CableTV’s Funeral Attended by Nobody

TechCrunch’s “2010 year in review” featured CableTV as a “loser.” It had a funeral. Nobody came. Check it out:

Losers: Huzzah! Cable companies are losing more and more subs every month! Victory!

Well, sort of. Sure, pay TV companies are having a hard time holding on to subscribers, but that’s only going to mean prices will probably stagnate or worse, will be raised to compensate for the lose of income. Comcast has to pay the power bill on their massive video wall in their swanky new-ish skyscraper somehow.

But where are these people getting their content? Not one report surfaced that showed the cable cutting movement has any real traction, and big media basically control the future of living room streaming devices anyway. Pay TV needs a savior or a disruptor. Someone will probably have to paint their face blue and white and stand in front of a horde of angry subscribers to really make a difference.

Meanwhile Roku was listed as a “winner,” and Ooyala helps creators make their own channel. I gotta do that.

Best Agency Holiday Card Celebrates Viral Memes

Well we did a recap on the worst corporate egreeting cards, so it’s only fair to share the winner of the 2010 WillVideoForFood Best Agency Holiday Greeting Video Award. I just made that award up, but it does come with a trophy and a piece of cheese.

Courtesy of CNN I give you the Klick! “SHOUT” holiday video greeting. What makes it special is that it celebrates memes new and old. I was thrilled to see the return of the Melbourn sunglasses guy (Cory Worthington).

Klick’s website. Beware of sound effects by a European unladen swallow.

Klick's Suit Guys

What Net Neutrality Vote Means To You (No Dick Rule)

Lots of news today about Net Neutrality, and basically little changed at all. You’re still entitled to your free Internet, and you’re still entitled to whine when you start paying for more broadband. And you will.

But so you sound smart in work, school or at holiday parties, let’s give you “the least you need to know” (also “the most I care to understand” about Net Neutrality). It’s a top 10 list. Hang in there.

  1. Let’s start our story with the two main characters. There’s the internet service provider (Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner) I’ll call pipes. And there’s the content provider or application vendor (YouTube, Netflix, Vonage, Skype) I’ll call the shit. (Via this analogy you’re sucking sewage down the pipe… hey kids, don’t forget to subscribe!).
  2. Net neutrality means the pipes can’t tier their shit like HUV (high occupancy vehicle lanes, which allow cars with 2 or more passengers to get a fast lane). Net neutrality means the shit has to have equal access to the pipes so it can be poured into the spot where your head used to be. Net neutrality means all shit is equal. Democratic shit pipes.
  3. There isn’t exactly “neutrality” in most markets, but we try to keep people from being dickheads in America. Triage happens on television and just about everywhere else. But people get their “knickers in a knot” with the web because hippies are concerned about the internet providers (pipes) being dickheads about it.
  4. Left to their own devices, the pipes will be dickheads about it. The hippies are kinda right.
  5. Furthermore, left to their own devices, the pipes wouldn’t develop any new shit. They don’t innovate unless forced by customers or market conditions because they’re like giant leeches.
  6. Here’s the central problem. The service providers are competing with some of the crap you enjoy free through their pipes. They’re pipes and shit makers. The pipes would rather you eat their shit instead of someone elses. Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner wants you to buy their shit, and they benefit from putting the squeeze on the shit makers that don’t have pipes. That can piss off a market.
  7. Good news, however. There are two forces to prevent the pipes from abusing their position of power. First, we have laws against monopolies. They can’t exist (at least for long). Second, as long as we have decisions, we can shop. We have economics. Supply and demand. That takes care of a lot of stuff you don’t have to worry about.
  8. In fairness, the internet service providers did build the infrastructure, and theoretically should have the right to tier and segregate the shit based on the marketplace. They can be greedy but hopefully the two conditions in point 7 prevent them from being dickheads.
  9. Sorry- If you’re sucking down loads of streaming content (Vonage, YouTube and Skype), you’re costing the internet providers (pipes) money and you’re going to eventually pay for it. Otherwise you’re being subsidized and acting like an entitled whiner.
  10. You’re not entitled to free shit or pipes. Free isn’t sustainable for businesses or evolution. It cost money to build infrastructure and keep it alive. It cost money to crank out shit. You don’t have to buy it.

