No More Excuses to Dodge Web-TV: Angry Birds on Roku

The Roku turns your Internet into television (and has a cool fiber logo tag)
You cannot resist his face and the clouds and the blue background.

You’ve heard about online video, and you have a few extra large monitors (HDTV) that you aren’t using. Now you’re running out of excuses, because the Roku (which like AppleTV, Boxee, TiVo and other devices) will soon offer Angry Birds… right on your boob tube. To be sure Roku is right for you, check out this comparison (GigaOM) to AppleTV’s fall update and the Boxee.

If you’re already a member of Amazon Prime (free trial here) or Netflix (free trial here), you’ll get better use out of these limited but generous “all you can eat” video collections, although some devices (Wii, Xbox) allow you to search Netflix’s entire collection instead of just your manually populated “Instant Que.” I have just about every web-to-TV box available, and Roku’s my favorite. I use TiVo most often, because it’s my bedroom replacement to Verizon’s crappy Motorla units. And if I’m on a YouTube binge, I do like the simplicity of AppleTV.

Roku wins because it’s incredibly easy to navigate, and the remote is as simple as AppleTV with barely any buttons. I also admit to digging the new fabric tag that pokes out the remote, making it even more unique.

If you’re overwhelmed by the steps required to starting on these devices, here’s the dealeo. In most cases (Hulu as an exception) you don’t even need to pay a monthly fee for additional content, like the library of Revision3 channels.

The idiot’s guide to getting started on web-TV for $99 and about 5 minutes of your precious time.

Get more out of that boob tube and stop pesky burning $4 on "on demand" movies.
  1. Buy the Roku (Amazon affiliate link). That’s the most difficult step, and there’s no service fee required.
  2. Plug the Roku into an electric outlet.
  3. Plug in an ethernet cord from your modem or router (or use one of these wireless internet adapters, which sends internet via electricity).
  4. Connect the Roku to your television via those red, white yellow cords or the fat one called an HDMI cable (audio and video)
  5. Turn on Roku and follow brief instructions
  6. Gorge on free content, and if you have Roku or Amazon, simply generate an approval code then tap that into your account to verify the box is yours and not some nosey neighbor pouching your account.
  7. Write me and tell me how I’ve opened your eyes to the impossible.

 

Online Video Tips for Small Business (MSNBC)

Get some coffee or program your TiVos, kids.

That video I shot Sunday for MSNBC Small Business (see MSNBC/Amex site) is going on television not the web (glad I didn’t quite realize that when I shot it, or I might have gotten nervous).

It airs this week 3/20/11 at 7:30am EST and will re-air Saturday, March 26th at 5:30am EST. This timing should work well for small businesses and entrepreneurs since they never sleep. And the YouTube peeps? They’ll still be awake from the night prior.

In the meantime, you can check some of the tips I shared with AOL small business, or buy Beyond Viral (Wiley) at your local bookstore or Amazon. And tell your friends at ABC and CBS they should book me. 🙂

Oh- I made an epic mistake on the video that I’m hoping people think was intentional because it’s so blatant. Be the first to notice it and comment below, and you get a free piece of cheese (and maybe an autographed copy of Beyond Viral if I actually remember).

Online-Video & Entrepreneurship

If you’re an entrepreneur interested in the Internet marketing and online-video, you’ll want pick up “Smarter, Faster and Cheaper,” which is a refreshing take on the space by mini-maven David Garland. My first impression of Garland, a fellow Wiley author, was jaded by his “as seen on ABC” logo and cheesy pocket hanky. I thought he might be one of those multi-level marketers or “get rich quick” dudes, who suck you into a spam vortex and start pimping eBooks. But we love ya anyway, Joel Comm. And congrats on the weight loss!

Anyway, oh contraire on that first impression. During our 1-hour chat before this interview (see The Rise To the Top) I discovered he’s quite a likable chat. He also told me I was harder to pin down then the celebrity authors who endorsed his book, which was a sad reminder I need a virtual assistant.

Check out Garland, and enjoy this little interview. It’s worth the click. I’d embed it here, but the mini maven deserves some more traffic, even if he’s got loads.

David Garland interviewing Nalts, who lacks the pocket handkerchief but does the best he can.

Online-Video Stats August 2009

Here are some more stats about online video via ComScore and MediaBuyerPlanner.

