The prestigious James MacTaggart lecture is a fixture at the annual MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. I’ve never attended one, but they’re always interesting and I look forward to catching up when they’re posted. This year’s lecture was given by Eric Schmidt, the Google Executive Chairman and, until this year, its CEO.
Here are some excerpts relevant to the focus of this blog:
Around 60% of Netflix rentals are the result of algorithmically generated recommendations.
What are the trends to watch? I can sum that up in three words: mobile, local and social. …¶… Reflecting on this, new genres of online content and services are emerging. If content is king, context is its crown – and one of the most important contextual signals is location. If you’re searching for coffee from your mobile,odds are you’re not looking for a Wikipedia entry, but for directions to a nearby café. ¶ Social signals are another powerful driver of behavior. If three of my friends highly rate a TV series, odds are I’d check it out even if reviewers say it’s rubbish. …
On TV viewing:
In fact, I don’t' expect TV viewing will ever switch to be entirely on-demand. There will always be a cultural pull, for some shows, on some occasions, to watch in real-time. Linear viewing remains remarkably robust – in 2010, over 90% of broadcast TV viewing remained ‘live.’
Erick Schonfeld reports on a new Yahoo study that shows the disappearance of a gap in online viewing caused by live TV that was present in 2009. He writes:
... Only two years ago, prime time showed the biggest dip in online video viewing as people turned off their computers and turned on their TVs. But now, more people are streaming TV shows and movies from services like Netflix and Hulu, and they tend to watch those videos during the same time period they previously watched regular TV. ...
Terry Heaton is a consultant primarily to commercial television who in my view has a great track record of anticipating disruptive change for broadcasters and recommending responsive strategies. His latest essay titled above is right on, for both commercial and public television.
Unbundled television is the polar opposite of the broadcast model, and media companies aren't prepared whatsoever to compete in this new universe. Everything that we know, everything that we practice, everything that we believe in is tied to that which bundles the content we create or distribute to the infrastructure that's doing the distributing. Separate the two, and we are fish out of water, flopping helplessly on the dock of user demand.
Don’t miss this essay, especially his eight recommendations. The only one I’d amend is the 7th on RSS, to which I’d add API distribution.
Verne G. Kopytoff writes of the pretty intense and growing competition for streaming rights to fresh film and television product. He writes:
… The weakness of the streaming service is movie selection. Netflix’s catalog of 20,000 streaming movies does not include many recent Hollywood hits because Netflix has been unable to negotiate rights from all the studios. Netflix has about five times as many titles in its DVD catalog. ¶ Many of the company’s studio deals require it to delay making titles available — either on DVD or online — until they have been on store shelves for 28 days. …
Jessica Clark has written a great overview of new public media initiatives with this title for Mark Glaser's MediaShift blog. Important tutorial for pubcasting execs; well worth your time. Link: PBS.org. --Dennis
first iteration of online video was about silly pet tricks on YouTube,
the next wave will be about professionally produced full-length content
such as TV shows, movies and live sports,” said Paul Verna, eMarketer
senior analyst. “This shift will be propelled by a combination of
technology integration, demographics and a growing comfort level with
the idea of watching video hosted on Websites.”