Who’s Into Online Video and What Are They Watching?

At recent gathering presented by Co-OperativeLabs here in Minneapolis the topic of online video was discussed. The two presenters, Bill Hague ofFrank N. Magid Associates and Steven Rosenbaum of Magnify.net, offered a sort of wind-up and pitch approach in their individual presentations. In this post I’ll concentrate on the wind-up, information shared from a Magid research project, and we’ll address the pitch, an approach to using video content from Steven, in a future post.

Bill offered some interesting insight on the topic of who is consuming online video and toward what types of video they are gravitating. Bill himself addresses the high points in this video. I’ll highlight some further info below.

Please note: The survey questions were asked of people who use the internet.

Beyond what Bill mentions in the video interview I found some of the perceptions of advertising in online video interesting. (Click the graphs to make them big enough to read.)

In general, the study indicates very strong growth in online video audience across all demographics with (surprise) the younger audience being the biggest fans. But from a marketing perspective, with great opportunity comes some risk. Especially when “traditional” advertising is looked at.

Though not highlighted in the Key Findings portion of the presentation I think it’s important to note that though 45% of respondents who view online video content find advertising “as acceptable” as TV ads, 20% say ads are “less acceptable” and 28% weren’t “sure”.  With nearly 50% of respondents that are either opposed or unsure about advertising there are some pretty high negative attitudes toward ads in this space. I would assert those negative ads have been precipitated by TV’s over saturation of commercials in programming. Too many ads is what the viewer is trying to get away from.

Further, when probing respondents about ad type and location, 43% prefer a short ad and 28% said no ads were acceptable. Also, take a look at the numbers as they pertain to where ads are placed. Thinking about interrupting their online viewing? I’d think again. In fact, you may need to think more about more unobtrusive types of marketing including product placement or other emerging ad vehicles.


By the way, what about those folks who don’t want to watch online video? The biggest barrier noted here is screen size…not technology or quality. We just loves our big screens, don’t we.

Finally, for those TV execs sweating hand grenades about losing viewers to online…yeah, it’s happening. 20% of online video viewers (extrapolated to 14% of total population) are spending less time on the tube. As the study points out “online cannibalization is small but significant.” It’s good to know that there are a fair amount of us that site in front of the TV with our laptops with over 50% go online while watching TV.

Based on this research, here’s what you should consider when including video in your online presence or marketing mix.

  • Make it short!
  • Be confident in reaching an audience beyond just “the kids”.
  • America’s screen time is increasing with watching TV and using the internet at the same time becoming more popular.
  • Watching TV is still top dog but it’s clear the pie is going to be cut differently.
  • Be careful how you handle ads. It’s time to think differently. With the huge amount of professionally generated and user generated content out there, it’s easy for your viewer to look for something else if you cram too many ads down there throat.

Download the slide deck of the presentation here and let me know what you think.



This moving photo is courtesy of i’mjustsayin via flickr

A Speech To Leave You Speechless

There will be much said about the inaugural address delivered by President Obama in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. Much of it just plain left me speechless.

“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.”

“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.”

“Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and
begin again the work of remaking America.”

“As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.”

“…know that America is a friend of each nation and every man,
woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we
are ready to lead once more.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and
non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from
every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of
civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger
and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall
someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the
world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that
America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

“To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame
their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you
on what you can build, not what you destroy.”

“What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a
recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to
ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly
accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is
nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than
giving our all to a difficult task.



“I Have A Dream”

On Earth Peace, Good Will Toward Men

Merry Christmas from RemainComm


Watch at higher

More Than a User*

During the course of the latest edition of the Minnov8 Gang podcast, of which I participate each week, the topic of “users” came up. It sparked an interesting comment from friend and fellow Minnov8er, Garrick VanBuren. He noted that “users don’t exist.”  Needless to say this lead to a bit of discussion…and a bit of disagreement on a few points. I have since thought about it allot.

Garrick argued that people aren’t “users”, they’re people. He noted, “If you own a car does that make you a user of it?” No, but it does make you a driver, just as tuning in a radio station makes you a listener, owning golf clubs makes you a golfer, or owning skis makes you a skier, etc. At the conclusion of the discussion, I left with the impression that it was an argument of semantics.

Since then, I’ve decided that it really is more than that, and perhaps this is what Garrick was driving at. When it comes to any function performed by us as individuals should never be thought of as exclusive to that individual. Okay, maybe that sounds incredibly obvious. But, is it? Take the car analogy. How many cars would you sell if you designed it just to “drive”. No comfy seats, no cup holders, no CD player, no gas mileage…this sucker just drives. Car makers have moved well beyond the “user” mentality. How much more is the customer service experience improved when a company thinks of the customer beyond a “user”?