Basically 161 million people watched online video in the U.S, and YouTube maintains a 40% share (followed distantly by Microsoft with 2.2%, and Hulu with even less). So when I use YouTube to refer to online video, it’s like saying “Coke” to refer to soda or “Scotch tape” to refer to adhesive transparent tape.

If you’re a stupid media buyer, here are the ad networks that can help you interupt people during their video-viewing experience:

Tremor Media ranked as the #1 video ad network with a potential reach of 68 million viewers, or 42.2% of the total viewing audience. YuMe Video Network ranked #2 with a potential reach of 59.1 million viewers (36.7% penetration) followed by ScanScout Network with 57.6 million viewers (35.7%).

Or you could try baking your brand message into content that people actually watch… product placement, sponsoring YouTube stars via Hitviews, or creating serialized content and praying someone will watch. It’s a tough call I know.

Hey, no offense Tremor. I know you guys do more than serve video ads… tell us about some of the stuff that works!

The 7 Things Every Marketer Should Know About Online Video

Here is the fresh new list of 7 things every marketer should know about online video. This will be on the final exam, and it’s not “open book.” Remember folks, I’m not the greatest marketing director in history. And I’m certainly not the best online-video creator (even though I’m the second Google result when you search “fart”). But I don’t know many other people that have a leg firmly placed in each world… marketing and online video.

This list can save you months of research, reduce your risks, impress your colleagues and help you lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks. 

7-wonders

  1. They’re Here. Your customers are watching exponentially more videos online than they were 6-12 months ago. Don’t pull a Bud.tv, but recognize that “watching and experimenting” can be as dangerous as making calculated investments in the space and measuring them. 
  2. Buyer’s Market. The ROI of reaching customers via online-video is better today than ever before because it’s a buyer’s market. Assess your options, run tests, measure and scale. But if you spend the next six months on the first step, you’ll lose revenue potential and find the space shifted while you were stuck in “ready, aim” mode.
  3. Find a Sherpa. A calculated investment means you’ve done 3 things- you’ve been prudent about your spending, followed the rules of social media, and analytical on results. The best way to be prudent and stay within social media is to find a “sherpa” who has learned the mountain. Someone who already knows the taste of success, and the pain of making a mistake. 
  4. Analyze Impact: Every stupid list has a “measure and improve” step, but let’s get specific. Very few brands will measure online-video’s direct impact on sales. Likewise, I can’t tell you that paid search is selling my product, but I’ve doubled its budget every year because  have good assumption-based ROI models. If you can’t track sales, simply do a test/control or pre/post using the next realistic proxy measure/driver of sales (enrollment, site visit, intent, awareness). 
  5. Measure Persuasiveness Not Impressions. If you read the third tip, then we agree that impressions is the worst proxy ever. A video view is different from the fraction of a percent of banner impressions that actually get registered by the human eye. We know that, and we accept that if we engage a prospect in an entertaining and persuasive manner for 30-90 seconds, than we’ve increased intent to purchase. Just like a good salesperson is more effective than a brochure, video is the most visceral, engaging and persuasive form of mainstream media… especially if the audience connects with the star. If impressions are exciting to your boss, then stick with nickel CPMs via ad networks. There’s a reason they’re a nickel. 
  6. Please Don’t Just Advertise. You’re going to use this channel to advertise- brands will always advertise. But think beyond the ad play– it’s public relations, sponsorship and product placement too. An online-video star is like a small network or publication. He or she has a loyal audience, and you want to be more than an ad. You want to be a giveaway on Oprah or a Coke cup on the American Idol judges table. 
  7. Find Existing Crowds, Don’t Try Gathering Them. Please don’t invest in your own content or building a brand-focused entertainment channel (bud.tv). Nobody cares about your brand but you. Find people that have spent the past two years growing audiences who have “asses in seats.” Don’t put on a broadway show about your product- participate in the show that’s already “standing room only.”

nalts youtube poop

IAB online video metrics standardsThe Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has now proclaimed metric standards in a PDF document available here. According to the report, “These definitions are part of a larger IAB effort to stimulate video industry growth by making the reporting of metrics for agencies and advertisers across multiple media partners more consistent”

Thanks to Mike Abundo of Inside Online Video for alerting me to important stuff like this that I might otherwise miss.