A Cautionary Tale From Revision3

Before you go any further, read this post from Jim Louderback from Revision3 on how he spent his weekend.

There is no “simple” way to spin this – “new media” was attacked by an “old media” guardian.

A very sloppy guardian none the less, but, as they say, consider the source.

There is a battle going on here.

The “old” wants the “new” out of their space.

Ever wondered why it’s so freaking hard to consume downloaded DRMd content on more than one device while a broadcast flagged episode of American Gladiators can still be watched on a black and white television from the 60s?

Ever wondered why you never hear of Comcast throttling bandwidth hogs like Hulu?

Ever wondered why not a single “new” media company that have signed (financial) contracts with “old” media show up at events like the New Media Expo?

I sure have.

Read Jim’s post again.

Maybe it ain’t that complicated.

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What “The Channel That Used To Play Music Videos” Has To Teach Us About Video Podcasting

I keep hearing over and over how the “future” of Podcasting is video – how all the money is there.

Now, let’s get the simple statement out of the way the simple fact that just because “the money is in” something, doesn’t mean it will last.

Bubble 1 anyone?

So, remember MTV? Music Television?

Yeah, the channel that is the home to MySweet16HillsJackassMakingTheBandCribs used to by 24 hour a day music videos.

And they used to be “King.”

Because, video was the “future of music.”

Remember that?

Remember the whole “no album is going to be released without a music video series” thing?

Yeah, howz that working for you?

Now, the music video ain’t dead. But the music video is hardly the force that it once was.


Cause it’s music / not video.

It’s not enough to support what we thought it was going to support. It can’t even support a third-rate cable station.

None of the “Music Stations” play music anymore – the video ones at least.

It’s like the audio book – a nice idea, but if you want to make any cash, you probably still want that dead tree action.

Or at least some of that KindleLuvin.

I get over and over again that this “Video Podcasting” is the future nonsense.

It ain’t.

It’s a format.

GeekBrief would never work as an audio Podcast – at least in it’s form.

Ninja as 5 minute comedycast? Forget it.

But saying the “future” is in video is like saying the future is in …

… Music Videos …

… or Audio Books …

… or Chain Rice Pudding Stores

If we’re going to progress as an industry, we’re going to go with what makes business sense, not what’s sexy this week/month/year.

Just a thought.

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Woopra, Launched By Podcast?

So Cali and Neal find a cool product on a trip to Dallas. They dig Woopra so much they do a whole Geekbrief about it.

Side note, very cool looking product, would love to use this to study things like the real impact from Twitter postings and podcast publishing.

TechCrunch then picks up the story (they’re not much for being scooped anyone).

From there, TechMeme grabs the story and … bam, we get some real attention here.

What a pleasure to watch all this happen. A product launched by podcast …

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TubeMogul.com And Podcasters

As part of the Podcast Secrets 2008 launch, we’re putting out a bunch of videos about Podcasting – best practices, cool tools, bigger pictures, etc.

They are all free with our compliments – hoping that you’ll give Podcast Secrets another look.

Today the video is about Tube Mogul and the Podcaster. I’ve written about their tool in the past and can’t recommend it high enough. Here are some thoughts on how Podcasters can leverage Tube Mogul in their marketing and research efforts:

And of course, using the Tube Mogul tools (and the recommendation that you do this in the video), I also offer the links to my videos on Yahoo, MySpace, Metacafe, Google, DailyMotion, Blip.tv, Veoh, Stupid Videos, Sclipo and Viddler

7 Things We Can (And Should) Learn From “The Totally Rad Show.”

The Totally Rad Show became my favorite Revision 3 property this weekend. I’ve always enjoyed it but a few things happened in show 52 that made me realize how great, do I dare say “how rad” this show actually is. We’ve all got some things to learn from Alex Albrecht, Jeff Cannata and Dan Trachtenberg. I’ll chat a few of them here.

The show/Podcast (nicknamed “TRS”) is a weekly play where 3 friends chat about “all things rad” that happened that week. They usually cover film and television and often hit comics and video games. Alex, Jeff and Dan are engaging and funny and can keep you attention for the time needed to give their topics the attention they want to give them. Each show starts with a spoof/tribute to a favorite film (it was their tribute to The Muppet Movie of all things that brought me over the top) but he majority of everything else is done in front of greenscreen.

Here are 7 things I learned from the TRS guys in the last 52 episodes.