As we look at the goods or services that we provide, in business anyway, we can’t always afford to address the many aspects of our “users” lives. (Man, don’t you wish we had a bottomless pit of money.) No matter what our budgets we must at least be aware of the other aspects, especially the ones that impact their relationship to what we are offering them.

Are people users, drivers, golfers, listeners? Yes, but how does the driver in them impact the listener or the user impact the golfer. After all, this is what “usability” studies are all about. Sure, cater to the particular user part of your customer or audience but don’t forget the rest of the parts that make up their life.

*Sung to the tune of More Than a Woman by the Bee Gees.

In a World…

..where one voice has made such an impact, we say farewell to the king of the movie trailer: Don LaFontaine.  "The Voice"  died Monday at 68 as a result of a collapsed lung.

The press describes him this way…"The Minnesota-born LaFontaine reportedly voiced over 5,000 trailers and almost 350,000 commercials. He’s responsible for the ubiquitous trailer-opening phrase "In a world…" Those in "the business" of radio simply describe him as "the guy with the big balls."

Don’t think you know who he is? You do!

Everything needs ‘More cowbell!’

Came across this photo the other day. It’s from a classic SNL bit (there are so few these days) I was reminded of the need to add just something just a little bit extra to everything.

How about you? Is that ‘something extra’ part of your latest project, career, life? Do you need more cowbell?

Farewell, and Thanks, George Carlin.

One of my heroes, George Carlin, died yesterday of an apparent heart attack.Carlin meant a great deal to me, to American comedy and to America for that matter. (Check out this great piece from Time)

“I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.

He became part of my life when I was in junior high school in the 70’s when my friend Dan Picht dropped the needle on his FM & AM album. We laughed all day, playing it over and over again. We adapted many of Carlin’s monologues and characters and performed them in school talent shows. Needless to say we solidified our place as class clowns and probably more importantly, the most liberal students at Holmes Junior High.

“In America, anyone can become President. That’s the problem.

I still remember Carlin’s performances on the Midnight Special, Saturday Night Live and the countless times I saw him on stage. I also had the honor of meeting him personally. George and I share the same “skinny ass” and the need to wear “a fat wallet and three handkerchiefs.” He made me laugh and always made me think. He was also part of my work life in radio. His “Seven Dirty Words” are always referenced, though never actually part of any FCC policy. In fact, I’ve said at least 5 of them on the air…granted not always intentionally.

“There are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven you can’t say on television. What a ratio that is! 399,993 to 7. They must really be baaaad. They must be OUTRAGEOUS to be separated from a group that large.

He’s also been part of my personal life, giving me the humorous ammunition I needed when discussing politics or social issues and, yes…plenty of drug jokes.

“Eventually, alas, I realized the main purpose of buying cocaine is to run out of it.

I hadn’t kept up with Carlin as of late, but that’s okay. Though seeing him pop up in movies or on TV was always welcome, his impact on my life had been solidified long ago.

“Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.


When It Comes to the Environment, Two Icons May Be Better Than One

Happy Earth Day! Yep, it’s that day again; the one that was born in 1969, first celebrated in 1970 and virtually ignored, at least by pop culture standards, by most between 1971 and 2006 with the release of The Inconvenient Truth. The environment is back in vogue for many reasons, both economic and health. If we can just keep it higher on the list for the next 35 years. Hey, if the last two years is any indication, we’re getting there.

We’ve all taken to calling it “Going Green”, “The Greening of America”, etc. Hell, Matt and Meredith are even getting “green”. No matter what we call it, there is real, honest to God, development of wind power, alternative bio-fuels, a better CFL light bulb (complete with rebates from our power cooperative, thank you very much), geo-thermal energy and even the odd solar panel here and there. In my house we sort recyclables like we’re possessed, use recycled products, and take our own bags to the grocery store. Though not completely to do with the environment (perhaps the only positive thing about high gas prices), we’re planning our driving better to cut down on their frequency. Not easy when you have two kids who want to be part of everything. But can we really make this all part of our lives forever? Yes, but not because it’s popular but because it’s right. Plus, we have two icons that will remind us.

You’ll note the two symbols I have included with this post. I think they reflect two sides of the “save the planet” campaign. First, there’s the trusty recycle logo that we’ve all seen everywhere from the bottom of our pop (or for my friends out east, “soda”) bottle to trash cans to reams of paper at the office supply store. This symbol really represents the “business” of the environment. And I mean that in a positive way.

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