Hardware

Trends in rich media consumption and delivery

Comment

media

Here’s an interesting Q and A session with a panel of experts in the rich media industry — mostly online video – that took place last Tuesday at the Pacific Crest Technology Leadership Forum in Vail, Colorado. The members of the panel:

  • Ron Bloom, CEO, MEVIO
  • Mike Hudack, CEO, Blip.tv
  • Steve Liddell, CEO, Panther Express
  • Joy Marcus, General Manager, DailyMotion U.S.
  • Perry Wu, CEO, BitGravity

Here are the questions, followed by a brief synopsis of the answers, followed by the complete answers in MP3 format.

Q: How has the behavior of the consumer changed over the past year?

  • Joy Marcus – We’re seeing a lot of people moving from high-level, squeaky clean Hollywood stuff to more gritty “Pro-tail” stuff, which is semi-professional, long-tail content.
  • Ron Bloom – Consumers are tired of watching TV. They’ll make their own 30 minutes of entertainment. The real goal is to displace television viewing with a type of viewing that’ll attract brand advertisers. The audience is okay with advertising, they just want a little more freedom of choice. Audience doesn’t know the difference between professionally produced content and garage content – they just know what they like.
  • Mike Hudack – People are starting to use YouTube as a search repository. Other services are better for entire shows to be delivered similar to how a DVR works. We’re seeing more and more people embracing episodic content.

Audio (7:24): http://old.crunchgear.com/audio/richmedia01.mp3

Q: What are your thoughts on time spent online, traffic, and consumption?

  • Perry Wu – We haven’t seen a slowdown in the media space. We’re just putting more and more media on the Internet. Traffic continues to grow on an exponential curve. There’s a seasonality to our business but there’s still a lot more content than there was a year ago, so we see a lot more traffic.

Audio (3:24): http://old.crunchgear.com/audio/richmedia02.mp3 

Q: Broadband has been a big driver. What else can we look forward to as far as driving traffic is concerned?

  • Steve Liddell – Live events are growing exponentially. Live is way more important than anyone thought it was going to be. Applications built around live events make it really compelling to watch things online – chat features, gaming, etc.

Audio (1:38): http://old.crunchgear.com/audio/richmedia03.mp3

Q: What kind of metrics matter to you?

  • Ron Bloom – You have to understand who your customer is. Our customer is the audience, our partner is the owner of the content, and the beneficiary of that relationship is the advertiser. We’re not driven by viral content, stolen content, or pornography, we’re driven by creating an entertainment environment that engages the audience.
  • Mike Hudack –  One of the most important metrics you can watch is the amount of a particular video that somebody watches. It needs to resonate with someone right away. The average time before someone clicks away is eight seconds.
  • Joy Marcus – We’re known for a very high quality video player. We’re also now offering HD, which has been a big focus for us. Quality of content is important but so is the quality of the experience.
  • Mike Hudack – There’s also a challenge about where your content is distributed. What if an ad for Holiday Inn is shown on a blog that trashes the travel industry?

Audio (11:07): http://old.crunchgear.com/audio/richmedia04.mp3

Q: In terms of user generated content, will we ever be able to monetize it or will it just be a traffic driver?

  • Ron Bloom – Google did two interesting things. One, they made search into a pastime. Two, they made advertising for everyone except brands. What’s missing is that there’s no safe haven for brands. The audience is getting tired of user generated content. A new group of companies and service providers is emerging. Can you build a large enough audience to rival television so that you can give brand advertising the audience you have with television along with the efficiencies of the internet?
  • Mike Hudack – One of the problems that YouTube has and viral video has in general with user generated content is that you can monetize it, but do they have the right to monetize that content?
  • Joy Marcus – We have to distinguish between display advertising and in-video advertising. We have no problem monetizing display ads on our player page. When you’re talking about putting a video ad inside a video, where does that video go?  And what happens when a video ad gets placed inside a video we don’t know much about?
  • Perry Wu – One of the things that’s largely ignored in the market is paid-for content, particularly live content. That kind of content is perishable, so people are willing to pay for it. Companies are afraid to charge for stuff on the internet. Not saying that everything should be for-pay content, but there are hundreds of events happening on a weekly basis that people will pay for.
  • Steve Liddell – While everybody’s talking about advertising, very few people are talking about DRM. You’re going to see a renaissance in paid content and DRM.
  • Ron Bloom – By this time next year, brands won’t need to worry about user generated content. There will be large enough audiences for brands to safely advertise. People will move away from TV.

Audio (12:46): http://old.crunchgear.com/audio/richmedia05.mp3

Q: How important is it to make sure that your content is accessible on set-top hardware devices so that the people who resist consuming online content at their desks will be able to consume it in their living rooms?

  • Mike Hudack – The numbers are extraordinarily small right now and the opportunity to traffic third-party verified advertising dynamically in these environments is basically non-existent. We approach it right now as “We want to put a stake in the ground” and it’s a marketing tool to be able to tell a content creator that they’ll be on TV. The challenge is that only a small number of these outlets can handle any type of scale when it comes to content choice. There’s literally limited hard drive capacity at the head. Out of our 33,000 shows, we have to pick about ten to send to Verizon (FiOS), so the experience isn’t the same.
  • Perry Wu – There’s a big economic barrier to overcome. The set-top boxes are subsidized by the MSO’s (multi system operators). The number of TiVo boxes is puny compared to the number of cable boxes. The cable box, plus the cost of deployment, has to be under $300. So they have limited processors and limited hard drive space, especially with online video pushing higher quality and DRM.

Audio (4:30): http://old.crunchgear.com/audio/richmedia06.mp3

More TechCrunch

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft Build 2024: All the AI and hardware products Microsoft announced

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

OpenAI is removing one of the voices used by ChatGPT after users found that it sounded similar to Scarlett Johansson, the company announced on Monday. The voice, called Sky, is…

OpenAI to remove ChatGPT’s Scarlett Johansson-like voice

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says