Comcast’s New Streampix is About Giving Customers What They Want

Comcast has a new video streaming service called Streampix that allows users to watch old movies and TV shows on demand.

The general consensuses on the web is that the service will become a direct competitor to Netflix, and Boston.com even went so far as to blame the Comcast announcement for a drop in Netflix’s stock price.

The Streampix service will be free to anyone who already subscribes to Comcast’s Xfinity premium service. For other Comcast subscribers, it can be accessed for only $4.99 a month, which is cheaper than Netflix’s base price of $7.99 a month.

Sure sounds like Comcast is out to take Netflix down, but the reality is, the cable company is simply trying to stay competitive in a rapidly changing media world.

Mobile Ad Dollars Versus Time Spent: The Great Divide

There’s a certain logic to the concept of spending the most ad dollars in places where people spend the most time. But then, bus shelter ads are effective. People don’t spend a lot of time there, but when they are there, they’re bored and probably more likely to examine the ad than an ad on a flipping magazine page.

Flurry took a look at the Time vs Dollars ratio and here’s what they found:

TV is looking nice and even. Web dollars are catching up to time spent and Radio is balancing out. But look at print and mobile. Talk about out of whack.

It’s interesting, because mobile is slowly becoming print’s replacement. Instead of buying the Wall Street Journal, people read it on their iPad. Instead of reading the TV Guide magazine, they let their smartphones remind them when their favorite shows are on.

New Social Study: Men Get Personal, Women Talk Shop

Women may be tops when it comes to communicating but online, they’re more careful about what they say and to whom.

A new study from UK company uSamp shows that overall, men were more apt to share personal information online, topping women in every area except one – brand’s liked.

78% of the UK women surveyed said they’d be happy to share information about what they buy and even 74% of men said they’d share that info, too.

One of the biggest gaps between “I’d share” and “I wouldn’t” was date of birth. 55% of men said they’d share their birth date but only 45% of women were willing to admit how old they were.

Men were also much more willing to share their phone number online, 12% vs only 4% of women.

What Did 181 Million US Internet Users Do In January?

If you answered “watched an online video” to our headline question then you’re absolutely right!

New data from the comScore Video Metrix shows that in January 2012, 181 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 40 billion online videos.

In January of 2011, that number was 171 million. That’s a heck of a jump up in the space of one year.

The big winner was, of course, Google / YouTube. They blew everyone else out of the pool with their 152 million unique viewers watching 18.6 billion videos.

The next closest player was VEVO with 51.5 million viewers. VEVO was the biggest YouTube partner channel, with Warner Music and Machinima coming in second and third.

Here’s the wild part, the average person watched 22.6 hours of online video in January. This is up from only 14 hours year-over-year.

Mobile Users Asked to Pay for NCAA March Madness

When you’ve got something people want, it only makes sense to ask them to pay for it, right? But that logic doesn’t always work when it comes to mobile content.

There are plenty of studies that show people are reluctant to plunk down more than .99 for an app they’ll likely use every day. On the other hand, several newspapers have had luck with mobile, paid subscribers.

Now, CBS and Turner are putting the paywall to the test with NCAA March Madness. Though the FAQ on March Madness Live is extensive, it boils down to this:

  • Games on CBS will run live on their website, free for all.
  • Games on Turner will run free online if you’re an authenticated cable subscriber.

Four Stars for Microsoft’s People Powered Stories Ads

Social advertising is all about using the comments and recommendations of one person to influence the buying habits of another. Facebook does this handily by mentioning which of my friends like the ads that appear in my sidebar. But, to be effective, recommendations don’t have to come from friends.

A recent study by BazaarVoice showed that 51% of the all-important millennial consumers were influenced by the online comments of strangers. So that’s probably why they’ve teamed up with Microsoft Advertising for a new kind of ad they call “People Powered Stories.

The test revolved around the Windows 7 “back to school” campaign. The ads were designed to pull in real review data from college students, then deliver it to other college students as they surfed the web.

Facebook Stores: A Failed Experiment or Worth Another Shot?

Gamestop, Nordstrom, Old Navy, The Gap. All blockbuster retailers who know how to drive customers to spend big bucks and not one of them had success selling on Facebook.

The failure of F-commerce is an interesting conundrum. Facebook is the most visited site in the universe. People also spend money on Facebook to buy virtual items and upgrades for their games. Facebook is also growing faster than anyone else for display advertising, pulling in around $2 billion in revenue last year.

Taking all of those factors into consideration, Facebook stores should be pulling them in like Best Buy on Black Friday. So why don’t Facebook stores work?

Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research told Bloomberg,