Nielson Says: Americans Watching More TV Than Ever; Web and Mobile Video Up too

While I expect Nielson to say that, what I didn’t expect was that they would show mobile viewing on par with internet viewing. That is certainly suspect and looking a bit more closely at their charts it makes more sense.

The top chart indicates that people watch as much on their mobile phones as they do on their computers. The second chart puts this in context, the number of internet users watching video is 131,102,000 and the number watching mobile video 13,419,000, 1/10th of the number. Taken across all of those users, the average monthly video viewing time on the internet is only 3 hours while the mobile user are up to around 3 1/2 hours.

This seems pretty out of whack but then again, the top/first 10% internet viewers are probably watching 10 times that amount (I know I am with NetFlix, Hulu, BitTorrent, YouTube and the like), it seems out of whack because you are only seeing the power users on the mobile phone accessing video while you are seeing broad viewership on the internet.

Consider it this way:

Internet: 131,102,000 users x 3 hours = 393,306,000 (almost 400 million hours)
Mobile: 13,419,000 users x 3.5 hours = 46,966,500 (approximately 47 million hours)
(mobile stills seems a bit over reported but taking into account the numbers they are talking about, it seems more likely)

Podcast Aggregation..

I was just looking through the feeds that I subscribe to in iTunes (audio and video podcasts) and noticed that every single one of them had a little exclamation point next to it indicating that it stopped updating as I haven’t watched or listened in a while.

This is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, I really really do enjoy watching and listening to many of these. Second, I have listened and watch some of these recently, just not through iTunes (or my iPhone). Most through their website or through online radio (NPR shows on WNYC).

With broadband pretty ubiquitous and even phones being able to be used for listening to or watching online audio/video, aggregators are becoming much less useful (and increasingly wasteful when considering bandwidth usage).

Since really the only reason I still have to use iTunes as an aggregator is to sync things to my iPhone for viewing on the subway (where I don’t have network access), I decided to pare down the list quite a bit.

What I took off and instead will just watch/listen to online:
Alive in Baghdad
Ask A Ninja

(and a bunch that are defunct such as Boing Boing Boing, EFF Line Noise, The Show with Ze Frank, We Are The Media, WGBH Lab Showcase, <sniff>)

What I left on for iPhone consumption (mostly audio since I typically am doing something else like email on my iPhone on the subway):
Joe Frank Radio
NPR Science Friday
On The Media
The Onion Radio News
The TV of Tomorrow Show with Tracy Swedlow
They Might Be Giants Podcast Podcast
TEDTalks (Video)
This American Life

I also have a bunch that I haven’t decided yet for one reason or another. Mostly they are done by friends of mine and I just love to see their updates (bandwidth and space be damned):
Tech Trek TV, pouringdown, Ryan is Hungry, momentshowing,

(Nothing here is new, just wanted to take note of it)

YouTube New Features

Just checked out a video of McCain on Letterman. Noticed a couple of interesting features that YouTube is giving folks like CBS. First there was an ad before the video, second the video played in H.264 although it did have a link for the “normal quality” version and third there were a couple of nifty DHTML buttons up at the top.

Here is a screenshot:
YouTube CBS Letterman McCain Screenshot

Notice that everything but the video is grayed out. That is because I clicked the little film strip icon at the top left which stands for “theater mode”. You will also notice that the video is in the middle of the page with goofy graphical curtains surrounding it.

The icon directly to the right of that one, the little light bulb controls graying out the screen regardless of the theater mode selection.

Also notice that the ad at the top right (which reads CBS … and originally was a Schwab ad which matched the preroll video ad) is not grayed out.

In any case, none of this is new. (For reference do a Google/Yahoo search for “lightbox” to find a plethora of resources for accomplishing the same thing.) But is interesting to see what extra features and functionality YouTube is giving to folks like CBS.

Online Video Player Survey

For a project that I am working on, we are doing a quick survey to see what features and functionality people are interested in with regards to online video players. This doesn’t pretend to be an exhaustive survey of the various players out there, rather it is something that we will be using to gauge what people like and dislike in the range of features.

