Marketing Pilgrim's "Video" Channel

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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.

BlogWorld: Video Service Viddler; Leo Laporte Discusses CPM Rates

There were two interesting things–among many–that I learned from attending Leo Laporte and Justine Ezarik’s session at BlogWorld.

First, from Justine, I discovered a new video player from Viddler that has the cool feature of allowing you to tag and comment on segments of a video.

Second, Leo is getting $35 CPM from advertisers because they know his audience buys whatever he recommends.

Hmm, if there was only a way to bring both these items together…

Hulu Integrating with MSN, AOL

You’ve got to give the just-barely-in-time-to-be-called-an-October-launch Hulu private beta launch some credit: they’re trying really hard. With legal video sharing and embedding, they certainly have some positives going in their direction. And now they’re hoping content deals will bring their new site the traffic—and eyeballs—needed to justify it.

Hulu has partnered with MSN and AOL to provide video on a subdomain of each site. MSN TV will be showing some of Hulu’s content, including full-length television shows and movie clips. Hulu’s content is well-integrated with the rest of MSN TV’s content, but the Hulu logo appears in the upper left:

MSN Hulu screen shot

Hulu also has its own channel on AOL (with its logo in the upper left this time; via):

AOL Hulu screen shot

Hulu.com is Ready for Failure Launch

image After months of hype and positioning, NBC/News Corp-back Hulu.com is ready to launch–and we assume ready to fail.

Hey, we’re not suggesting the YouTube and Joost online video rival is going to be bad, but even their CEO warned us to expect failure. Fortunately, they also expect to "fail fast"–something Mike Moran would approve of.

As part of today’s beta launch, Hulu has announced new deals with Sony Pictures and MGM Studios. According to Reuters…

…Hulu will offer about 90 TV shows from the four companies and smaller partners ranging from current prime-time hits such as "Heroes" and "The Simpsons" to vintage shows "Miami Vice" and "The A-Team."

It will also make about 10 feature films available including "The Breakfast Club" and "The Blues Brothers."