the Nones
It's a video about Aha, an impressive iPhone app that provides traffic information. Users will never need radio again for intermittent traffic reports. Weather may be another category of content that listeners don't need radio for in the future. What should radio stations respond to it? They should really focus on offering things that nobody else can do better.

#4: Spot.Us, pioneer of crowdfunded journalism, preps for expansion
#5: How Steve Brill pitched newspaper executives on charging for online content — and why they’re buying it
These are two examples of latest search for a viable business model of online journalism. asks readers to micro-fund journalism projects at $20 per reader per story. Brill's Journalism Online company is selling an e-commerce engine that "allows customers to have one easy-to-use account common to all the publishers' websites" by paying an annual, monthly, or per-article fees.

Public broadcasters can't really sell their content. But the ideas of crowd-funding and common e-commerce engine are worth thinking about. During public radio pledge drives, I often hear listeners a bit surprised and disappointed that they can't demand to which program their donation should go, because all pledges go to the overall fund of a station. Allowing listener to decide which program their donation (or part of it) should go to may give more incentive for donation and encourage more internal competition among programs thus higher quality content and more innovation. An e-commerce engine shared by stations can not only cut down infrastructure and fund-raising cost, but also allow system-wide innovation more easily.

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