If you have a moment, check it out:
Online Video Player Survey

C-SPAN online coverage of debate

C-SPAN has a really interesting site for showing the debate videos. It has a transcript search, a blog aggregation, a twitter message board and so on.

Here are some screen-shots:

Transcript along with video

Twitter and Blog Aggregation:

Transcript Keyword Visualization (wish you could drill down):

This might be even more interesting: Performance Group Blends Video Art, Public Service
“Three MIT grads have devised a way to “remix” the presidential debates — live. Friday night in Boston, they used custom computer software to analyze the candidates’ movements and speech patterns in real time, with a nightclub vibe.”

Internet Radio Royalty Rates

It seems that things have changed in the royalty rates for online music. I just read this report from DiMA: MAJOR MUSIC INDUSTRY GROUPS ANNOUNCE BREAKTHROUGH AGREEMENT.

I am a bit confused as to wether or not this is a change to the royalty rates that SoundExchange collects (performance royalties) or is this an agreement that standardizes royalty non-performance related royalty rates (such as those for songwriters)..

Anyone know?

ps. SoundExchange, your site sucks, I can’t link to a specific page if you load everything in an iFrame or whatever you are doing. I also can’t use my browser’s back/forward button the way I should be able to. Get with it.

Politics and the Internet and Participatory Media

This is just too good to pass up.. On WNYC 820 AM right now, the Brian Lehrer show is doing a segment which is audience driven. A wiki is open for suggestions and discussion among the audience and essentially being used to drive the broadcast.

This is part of Lehrer’s 30 issues in 30 days comparing the presidential candidates stance on various issues. One thing that I have learned is that McCain is against Network Neutrality and Obama is for legislation that protects the spirit of the internet. (I had no idea that this was an issue between them.)

Go Obama..!

McCain says this:
“Unless there is a clear-cut, unequivocal restraint of competition, the government should stay out of it,” McCain said. “These things will sort themselves out.”

Kind of like the banking industry.. Let it sort itself out.. Great.. Ha!

Mobile, 5 Years in the future

I was just interviewed for an upcoming book and one of the questions was:
Fast forward 5 years into the future, can you paint me picture of the mobile world?

Here is what I said:
I am going to beg out of this one and instead paint a picture of my utopia.

My mobile utopia 5 years from now:

Carriers have accepted the fact that they are too large and slow to beat the current crop of DIY wireless systems that are being built. They have realized that the cost of maintaining service such as the little used voice platform is not worthwhile when all that anyone cares about is the openness and speed of their internet connection. Besides, they are sick of battling the hackers who continually figure out how to bypass their restrictions and really sick of spending their lobbying money to battle Googlezon and the like over whether or not they have to carry 3rd party data without charge.

They have finally realized and accepted their place in the world as “dumb pipes”, wireless ISPs.

They have given up on locking down phones. Nobody will sign a 2 year contract anymore for a free phone that they can’t install any of the open source software on.

On the other side of the coin, Googlezon, DIYers, hackers and hipsters are developing and deploying game changing hardware and applications at a phenomenal pace.

A prolific open source community has introduced a kit based mobile phone with every feature imaginable and battery life that puts devices from 5 years ago to shame. Tourists are carrying around monstrous looking home built teleconferencing systems with them as they gawk at the Naked Cowboy in Time Square and talk with their relatives and friends back home.

Hipsters in Bushwick no longer carry laptops and projectors to their VJ gigs but rather bring their mobile projector enabled high-speed wireless video mixing system and no longer have to be hunched over a keyboard and mouse. They simply mingle with the crowd or dance until they drop with every movement being tracked by sensors programmed to project and mix particular clips or dynamically generated visuals.

I can’t think of anyone who uses a laptop computer anymore. Everyone seems to have adopted the projected keyboard and gesture controlled interfaces that are common on mobile devices now.

Data flows pretty seamlessly and just by pointing to a contact in the sky a voice, data or text channel is opened to that person.

Wow.. Things are different now that the networks have been broken..

(Perhaps we can dream..)