Most of us hate reality TV by now. Sure, the first Survivor season was great, but after that they began to reproduce faster than bacteria in your kitchen sink. Now, every evening of TV features tens upon tens of different reality shows. But while they may suck on the regular tube, they tend to fare better on the web, beating out network series' that propel primetime TV rankings.
Just look at the Hitwise numbers for US broadcast network's websites above and the shows which receive the most interest. Reality TV pretty well monopolizes the market share. Why? Probably because reality TV tends to be very interactive, utilizing viewer feedback, voting, and other features that draw the viewer in, says Michael Learmonth from Silicon Valley Insider. And he makes another good point as well: as more and more ad dollars are siphoned to the internet, reality TV's success in cyberspace means that network's will continue to search for the next American Idol, so to speak. That means we won't be rid of reality TV anytime soon!
NHL.com will be launching a major web TV initiative just in time for the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs. A new online video player, 3 years worth of archived clips and footage and 7 channels featuring hours of programming per day are just the beginning of the NHL's strategy to move online.
The new video player, produced with NeuLion, will be a major improvement on last year's NHL Integrated Video Portal and home to 7 new channels to be organized around themes. The Hockey Show will feature new episodes every weekday from preseason to Stanley Cup and will have a VOD option, while The Playoff Channel will feature documentary-type vids called Journey to the Cup. The third channel that's been revealed so far, LiveWire, will focus on live events such as press conferences and also feature original programming. All the stations will have a sponsor who will use the stations as a targeted approach to launching products during the playoffs.
The new web TV move is only the beginning though. This summer, each NHL team will get its own channel to produce video for fans, and in the fall two new channels will launch as will NHL.com's entire website. The first channel coming this fall will be devoted to user-generated content, giving a fans an online voice. The second channel, called MyNHL, takes your registration information to target you with channels you'll probably like, and will allow you to take video from the website and embed it within your own.
The NHL has made a big move into the world of broadband as of late, signing deals with online video sites Hulu and Joost, and forming strategic relationships with YouTube and Sling Media.
With broadband connections that are too slow in North America to effectively playback HD video on the web, Adobe's Kevin Towe's says a new "HD Web Concept" is needed. For internet HD video playback, the solution is simply the H.264 file format.
Starz Media, a television production and distribution company that houses Anchor Bay Entertainment and Manga Entertainment, will launch on iTunes tonight. Starz typically distributes both proprietary and licensed content on DVD through bricks-and-mortar retail chains such as Best Buy, but Marc DeBevoise, SVP of business development and strategy believes that people will purchase episodic content through the iTunes platform "as long as it feels like free". Starz will debut with two sitcoms, Hollywood Residential and Head Case as well as four popular anime series'.
Starz Media video content is already available on Amazon Unbox and Xbox Live. We'll keep you updated as to what content will be available on iTunes.
China is cracking down on web video again. Just days after the Communist government blocked access to foreign video sites such as YouTube after a video of the ongoing Tibetan protests appeared, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said that 25 video-sharing sites have been ordered to shut down. 32 others will face penalties including Tudou, one of the most popular video sites in China.
The Chinese government has felt threatened by web video since day one. Mass media in China including all television stations are state-owned and at one point the Chinese government declared that all online video sites would have to be state-owned as well. They backed off however, when they realized that the profit potential generated by traffic numbers rivaling their state-owned TV stations would be stifled under Commie leadership.
A lot of worry on the part of the government is undoubtedly related to the Beijing Olympic Games this summer. Worry about the countries image being tarnished just ahead of such a dollar-generating event is valid, but any negative views of China are caused by the actions of the government, not the video-sharing sites. No matter how hard they try, the democratization of information will win in the end. What is the government going to do? Cut off internet access to China altogether? I don't think so.
It's about time we throw a wrench in the mix. We're more focused on the techie aspect of things here at TVSnob, but once in a while it's good to get outside of your comfort zone and check out something new. But don't worry, we won't take you to far. It's all TV-related of course. There's a design niche out there called kinematic typography, basically typography combined with motion. A number of designers out there have taken this concept and extended it into the world of TV and film, taking scenes out of popular films and interpreting them with typography. One of my all time fav films, Fight Club, has a couple of key scenes interpreted above. Check out another 9 films and shows at Always Watching.
Remember the Tom Cruise Scientology video Nick Denton made famous a couple of months back. You know, the one where the ever-so-crazy actor preaches about the bizarre Hollywood religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard. Well, to date the video has had nearly 3 million views on Gawker and we'd imagine that many page views would bring in a fairly sizable chunk of coin. But rumor has it that Nick Denton's bandwidth bill from the embedded YouTube video was a whopping $118, 000 from his provider Panther. Apparently though, Denton, famed for the things that come out of his mouth managed to talk the bill down to only $10, 000. For comparison sake, I would love to see a comparison between the bandwidth bill and the revenues the Cruise vid generated. Then we'll really see if there is a case for online video.
After all the rumorssurrounding YouTube going HD sometime this year, denied by the video-sharing subsidiary of Google, the platform is finally experimenting with high quality video. Over time more and more of the YouTube Community videos will have the option of being viewed in "high quality". For the moment, certain video will be chosen depending on the source file uploaded to the platform. Also recognize that you'll have the option of viewing the vids in "high quality", not high-definition...
Hulu is set to make its long-awaited public debut tomorrow after 5 long months of waiting. Back in early November, Hulu's library of video content was pretty thin, but upon launch tomorrow we can expect a huge selection of full-length movies, syndicated TV shows, current TV hits and even sports highlights. All in all, Hulu will offer free videos from more than 50 broadcast and cable networks, movie studios and other web content providers.
Paramount released their Voozoo Facebook app yesterday, enabling Facebook users to share thousands of movie clips with friends. After each clip is played, Paramount will briefly advertise the corresponding DVD and hopes to use the application as an innovative way of marketing new titles. As of last night the Voozoo Facebook group had 237 members, including myself.