Marketing Pilgrim's "Video" Channel

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Imeem Offers Universal’s Music Free

The music industry has had a lot of shakeups recently, and here’s yet another. Social media community imeem has signed a licensing deal with Universal Music group, the largest music label in the music industry. Now you can listen to Universal’s streaming music and watch videos free.

Rather than make money on the music, they show ads and split ad revenues. This isn’t a new model, of course and I wonder what the artists make from it.

Universal is finding ways to get around Apple’s stronghold by not only working with imeem, but also with cell phone provider Nokia. There Comes With Music feature comes with a one-year, unlimited access music download service. Not only are the songs available on your cell phone but you can keep any music you downloaded after your subscription expires.

PR Leap Introduces Social Media Press Releases

I’m already a fan of using keyword-optimized press releases as part of your online marketing. It’s often a low cost way to get backlinks to your site adn build your search engine presence. Yes, some industries are less effective and they have fallen in importance, but SEO press releases can still be a very cost-effective strategy to getting search engine rankings.

I’ve long recommended PRLeap (and Clickpress) as an SEO press release distribution option for small businesses. It’s ideal for small budgets or for times you don’t need or want a lot of extra features. You just want a link.

Google Philandering Behind DoubleClick’s Back?

Yesterday we mentioned that it looked like the FTC would soon give the Google/DoubleClick acquisition the green light after all. But Google’s not going to let that stop them: paidContent reports today that Google is exploring more partnerships, regardless of whether their current deal goes through:

the company also hopes to charm ad agencies and TV networks that appear increasingly concerned about the online giant’s respective online ad moves and its audience measurement agreement with EchoStar.

They didn’t, however, ignore the pending merger completely:

In terms of looking for the connectivity tissue between supply and demand, DoubleClick fits very squarely into our strategy. Given that strategy, one of the things we exploring the ability to work with multiple partners. We feel very strongly that the deal should be approved, in light of the approvals our competitors have received.

NBC Pulls Videos from iTunes

NBC’s contract with the iTunes store has expired, which means NBC no longer has content on the site. That means Battlestar Galactica, The Office, NBC News, CNBC, NBC Sports, and other popular show are gone. The two have been long fighting over pricing.

NBC has launched a number of new initiatives like NBC Direct where downloads are free. They also have deals with NetFlix and others to distribute their content, often free, rather than the $1.99 charged on iTunes. NBC wanted to experiment with different prices and bundles but iTunes refused.

The problem with NBC Direct Player is that it requires Internet Explorer, a proprietary player, and the latest .Net framework. You can watch the videos 7 days after they are released and they expire 48 hours after you begin watching a movie. You can’t watch them on another computer or on a portable video player like your iPod. A Mac version is planned for next year.

Could Pioneer’s SyncTV Service Hit All the Right Buttons?

image Having taken a quick look at Pioneer Electronics announced online TV platform SyncTV, I’m pretty excited about it.

Here’s what Reuters says the new service will offer:

  • Monthly subscription fees of $2 to $4, or;
  • Buy single episodes instead at $2 per episode
  • Videos will offer surround-sound
  • Resolution will be at least DVD-quality with some in HD
  • Can be transferred to portable devices (except iPod)
  • Will work with Windows and Macs

SyncTV won’t be ready until January and hasn’t yet disclosed which content partners it has lined up.

I like that I can pay a reasonable monthly fee and get DVD/HD quality content that I can move from computer, to TV, to portable player. The biggest question is what video content will SyncTV offer? I’ve yet to find a single online video service that offers a large catalog of content.

Online Video Ads: Relatively Less Annoying

At OMMA Video, Dynamic Logic’s Research Director, Kara Manatt, released the results of a study on consumers’ responses to various online advertising, MediaPost reports.

In a survey of a representative cross-section of 950 Americans, participants were asked about their views of various online advertising media. The break down:

  • 55% took a “strongly negative” view of pop-ups and pop-unders.
  • 31% were strongly negative on online video ads. (As MediaPost notes, “That’s an easy win against infamously annoying ad formats.”)
  • 27% took a strongly negative view of “advergames.” (Which, I think, would have been higher had they known what the heck you’re talking about. C’mon, taze the gnome games are less annoying?)
  • 21% were strongly negative on skyscraper ads.
  • 18% had a negative view of banner ads.

Why YouTube Must Offer Hi-Res Videos

image CNET has word from YouTube co-founder Steve Chen that the online video company is testing streaming videos at higher resolutions.

Although YouTube’s goal, he said, is to make the site’s vast library of content available to everyone, and that requires a fairly low-bitrate stream, the service is testing a player that detects the speed of the viewer’s Net connection and serves up higher-quality video if they want it.

I find it interesting that YouTube would take this step, especially when you consider most of the videos currently uploaded are low-res and wouldn’t look any better anyway. So why is YouTube making the move to offer higher quality videos? The way I see it, services such as Joost and Hulu–while not direct competitors–will start to change our expectations of online video quality. The more high-res videos you watch online, the more you begin to find YouTube’s video quality to be unacceptable. Don’t believe me? How many of you have HDTVs? How many of you now think non-HD signals look like a YouTube video? I know I do.