Tag Archives: YouTube

To build an App or not to be build an App


We have a customer at Endava who is at the innovative end of the spectrum. I wouldn’t describe them at ‘bleeding edge’, however they are willing to take some risks by prototyping new technologies and if the ideas succeed, a more rubust version will be built.

Last year they produced a number of prototypes for an annual event – a YouTube channel, the start of a social media implementation, and an iPhone app.

The iPhone app was more successful than a most expected, for a very simple reason. The web analytics from the website showed a low number of users were browsing their main website using an iPhone. So there was little evidence that an iPhone app would work.

However, as soon as the iPhone app was launched, it was downloaded in the tens of thousands within a week. The following year, a new version was released and downloaded 250,000 times in the same period.

What we’re learnt from this experience is that iPhone apps are another route to market. They exist in parallel to your website rather than a promotional element of it. For this client, the app was hardly promoted on the main website.

It’s ever been quicker or cheaper to produce prototypes such as the ones listed above as long as the core infrastructure is in place – specifically APIs and a decent Content Management System. 10 years ago, these types of prototypes would cost 10 times as much for equivalent first versions (a WAP site, a video portal and as for social media – it hardly existed!).

So the answer to the question in the title – try it.

Review of my 2010 predictions


Back in January I made 10 predictions for Digital Media for 2010. Being open and transparent, how did these predictions fair over the year?

  1. Reinvestment in Digital Media.
    2010 was a great year for agencies. We have implemented a number of very large websites, both brand new brands and existing ones. In terms of reinvestment, clients are now looking into cloud computing and full disaster recovery.
    Prediction rating: 10/10
  2. Lack of new products due to R&D being slashed in 2009.
    Looking back at new applications and products – what was released that made a big impact? The iPad (at the beginning of the year before being launched it was referred to as the iSlate). I predicted that the end of the year would see some launches, and Kinect was released in November. Before you start commenting that 2010 was the year of 3D TV, they were in fact launched in 2009.
    Prediction rating: 10/10 

  3. A number of live events on YouTube.
    Well, in September they launched live streaming. However I doubt most people really noticed. I’ll knock some points off because I said “live is where the value is”.
    Prediction rating: 8/10

  4. More Flex applications, less Silverlight.
    Hmmm – more site are using Flex (BBC iPlayer download for example). HTML 5 changed the landscape significantly, and due to the ongoing spat between Apple and Adobe, agencies are nervous about any single vendor, and will move to the latest version of HTML instead.
    Prediction rating: 3/10 

  5. SecondLife to further decline.

    Second-what? The LindenX has just flattened out for the last couple of years – which means no more money is coming into the platform.
    Prediction rating: 9/10

  6. The UK to start accepting blogging at the same status as the US.
    Absolutely. UK news programmes now interview blogging experts for their views and opinions. Blogs are quoted in the press (errr, but so is Twitter, so maybe it’s just reporters’ laziness).
    Prediction rating: 10/10

  7. Offline browsers make a comeback.
    Perhaps 12 months ahead of it’s time, this prediction didn’t materialise. Before you think there is a gap in the market, we have been approached by a number of vendors in this space.
    Prediction rating: 2/10

  8. The FIFA World Cup sees huge use of video over mobile & broadband.
    It’s easy to forget the World Cup this year. If you were streaming it though, your view of the summer was probably very different to England supporters. Internet traffic reached a record peak (of almost 1Tb/sec) due to video over mobile and broadband. 
    Prediction rating: 10/10

  9. Expect ebooks to take off.
    Ebooks have exceeded all expectations for booksellers, so I was correct there. However magazines, sports programmes and other paper publications have been slow to move to ebooks, mainly because Amazon and other ebook retailers want such a high slice of the revenue. So if you’re a football club that sells a programme for £3 or £4, you really don’t want a new middleman taking 20-30% of your revenue to sell the book electronically.
    Prediction rating: 5/10

  10. 2010… the year of Web CRM
    There is still a major opportunity for a cloud based platform with efficient pricing. I do not understand why there isn’t a white label SSO platform out there. Let me know if you can recommend one.
    Prediction rating: 0/10

Pretty good going overall. Any more accurate and I’d be an octopus.

I’ll post an article on 2011 predictions next week.

Photo courtesy of Shine 2010 – 2010 World Cup good news.

Not so amateur Star Wars

One of the amazing things the Internet enables, is for talented gifted people to reach an audience that in previous ages, required the luck of a TV appearance.