If done right, you can be a show, not a series of 1-off videos. Episode 52 was in celebration of their first 52 episodes (they do these things weekly). The content was all about what they had done in the last 51 shows – there was very little “new” content other than a walk down memory lane with people who had gone on this trip with them. If TRS had been developed to just shove reviews down as many channels as possible (go ahead, name me one movie review property with their own clips show), you would never have something as fun as this. And, yes, it made me wonder what the next 52 episodes will bring. This should have advertisers salivating.

The right combo of technologies trumps an “old media” million dollar budget every time. I could deconstruct how this show is put together but I won’t. In short, they spent money where they needed to but this is certainly a “low budget” venture that still has a great look and feel to it. Despite the single camera, you never once find yourself hoping for a new shot. This technique has been mastered by properties such as Ninja and Geekbrief but are considerably more impressive when you consider the fact that TRS is usually 60 minutes or so in length each week.

If you want to keep an audience, respect your audience. The spoof/tribute this week was as much a spoof/tribute to the first year history of TRS as it was to The Muppet Movie with the immortal line “Life is a movie, make your own ending” as a reminder of both what the show is about and what the show hopes you might do with your life after the hour is over.

Serve your niche, not everybody’s niche. This flows right from the point above. There is a HUGE segment of the planet, sorry, who won’t get the references in the TRS opening for #52. That doesn’t matter to TRS. And that, dear friends, is why the show is so, wait for it, “totally rad.” I know this is a show for me, not a show they through some “element” in hoping to “catch” some percentage of my demographic.

Passion is as important as production. If these guys didn’t care as much about the topics as they did, they would have lost me with Episode #1. New media is a lot more than getting a pretty face to read your copy.

If you aren’t having fun, start something you can have fun with. This is part of the previous comment but I want to stress, strongly, that as important as passion is, it isn’t always enough. I think we too often forget that in this space with all the “Podcast your passion and the profits will follow” nonsense out there. If the process of Podcasting your passion ain’t fun, you’ll never get past episode #6. These guys have way too much fun.

You audience can be a tremendous part of your content. The TRS team has tightly integrated their audience into their production and content. From user-generated backdrops (will UGB become an industry term?) for their greenscreen work to dedicated a whole segment to answering viewer email, the audience feels like they are part of what is being created – considerably more than PBS ever gets from asking you to send in checks. Your niche will help support anything they help create. They not only helped create TRS, they help continue to make it better.

And a bonus … “Old media” and “new media” can work side by side. I don’t know if TRS will ever end up on a “major” network (and I don’t know if it should – but that’s another posting all together) but I do know that you’ll never see the guys reviewing “new media” content with the same fervor they gave “No Country For Old Men.” This is o.k. and possibly even a great strategy – but that, too is another blog posting.

In all seriousness, give TRS a try. Their style and content might not be to your liking but their mastery of what their trying to accomplish (and their passion for it) is something, as I mentioned in the title for this, that we could all learn a lot from.

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Attack Of The Killer Ninja Tomatoes?

Well if you haven’t heard by now, the Ask a Ninja guys are going to do a (Hollywood) remake of the classic film, “The Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes.

Don’t forget people, this is the film that launched a sequel that helped launch George Clooney’s career. And, of course, we all know how much Ninjas love George Clooney.

There is a huge smile on my face. I couldn’t happen to nicer guys and if I could pick the team to bring some new media sensibilities to LaLaLand, it would be Douglas and Kent.

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7 Ways Apple TV Changes The Game And What Podcasters Need To Know And Do About It

Digg this story …

If this is your first time at the Blog, let me tell you this: yes, we love the gadgets and have a house full of ’em, but … this ain’t always about the gadgets. This is about the business and politics behind the gadgets. With that said and done, we’d love to have you as a subscriber.

Apple TV "Take Two" was introduced yesterday. I haven’t found anyone yet who isn’t thrilled with the results.

I would suggest however that this is much bigger than this. Yes, we have cool elements like HD video rentals (which I don’t know about you, but I’ve had on my xBox for what a year now?) and Flickr browsing but I’d really, honestly, like to suggest that Apple TV is now, officially, a game changer and here are my 7 reasons why.

The Podcast Subscription Paradigm Is Dead (with Apple TV at least). With this gorgeous box, I can watch whatever Podcast I want (as long as it is in the iTunes directory) and the word subscription isn’t anywhere to be found. Apple TV is now a video on demand service where you simply pick your favorite Podcasts and play and/or download them on demand. We’ve been saying for years that we need to make the subscription process easier. Apple did it by killing the susbcription process.