Any questions? Here’s an even better layman’s explanation but without the color.

“Just Give Me a Damned Cigarette” : JibJab Goes Puppets for Year-End-Review

"Just Give Me A Damned Cigarette," sings Obama Puppet in the 2010 JibJab Review

One of the things that gets me through the holidays is the anticipation and enjoyment of JibJab’s annual year-end song parody. When Twitter rumors about CNN’s announcing Morgan Freeman’s death this week, I called JibJab’s Voice Jim Meskimen (website/on YouTube) to see if he’d do his classic Freeman impersonation. He did in this “Morgan Freeman is Alive” video, and it fooled many.

I’m a raving fan of Jim, who does virtually every voice you’ve heard on JibJab. (Go subscribe to him and you’ll see his Knestor learn ya about gift giving), and he tipped me off to the fact that the 2010 JibJab review is now out! You can also add your face to the first-ever JibJab stop action in “Santa Claus is Coming To Town.”

Check it out below, and notice it’s all puppets instead of the typical flash animation. JibJab took us behind the curtain with a step-by-step “behind scenes” blog. I can’t find what I’d hoped to see: Jim singing in the studio (there is a scratch music page that’s currently sparse).

YouTube’s Viral “Year in Review”

Enjoy a collage of some of the seminal viral-video moments in 2010. I’ve already posted about what we can learn from these, but I thought you might enjoy YouTube Trend’s video montage. You can see all the videos at “TheYearInReview.” Don’t laugh at the name. There were only 11 unparked usernames.

Thanks for the feedback on my new blog template, which apparently is ass.

What We Can Learn from Most-Viewed Videos of 2010

What can we learn from the most-viewed “viral” videos of 2010? How are they similar and different from years past?

First, let’s take a look at the run-down, courtesy of YouTube and ReelSEO, here’s the list. YouTube has a new trend blog/website that’s worth bookmarking or RSS’ing: YouTube Trends.

  • The BED INTRUDER SONG! (a news clip turned into a meme with help from schmoyoho
  • TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke – Key of Awe$ome #13 (another Next New Networks hit)
  • Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi (a 6th grader with Justin Bieber-like cut, featuring shaky handheld camera)
  • Annoying Orange Wazzup (Daneboe’s facial fruit was spurred to amazing popularity in 2010… note that since Daneboe launched Annoying Orange’s own channel early in 2010, the collection has been viewed nearly 400 million times… giving him more views than this entire top-10 list).
  • Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (hey a commercial- see what does the author of Beyond Viral know?)
  • Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10 (the dude trips out seeing two rainbows)
  • OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – Rube Goldberg Machine version (Okgo, the treadmill band does it again)
  • THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE – Trailer (really? a trailer?)
  • Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan (Jimmy Kimmel is handling his old/new media balance quite well- check out the girl get a visit from Bieber)
  • Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome (this is the only one I hadn’t seen- a racing car… snore). Speaking of videos I haven’t seen (even the “Viral Video Genius” can’t see them all), did you see Cookie Monster audition for SNL? If Jim Henson was alive, SNL would be auditioning for The Muppet Show.
  • So what are the common themes?

    1. Nothing sells like a song (most of the top-10 all-time most viewed YouTube videos are songs).
    2. Quirky is still nice — whether it’s manufactured (Annoying Orange) or authentic (Double Rainbow)
    3. Viral is increasingly a symptom of offline popularity (Kimmel/Bieber/Lady Gaga/Twighlight)
    4. The biggest difference between 2009 and 2010 is that professional & commercial content trumped user-generated videos, with only one true exception (the Double Rainbow).
    5. With the exception of Daneboe (Annoying Orange) and Schmoyo (AutoTune the News), none of these really spawned a new person or channel.
    6. Production quality mattered more this year than years past. Which is why we amateurs need to up our game (see my new ShootLikePro blog).
    7. Note that the top-ten list excludes major record labels, or they would dominate list. YouTube has increasingly become a free visual jute box.

    How is this list similar or different from 2007, 2008 and 2009?

