AOL Move Supports Klopfenstein Theory

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Perhaps AOL should have read my blog sooner. As I will continue to write, Americans are used to making a trade: subsidized content in exchange for exposure to ads. If you see some of the clever ways web sites are coming up with, especially in the last 6-8 months, you will be amazed to see what viewers will put up with by way of advertising in exchange for "free" content.

As a related aside, the minutes used by cable networks such as TBS, A&E, and most mainstream cable networks is almost mind-boggling. I have what I call the "flu test." Let's say a favorite move of yours airs on TBS and it's actual running time is 1 hour, 17 minutes. In all liklihood, it will take 2 hours to run on TBS or one oc its competitors. Ironically, I am not familiar with any published research on this. If anyone has, please drop me a line, I will post it here, an give you the credit (unless you don't want it). Oh, the flu test implies you have the TV on while quite sick, you don't change the channel with the remote, and you first notice just how many comercials you are seeing.

There is reseach that shows audience members will not put up with EVERYTHING, but American audiences are conditioned to expect advertising. Having said this, in discussions I've had with members and observers of the cable industry, they are aware that they are oversaturating their content with advertising. The question to me, (c) 2006 Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein, is when will a channel like National Geographic or any other hold themselves to, say, 8 minutes of commercials an hour, advertise it the way radio stations do, and gain loyal viewers who would be just as happy watching a show about volcanos on National Geographic than, say, one on the last ice age on the similarly commercially bloated Discovery channel.

There is a simple economic model that I would hypothesize is in operation here: the law of diminishing returns. Starting with a channel like Turner Classic Movies with no commercials (some limited promotions), and then add commercial time in 30 second increments. Initially, audiences would be very tolerant. By the time we reach 10 minutes of commercials, for example, we may start to lose audience (if only to channel surfing during commercials with no return to TCM). Adding incremental 30 second commercials beyond 10 minutes will start to take its toll. Perhaps by 25 minutes of commercials, 85% of the audience will leave TCM and not return.

If you have any citations on such research, email it and I will give you credit if you wish it.

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!


IPTV to Arrive Shocklingly Fast

accessed 2 August 2006

Go ahead and quote me: the growth and impact of IPTV are being underestimated. It's easy to recall overly optimistic forecasts (HDTV existed in the early 1980s), but sometimes emerging media surprise everyone. Backyard C-band satellite receivers became commonplace in Appalachia, CDs replaced LPs in only a few years, and DVDs shocked the video world. IPTV is out there already life a fertile field waiting to be seeded. So a sample article from today:

"And IPTV will provide new revenue streams never before explored by these entities..."

My own research expertise includes forecasting new media, so I will disavow any endorsement of the following article other than to note that if everyone believes IPTV is the next wave, there could be an ensuing stampede creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. My students note that this source is biased favorably to the diffusion of IPTV products and services. They are not nuetra. Please note that IPTV makes possible the notion of video content anywhere, any time. It's difficult to exaggerate the potential changes in the electronic media businesses even 5 years from now:

Demand for digital TV content seen surging

By Riza T. Olchondra
Last updated 07:08am (Mla time) 08/02/2006

DEMAND for digital TV content is expected to surge, and whoever can best provide Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) will dominate the market, an official of router specialist Juniper Networks Ltd. said.

IPTV will blur the business lines between telecommunications companies, cable operators, Internet service providers and content providers, said Peter Lam, the marketing manager of Juniper Networks based in Hong Kong.

And IPTV will provide new revenue streams never before explored by these entities, Lam said.

IPTV is a system in which TV programs are delivered in digital format to subscribers through a broadband connection. It is often bundled with VOD, or video on demand, and may also include Internet services, such as Web access and voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP.

Apart from giving consumers the means to enjoy smooth and fast delivery of TV shows, IPTV allows viewers to time-shift -- to choose when to view the program they want.

Consumers may also become broadcasters, Lam said. Much like in blogging and podcasting, even individuals or groups without high-tech broadcasting facilities could set up their own TV shows, he said.

Source: http://business.inq7.net/money

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!


Keeping Up: 2 Interactive Television Companies

Now I'm not one to assume that because a company announces they have "joint agreements" or "letters of intent" to mean that any of that will come to fruition. Still, this blog is my personal online stream of consciousness thinking that I also hope will help my students as they enter an entirely different media landscape as will this year's Class of 2011.

So here is public information available from biz.yahoo.com and I take no responsibility for the accuracy of their statements. You should check them out for yourself. Here are two players: PTV and Interactive Television Networks, Inc.

First, from http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/17/17004.html accessed 30 July 2006, is PTV:

If you think soccer-related Web content is premium, check out PTV. The company owns Premium TV, which operates Web sites and provides other new media services for British soccer teams. The company was created in 2003 under the name NTL Europe to hold the non-UK assets of UK-based cable television company NTL. NTL Europe changed its name to PTV in 2004 after shedding most of its cable holdings and shifting focus to its Premium TV subsidiary, which manages about 85 team Web sites. PTV also owns the UK interactive-television company Two Way TV, a provider of entertainment content through television, broadband Internet, and mobile phones.

And in no particular order, here is Interactive Television Networks, Inc. taken from http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/119/119411.html accessed 30 July 2006:

Leave it to the Internet to make TV less passive. Interactive Television Networks (ITVN), formerly Radium Ventures, provides direct-to-consumer broadcasts and services through the Internet to subscribers who own one of the company's television set-top boxes. ITVN's Silver Screen Network is the result of a licensing agreement with Academy Entertainment for the rights to some 1,500 classic movies, including some starring John Wayne and Charlie Chaplin. In 2006 the company launched ITVN Radio, which provides subscription access to more than 1,800 radio stations from 80-plus countries. President Michael Martinez owns about 26% of ITVN.

Ownership rights to material including John Wayne and Charlie Chapman? Don't be fooled. RCA's videodisc player opened with old NBC shows and even some "free" governent films (just like MTV used when it "launched" its service showing a public domain video of an Apollo rocket taking off.

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!

IPTV Guide

Well, I suspect there will be quite a battle of IPTV guides (i.e., remember how Yahoo! started?). Here's one of the first I've seen, but tell me which are the best:


Much more to come. And office managers were worried about music on employee computers?

Above is the clickable map www.iptv-guide.com offers users.