This Is Standards Setting. The joke with Apple TV is that this would all be news if people actually had an Apple TV to upgrade. They aren’t as popular as they should be and I don’t think this round will make any kind of dent on anyone’s numbers. It does, however, set the standard. When xBox releases their Podcasting application, it will look more like Apple TV than the Zune. Trust you me this. Want to see where Podcasting will be in 2 years? Visit your local Apple Store today.

Network Quality Suddenly Becomes Important Again. One of the nice benefis of a behind the scenes download process is that you can put your files on a lousy network and it doesn’t really matter as it all happens in "the background." This is no longer the case. If the Podcast you want to watch doesn’t stream well via "click to play," you will switch to another one – there are too many choices. I streamed several gorgeous HD video Podcasts with no problem and watched a few others sputter there way into oblivion. The commonality? The network. Some "big names" in this space don’t stream well at all.

YouTube Is As Important As Any Video Podcast Channel. Subscriptions in YouTube are just another button on this thing now. Actually, come to think of it, the only subscription option is YouTube. Video Podcasters, get your show as a channel on YouTube asap

The Price Just Went Down (Way Down). An Apple TV is less than any iPod touch. There are also no monthly fees like one would pay with their Tivo (remember Tivo?) This is one of the cheapest options in town.

Apple Owns The Premium Process. One of my biggest questions with this was always going to be "how does this affect Premiumcast.com?" At this point, there is no way to grab premium content directly through the Apple TV interface that Apple ain’t directly selling. Apple owns the only sales process for Apple TV. Sure, you can download to your computer and sync over but … why do that anymore? Premium is currently, a walled garden on this gorgeous little box.

Updates Included. We saw how Zune updated their v1 product to v2 without charge. We’ve seen Apple update the iPhone and the Apple TV without charge. We’ll be seeing more of this in the future. It is the new normal. Yes, the Touch update was $20 and I’ll be good scratch that the guy who thought that up has been yelled at by Steve more than a few times.

This one is a game changer people. Mark my words.

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Apple TV Take 2 – This Podcaster’s Perspective

As per Engadget (and TUAW and few zillion other gadget blog sites already), the "Take 2" update for Apple TV is loose and available for download.  As I type these first sentences, my system is in the process of downloading and upgrading. 

As always, I’ll try to give the Podcasting / New Media angle on my initial thoughts re this reboot.

The "promise" of Apple TV (Take 2) is an interesting one – we don’t need to hook this thing up to a computer to get some real power.  What we have now is a machine that connects to the Internet without a computer somewhere acting as our person inbetween.  I like the theory – how well does it work?

First thing of note – Subscriptions in YouTube.  This could and will be amazingly powerful if we get enough of these boxes (or any box that allows for YouTube subscriptions) in front of people.

Second thing of note – Entering in anything (logins/passwords) via the remote is really annoying.  I can only imagine entering a Podcast RSS URL (haven’t done it yet).

Number 3 – The movie rental process is incredible.  Nice and clean.  Gorgeous.  I will be renting movies this way.

Number 4 – Podcasts.  Wow.  Yes, you can subscribe, etc., but there is also a play on demand kind of option in here.  You pick what you want to watch and can either watch or subscribe as you wish.  Nice. 

Your Podcast Perspective is this … this changes EVERYTHING.  I’ll be writing more here as soon as I soak it all in.

Color me very impressed.


New Heights For New Media – GrapeRadio.com On American Airlines

In early February 2008, American Airlines will begin airing GrapeRadio on its in-flight personal entertainment media players in Business and First Class, the first such wine-specific programming on any U.S. airline. That’s right, a PODCAST is being played at 30,000 feet. You can read the Press Release here.

Easily repurposing content for different channels and audience is part of the value play new media brings. From DVDs to “in-flight personal entertainment media players,” our content needs to get in as many places as possible. But we need to remain thin in the process as it is part of what we offer. There weren’t 37 different unions and lawyers to make this deal happen, and that is why it happened.

And for those of you snickering conspiracy types who hear a pay-for-play element here, I have it on good authority that such ain’t the case in this instance. They’ve been working on this for over a year and have done this on an episode by episode basis to make sure everyone gets what they want.

What kind of quality are these shows? One episode has an interview with Margrit Mondavi, hard to come by no matter who you are in the wine space. If you know anything about wine, and even if you don’t, it is easy to tell that what these guys have done has been first class all the time.

And that, my friends, is why I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Do I dare say digital media soars to new heights?

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