    1. Commercials are still the exception not rule. This year’s popular advertising campaign/commercial was Old Spice, and last year it was Evian’s roller skating babies. I referred to the latter in my book as the “exception to the rule” that promotional videos don’t often go viral. Even though this is increasingly true, 2011 to spawn some Old Spice knockoffs nonetheless. Hopefully a few brands and agencies will try a “road less travelled” with better odds.
    2. Both 2009 and 2009 lists had a Twilight trailer. Again- this says less about online video as the fact that the films are extremely popular.
    3. Last year’s “double rainbow” was the quirky “David After the Dentist,” now at 75 million views (that’s almost half of the views I’ve garnered on my entire collection). Hopefully we’ll continue to rally around odd moment like these.
    4. As the medium matures, we’ve seen fewer “quirky” amateur clips than, say, 2008 when we had viralizations like Fred, “Christian the Lion” and ImprovEverywhere’s “Frozen Grand Central.” The memes of 2007 were even more interesting to me — from The Landlord and “Leave Britney Alone” to Obama Girl (Next New Networks) and the South Carolina Miss Teen USA clip
    5. Last year’s kid singing Paparazzi was a more choreographed wedding video (Forever). People love an amateur singer overnight success story (Susan Boyle).
    6. Almost all of the top-10 popped on YouTube. The world’s second-largest search engine remains the most vibrant channel.
    7. The teen factor is still driving views, even if each year offers content for a broader demographic.

    Each year the top 10 most-viewed hits are a smaller percent of overall views… it’s the long tail effect. Finally, do you notice anything missing for the first year in a while? No SNL Digital shorts… or sadly, anything from The Onion, College Humor or Funny Or Die.

    Okay now go buy my book, or tell a journalist to interview me for a delightful year-end segment on viral videos.

    Beyond Viral: Everything About Online Video You Were Afraid to Ask

    2011 Prediction 6-9 Trillion Display Ads Seen by 45 People

    comScore today announced that in the third quarter of this year (3Q 2010) about 1.3 trillion Internet display advertisements were served to people in the U.S. (a 22% growth from the same period in 2009).

    We were too lazy to register to download the report, but not so lazy as to avoid making “wild, unfounded generalizations and predications” based only on that one piece of data…

    • In 2011 6-9 trillion display ads will be seen, with a 32% growth in online-video ads.
    • More than 95% of the ads will never be seen by human eyes
    • Of the 5% of ads that are actually seen in the U.S., 54.7% of those won’t be in the U.S.
    • Just 45 people will see the ads: a staggering 95% of some previous subsegment of the 6-9 trillion ads served.
    • 76.4% of the remaining ads will be seen by high-school kids ages 12-18 who impact .04% of the gross domestic product.

    Now here’s what the report will really offer, with italics in my words.

    • The story behind Facebook’s staggering growth (everything edited out of Social Networking: the movie).
    • New strategies and innovative ad sizes offered by publisher (words like “target” and “accountable” and “ROI” will be included, and some sample ad formats will show how to be advertisers can ride publishers like a drunk Texas cowboy on a wounded Mexican steer).
    • Category-level trends and insights (both industries covered: financial, travel AND consumer-packaged goods).
    • Advertising success stories of mid-sized and niche publishers (including data that’s so powerful it’s almost as real as the 3D Yogi Bear… but less interesting).
    • Tools to generate more sales leads and evaluate competition (tricks like “put together a white paper, demand registration, then call the person 5 times in the next consecutive 11 days”).

    Oh I’m just teasing comScore. But about the lower-case C…

    iJustine Gets Killed in Criminal Minds: Episode “Middle Man” (season 6)

    I’m a huge fan of iJustine (Justine Ezarik), and we did a video a few years ago when (believe it or not) I had twice the subscribers as her. Now she’s appearing in Fast Company and on a recent episode of Criminal Minds (the episode is called “Middle Man”) so I’m exploiting it of course.

    The video below is a mosh-up of an older video we did, joined by some very brief footage from the Criminal Minds episode I opeI hope CBS will consider fair use (iJustine didn’t authorize this). Now some links…
    Justine is also profiled in my book, so go buy it, damnit. It’s not as entertaining as watching her get killed in a corn field, but whatever.