October 30, 2008
Quick post just to let you know that today I officially launched the “Everywhere Video” contest. Where have you come across an unexpected video screen? In the back of a taxi? At the gas pump? In the halls of your kid’s middle school?
One of the key predictions of OmniVideo is that an explosion of screens is about to occur. My former colleague and wonderful idea-man, Chris Charron, used to talk about the “Screening of America,” and we’re now seeing it come to fruition. There are more screens than ever before, being used in traditional ways and some surprising ways.
I’ve posted on a few of these, like a full-motion ATM video screen in NYC that runs ads when not in use for banking. But there are more, and my challenge to is is to find them and tell me about them. Go to the “Everywhere Video” contest page to see how to enter and win the grand prize, a Flip Mino digital video camera.
I’m very pleased to welcome Jason Kilar, the CEO of Hulu.com and Daisy Whitney of TV Week and the New Media Minute video blog as my co-judges. We’re ready to sort through the best you’ve got. And if you’re concerned someone else already did yours, you can still win an honorable mention prize for having the most valid entries or the most creative submission. Go forth and compete!
October 14, 2008
I mentioned last week when the Dow was plummeting that I was polishing off a piece for Forrester on what a downturn does to video entertainment in the home. That report is due out tomorrow, so I’ll bring it up then, but notice that today’s Wall Street Journal reports the first evidence that HDTV sales might be headed for a crash. Check it out at: Economic Woes Hit HDTV Sales – WSJ.com
This is interesting in light of last week’s assertion from the CEA that TVs and other A/V hardware weregoing to grow 4.7% this year despite a looming recession. If I had to bet, I’d bet on zero growth for the category.
Zero growth is not as drastic as it sounds. This is a category that’s notoriously elastic in a down or up economy, according to Current Expenditure Survey data that I’m citing in my piece later this week. However, specific subcategories and even brands can still grow. Take Vizio, which will be the low-cost substitute to which more people will turn. The Wii will sell out again (though fewer games will sell than hoped, while game rentals will go up a notch). Maybe the enormously popular Wii Fit balance board will slow down, but that’s a big maybe (have you tried it? sooooo cool). And I’ve already written about the Flip camera’s likely ability to weather the storm.
So bad news it not bad news all around. The people who sell rice are thrilled right now. Rice always goes up in a down economy.
October 10, 2008
I’m busy working on a piece for Forrester about what a down economy does for video. I’ll be finished next week and can share more then, but in the process of speaking to people in the industry, I came across a bright spot, at least as Simon Fleming-Wood, VP of Marketing for Pure Digital, the maker of the phenomenal rags-to-riches Flip digital video cameras. In a recent conversation, I broached the topic of a down economy and mentioned that while many were optimisitc about the future of free services like online video (for obvious reasons), some are nervous about the prospects for devices this holiday buying season. But Simon isn’t seeing it:
We are cautiously optimistic. Our retail partners have increased their forecasts for sales of our products over the last 3 weeks. The President of the United States went on television in an unprecedent event to tell the nation that we were in an economic crisis. Yet our sales went up that week.
Bully for Pure Digital. It helps that the Flip cameras are positioned as low-cost digital video cameras, of course. I don’t imagine Sony and Canon are as sanguine about their prospects this quarter. But it goes to show that even in a down economy, the right product targeted at the right market with the right features can succeed.
What do you think? Are you afraid for any particular products or services? Will premium cable channels suffer? Will that 2nd DVR get postponed to next year? Will Hulu.com take over the world with its free content?
Tell me what you think will happen or what you are doing personally. For example, I’m cutting back on premium movie channels (that I don’t watch enough anyway). What about you?