June 27th, 2011 by Brian Baumley
I spent time this month at the annual Cable Show in Chicago. This is where cable operators, programming networks, technology vendors and more gather to talk about the latest trends, issues, show new tech capabilities and more. One of most discussed topics at the event was the opportunity that exists to deliver content that meets multi-screen demand. Essentially, as more consumers walk around with video-capable smartphones and tablets, how will the industry deliver programming to these devices?
Along these lines, we’ve had more than a few discussions with customers lately about how they’re adapting the creation process to accommodate viewing that’s extending beyond traditional TV and PC screens, to mobile devices. Here are some interesting takeaways:
More Devices = More Viewing Opportunity. Many companies used to justify a lack of video content by pointing to a small potential audience. As I write this, I’m surrounded by three screens (TV, PC, smartphone), all capable of competently displaying video content. So now, even on the go, my smartphone makes me a constant potential audience member. (And there are many more like me.) Ready or not, the audience is there, waiting to be engaged.
Different Screens Demand Different Content. Maybe you already recognize the opportunity to deliver content that can be viewed across a variety of devices. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should just repurpose all of your existing video for viewing on all platforms. When creating content, consider the size of your viewer’s screen when thinking about video length, shot composition and your video’s purpose. And think about the circumstances under which they’ll be viewing. For instance, a long training video might work better for TV or a PC during the workday. But a training recap or refresher might work better delivered to a phone for the commute home. Sure, anyone might be willing to compromise and watch Avatar on a 4” screen if they really want to see it at that moment. But will the same be true for your video? Make the viewing experience comfortable and purposeful.
Be Smart About Tech Requirements. We don’t want to get into a big discussion about codecs here, but remember that not all video can be displayed on all devices or with available bandwidth. For instance, if your video is set up in Flash, you’re going to lose iPad and iPhone users. If your file sizes are large and/or you’re not using adaptive bitrate streaming you’ll lose those that don’t have a good 4G or 3G connection. Pay attention to the browsers being used to access your site and prepare accordingly.
You have more opportunities than ever to reach viewers with video content. Use these opportunities wisely and watch your view count grow!
December 25th, 2010 by Seth Kenvin
November 30th, 2010 by Seth Kenvin
I’m catching up some this evening on tech news. Yammer, a provider of in-a-company social-networking software, which we’ve used, just raised $25 million, bringing its total funding to $40 million. Despite all of that funding, an interviewer still hammers the company on deficiencies in its offerings for Blackberry, iPhone and Android. This highlights a couple points:
- One is the clear importance for collaborative software (like ours, in addition to Yammer’s) to support every user, at all times, in any place, on whatever device is in use.
- Secondly, doing that through specific applications for specific environments is hard, even with $40 million.
Market7 is currently rallying fiercely towards complete support for mobile usage, but we are endeavoring to do so without compartmentalizing essential features to a variety of device-dependent applications. Instead we are doing it through standards-based web-access to rich features performing well within browsers on any device. This has always been a major element of the web’s promise, and a notion seeming to regain momentum as both the benefits and challenges of device-specific apps become apparent.
March 31st, 2010 by Seth Kenvin
Five days after surgery and for first time some pain is felt. Nothing too acute, feels like a thigh bruise, a bit above the knee. Appointment with doctor tomorrow, we’ll see what he thinks. For now I’m tired & uncomfortable, so today’s deep thoughts are short.
Again staying with the news, the initial iPad reviews have been coming out today. Considering this platform, along with the energy that’s in Android & iPhone app development, some are speculating a future in which portable, wireless devices with minimal hardware peripherals, including no physical keyboard, will increasingly be the environment for all computing.
All computing of course includes a broadening range of activities. Watching video? Agreed that seems great on a pad that’s light, easily held & presents content brightly. But I’d rather write a blog post, even as short as this one, with the benefit of a keyboard. Laptops have been with us in just about their current forms for a long time now, I suppose two decades, and the hinged keyboard motif is due for some innovation before long. But right now the screen-only pad does not appear to provide a solution for many tasks that require not just consumption, but also user input & interaction including much on our video.Market7.
December 13th, 2009 by Seth Kenvin
People touting being online from airplanes is about as trite as people pointing out how we increasingly consume the video we want, when we want, where we want & on the device we want. I’m doing both here — is combining those observations even more trite, or kind of insightful? I’m not sure, so I’ll try to keep this brief.
I’m on Virgin America (already established as favorite Market7 airline) flying back to SF from NYC.
- I’ve been taking advantage of the free Dec-Jan WiFi to work online the whole flight (we’re over Utah now), including catching up on a couple of video podcasts.
- Through the gap in the seats in front of me to my right a couple has swapped halfway through the flight so that each of them could watch The Hangover on the same in-flight VoD purchase in the seat’s screen.
- Through the same gap on my left A guy is playing around with the Red interactive functionality on his screen while he’s got MTV up live in the screen’s corner by PiP.
- Both of the guys next to me are using their iPhones to get online by WiFi. I haven’t seen them watch video on them, but they could.
& here I go making with the zeitgeist cliches (but it’s so true): wow we’re progressing from rapidly-extinguishing status quo of everyone being confined to whatever happens to be showing on the tube screens in the ceiling. In fact, my last NYC trip a couple months ago, on a different airline, the only electronic choices were to work on my laptop offline or tilt up my head to consume Mall Cop