Marketing Pilgrim's "Video" Channel

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I’m Not Buying Connection Between Writers’ Strike & Online Video Rise

There’s just something not quite right about the suggestion that online video watching is growing rapidly because of the US writers’ strike. The BBC has data from Nielsen Online and Pew Internet Project which points to an unusual jump in online video viewing in the past two months.

The on-going writers’ strike has meant that many popular programs are currently off-air in the US and, according to Nielsen Online, this has seen Americans turn in large numbers to online alternatives.

Its figures show that YouTube’s audience was up 18% in the two months after the strike started, and newer video-sharing sites such as Crackle have also experienced unprecedented growth.

Google & Panasonic Bring the Web to Your TV

At some point you will have to concede that the YouTube video of a hippo singing will be better than anything that’s on the 200 gazillion cable or satellite TV channels. And, when you come to that realization, Google and Panasonic will be there to fill the void.

Matsushita’s Panasonic and Google have announced a deal that will see the launch of internet enabled TVs this spring.

The TVs…will allow users to directly browse and access videos from YouTube, a video-sharing Web site owned by Google, and view Picasa Web Albums, a free online photo-sharing service from Google, Panasonic said in a statement on Monday.

OK, but just because you can watch blurry YouTube videos on a 60″ plasma–yikes, think of the pixelation at that resolution–does that mean that you will?

China Comes Down on Video Online

You knew it had to happen sooner or later: China is cracking down on Internet video. Under the new regulations, Chinese web surfers will only be able to access video from state-controlled companies. It looks like these regulations will effectively kill user-generated and other video sharing sites.

However, as the AP reports, there is some uncertainty there:

It wasn’t immediately clear how the new rules would affect YouTube and other providers of Internet video that host Web sites available in China but are based in other countries.

While it sounds pretty clear cut, the AP says that the real question is whether YouTube has any servers located in China. I’m not exactly sure how that squares with the definition of the regulations, which state that “Web sites that provide video programming or allow users to upload video must obtain government permits and applicants must be either state-owned or state-controlled companies.” The policy will take effect at the end of this month.

Marketing New Year’s Eve Parties

As I write this there are 11 hours and 57 minutes until 2008. Entrepreneur Jann Yogman is banking that you are going to celebrate New Year’s Eve this year. He started New Year’s Nation, which is a ticket broker and organizer of New Year’s parties in big cities across the U.S.

Last year he launched with a virtual event that drew 5,000 people in five cities. They were connected by streaming video. Tonight there will be eight cities. If you want to book tickets in say, Los Angeles, it will be $150. Then you can watch partiers in New York, Boston, Seattle, or one of the other cities.

Higher Ed 2.0

The web already makes it easier to educate yourself. Now colleges and universities are putting their best classes online and charging nothing for them. Entire lectures are being posted on YouTube (like UC Berekely), iTunes, or on the school’s own web sites.

iTunes U has almost 30 universities participating. The top downloads aren’t lightweights either – #1 is a lecture from MIT physics professor Walter Lewin. He has 37 lectures posted and has become famous for his quirky style.

Not only are the world’s most brilliant thinkers writing blogs, they are on video and podcasts too. This is a renaissance of knowledge that is being viewed by not just students, but ordinary people all over the world. Think of how useful this is for college prep or to study before taking the GMAT or other courses.

iTunes to Get Movie Rentals

UPDATE: Less than a year after launching, Walmart shut down their video download service. The reason – poor performance. “Download sales equaled about 1 percent of the $24.5 billion in DVD and home video sales and rentals in 2006, but industry experts expect downloads to grow to 10 percent within a decade.”

Finally – movie rentals are coming to iTunes. Yesterday, Twentieth Century Fox signed a deal with Apple so you’ll be able to download DVD releases on iTunes. In the past you could buy movies from Disney, Paramont, and others. This is the first iTunes rental service.

While Apple isn’t the first to offer this service, they have better distribution. According to MarketingVox, most people don’t relish watching a movie from their PC or iPod. As of last year just 3% of Americans have downloaded full-length movies. NetFlix was going to offer this service in 2005, but couldn’t get the studios to agree to license their content.

Pringles to Air User Generated Ad on Christmas Day

Sometimes you get more than you ask for. That’s the case when Procter & Gamble asked their fans in the UK to come up with a new jingle for their ads. But a man from Scotland named Nils Elders made an entire commercial. Procter & Gamble liked it so much they will air it on prime time on Christmas Day in the UK.

The 40-second ad 25-year-old Elders $600 and three days to make. It features a bunch of dancing, singing Pringles chips dressed in Santa hats. He named the commercial “Jinglin’ Pringlin.”

Elders is a musician and won $4,000 as the winner of the contest. He said the commercial was inspired by South Park.