The first is “The Solo Adventures”, the winner of “Best Animation” from the Star Wars Fan Film Movie Challenge, sponsored by Lucasfilm.

As the title suggests, it was actually created in 3D, and this version on Vimeo (a far superior quality video hosting platform than YouTube) is the 2D version.

I’ll post a video of another talented individual tomorrow.

Newport viral video review

via youtube.com

One of the most successful viral videos this year is the one above – Newport, which is a comical spin on the Jay Z Empire State of Mind song. To put into perspective, the video has had 1.97m views on YouTube alone, and was uploaded 10 days ago.

It’s hilarious from beginning to end, so it’s just too difficult to quote the funny lines – you need to watch the whole video.

The quality of the video production is superb. At the end of the song is a credits page, with a link to the production company who made the video – www.hellolove.tv. They clearly make better videos than websites (certainly on my laptop it was really difficult to navigate).

When content is this good, I wish the production company (and Newport) the best of success for the future. Apparently its got a new shopping centre.

Micro micro payments – the future of content


Image courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik

Last September I gave an opening speech to the English Premiership clubs discussing loyalty and the future economy of content.

On the latter subject, my personal view is that content cannot stay free for the long term. Our children will look back on the web and ask us what is was like living in a bubble of free video (iPlayer), free radio (any radio station’s website/ iPhone app), free high quality music (Spotify), free text content (over 99% of websites), free storage (YouTube, Flickr, etc.), free search (Google, etc.) – it’s all free free free. I think we will answer our children by saying “Yes, it was a pretty cheap time – companies advertised on these sites, and we thought that covered the costs” – at least, this is the public’s perception.

So what will replace this massive amount of free content and free applications?

At the Premiership event I said that in the future we will have some sort of e-wallet, and each web page that you navigate to, and each search will take fractions of a penny out of your wallet. Listening to music might cost a little more, and video might cost a little more than video. The funds from your e-wallet will be redirected in part to your ISP and a part to the content owner. A bit like local and premium rate phone numbers – some money goes to the telco provider, and some to the company who picks up the phone. My gut feel is that a regular user will spend £10-20 (in today’s money) per month on this e-wallet.

That was all last September, and this week there was an article on TechCrunch (thanks to James at Endava for pointing this out) which described a new service called Flattr, which will adopt a similar-ish model. Flattr’s model is more proactive though – the content owner needs to install a Flattr button, and the user needs to press the button for funds to go to that owner. It’s a start though.

Why YouTube is Not Like the Postal Service

What a ridiculous comment David Drummond, chief legal officer at Google made about the Italian verdict.

He told the BBC News “It is like prosecuting the post office for hate mail that is sent in the post”. There’s a fundamental difference here though – the Postal Service can’t see what’s inside each envelope and parcel. YouTube can see every video that is posted.

Until now, YouTube have been on a honeymoon period of ignoring all copyright infringements and legal requirements in becoming a broadcaster. This is changing very quickly.

I applaude the Italian courts for having the backbone to becoming the first country to stand up to the most powerful company on the Internet.

Video Advertising

My thanks to Erin at IMG for spotting an article on NMA discussing the cost of video ads.

The article basically says that with the law of supply and demand, there’s a whole lot of supply out there at the moment (which is only growing in size), and this is driving down prices, by as much as 50%.

In order to simplify the process of advertising across a huge number of video portals, a new group, VAST, has been set-up to manage campaigns separately. YouTube Google are on board so I would imagine that central system is very likely to be AdWords…

Google Struggling With Shows

Have you seen some of the videos in the ‘Shows’ section of YouTube? Almost all of them have very few views and only 1 pre roll clip, so for a 30 (or even worse, 60) minute TV programme, they’re just about covering the cost of delivering the video.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Google have to re-brand the platform that delivers full length shows from the UGC site. (And maybe call it Hulu). YouTube simply isn’t an obvious destination for full length shows, despite every other London bus advertising the feature.

YouTube to Stream Live IPL Matches

It’s interesting that Google/YouTube can’t be sued by anyone for having illegal content because they are *only* a search engine, yet now they are paying for rights like everyone else, they’re actually a broadcaster…

Could you imagine ITV or Fox paying for the rights for one sport, and illegally showing another? Why is YouTube different by paying for IPL content, and happily serving hundreds of thousands of illegal Premiership content (this clip has had 2.6m views – )?

Also, you’ll see situations where you’re watching an IPL match, and see adverts for illegal tickets being shown in the overlay ads (because again, Google don’t need to moderate its own adverts)!!