Burns bypasses theatrical for latest release

26 10 2007

A rallying call to independent film makers all over the world: Emmy award-winning writer Ed Burns has shunned theatrical distribution for the premiere of his latest comedy drama Purple Violets, in favour of exclusive availability on iTunes, reports Variety.

“The specialized movie business has changed so dramatically in the last five years,” Burns said. “My style of filmmaking is dying on the vine. These small, talky movies have a hard time finding an audience theatrically, so you need to adapt.  There are still people who want to see this nontraditional type of film, and now there are nontraditional ways to get them out there.”

Why size matters :)

31 08 2007

Perhaps a general excuse for a syndicated feature on the brave new world of online TV and video, but this piece from AP makes an interesting, yet also baldly obvious, observation that online video viewers expect a full-screen, televisual experience, rather than watching something which judders in a console the size of a postage stamp.

Particularly telling are the straplines employed by incumbent services:

Babelgum’s slogan is: “TV experience, Internet substance.” Veoh touts: “VeohTV makes watching Internet as simple as watching television.” Joost simply states: “The new way of watching TV.”

Which suggest that out of the three quoted, two get it and are playing the long game on anticipated mainstream usage, while Babelgum is clearly speaking more directly to the early adopter audiences which forms the user bases of all three offers.

The report also cites A poll conducted by AP and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL from last September, which found that only one in five online video viewers have watched or downloaded a full-length movie or TV show. Arguably both dated and self-serving given the commissioners of the study.

What’s without a doubt, as the piece highlights, is that  TV and PC environments are merging. It will take 10-20 years, according to the report for them to fully converge, the report adds, perhaps a subjective judgment, given the speed of change both within the service, technology and device landscapes and broad underestimates of consumer adoption.

TV viewing is one of the most deeply-entrenched habits witnessed by humankind, after the other thing, change is beginning to happen quite profoundly among both younger and yonug-at-heart consumers, but the mainstream majority will likely take longer than the VC-backers and hyping-journos would like to believe. This isn’t an uncertain world, merely one which is shifting distribution mechansim.

The Guardian to bolster online video

12 07 2007

UK daily The Guardian has appointed Robert Freedman as head of video, tasked with overseeing the newspaper’s online video efforts in the run-up to the launch of its new service at the end of August. Freedman joins from the Press Association, where he was formerly head of multimedia. He’s also worked for the BBC. Freedman reports in to Emily Bell, Guardian News & Media director of digital content

Online video: the view from Madison Avenue

12 07 2007

Following the post immediately below, covering Brightcove’s provision of online video services for three UK print publishers, some great insight in this interview with Ogilvy’s group planning director David Rittenhouse.

Independent print publishers are seizing the opportunity of introducing video alongside their print content, leaving their less nimble major competitors behind, contends Rittenhouse. While he’s clear that it’s not yet viewed as a major market, it is presenting his clients with some low-risk ways of reaching niche audiences with more closely-targeted advertising, in a cost-efficient way.

On a related subject, probably worth highlighting Rittenhouse’s recent briefing note on behavioural targeting.

Brightcove expands UK business

12 07 2007


Online video ASP Brightcove is beefing up its UK business with the announcement of a raft of new content partners. Emap, Sony BMG, Hachette Filipacchi and IPC Magazines join existing partners, such as Reuters, MTV Networks, Warner Music and ITV Local. What’s particularly noteworthy is to see more print publishers expanding their digital presence and making the leap in to richer media through the addition of video content.

Emap will be offering ad-funded vids under its Heat magazine masthead, while IPC’s offer is based on content from Nuts magazine — given that both are heavily-skewed towards young males it speaks (predictable) volumes about who they see as the heaviest online users.

More interesting is Hachette’s video-driven version of Elle magazine. Clearly Hachette have taken note of Nielsen/NetRatings assertion back in May that women are the single most prevalent online demographic group; though I suspect that the catwalk models featured in its video features will continue to appeal equally to male users 🙂

The expansion of Brightcove’s UK business is a prelude to ramping up its presence in Europe and Asia “in the not too distant future,” said the company’s CEO Jeremy Allaire.

More coverage from The Independent here.