Friday, 21 December 2012

2012 wrapped up in the best viral video. A beautiful piece of work for Christmas.

As we come to Christmas, I'll take a Blog Break until January 2 full time but a few posts in between. As you might know, I blog every day but I need a hollier (!)

But firstly thank you very much for reading this Blog.
I enjoy doing it but without a reader....I wouldn't.
It'd be like talking to yourself.

So genuinely, thank you very much.

And this is the viral of the minute which thanks to Mashable, is doing the rounds. And rightly so, it's a beautiful piece of work. Stunning. 

Called "what brought us together" it's a wrap-up of 2012 - Hurricane Sandy, Kony, Sopa, Costa Concordia, Felix's jump, Gangnam style, Whitney, Mars Landing, Olympics and the tragedy of Amanda Todd. Tragedy isn't a big enough word for Connecticut's children.

Look after yourself.

Have a cheerful, peaceful Christmas.
And think about those who don't because of war or money.

And if you pass them on the street, say hello, don't walk by.
We're all in this world together.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

YouTube Top Videos of 2012 just in. The New York Times Presidential debates does really well. Nice to see Newspapers take on the TV Broadcasters and win!

YouTube has just announced its highest video ratings for 2012 which are interesting when compared to Google's Top 10 announced last week-ish and reported here

They are different - Whitney was number 1 on Google but Gangnam Style and Hurricane Sandy do well in both. Felix's Red Bull Jump did well on Google too. But the results generally are different.

So what I think that means is that Google search is not used for YouTube video. If you're looking for a video, you go to YouTube and use their own search...or so I suspect. 

70,000 hours worth of news related video was put on YouTube every 2012 day

The "exploding substation" video got over 4 million views in under 24 hours, the highest viewership.

During the US Presidential Election, Videos tagged either 'Obama' or 'Romney' were viewed 2.7 billion times during that election. Think you'd ever get that on TV viewing? Not a hope. And YouTube is free.

The debates themselves, drew in 27 million views on YouTube and The New York Times debate video got 13 million views alone, making it their biggest channel video ever. Isn't it great to see a newspaper going into TV in such a big way? Good for them.

350,000 Syria Protest videos were uploaded, and watched, over 200 million times. 8 million people watched Felix make his Red Bull Jump LIVE - now isn't that like TV? Except it's 100% better and far more effective - yes, because it's one-to-one, personal. Not like the "TV snacking" with 40% of viewers having a computer screen open at the same time.

Gangnam Style was the top trending video of 2012. Pity.

The Weather Channel's 70 hour live stream coverage of Superstorm Sandy had 13 million views.

These are extraordinary numbers.

They must frighten the life out of traditional TV Broadcasters (assuming they care or know, which I doubt) and open up opportunities for people involved in video trying to get their own channel going.

YouTube is really developing as a medium delivering huge, unbelievable audiences, without the cost.

Oh yeah. My YouTube Video of 2012? 
17 million views and 7 months later it was the Harvard Baseball Team "call me maybe" which started a whole trend of these types of videos to that song. 

That's it on the top of this. 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

HMV. Shares at 2p from £2.72. Debt of 220 million. Valued at £10 million from £1 billion. A brand that ignored digital is in a death spiral.

It was July 1921 when Edward Elgar (the 'Land of Hope and Glory' man) opened the first HMV ("His Master's Voice" which featured the famous logo and 'Nipper' the dog as above) store in Oxford Street, London, pictured below.

Elgar was the first composer to understand the "gramophone", as being a technology of the future.

The men behind the store, Williams and Owen, had founded 'The Gramophone Company' in 1897 to help spread the new technology (what was a recording device), and opening a shop to sell it, seemed to make sense. Ten years later they merged it with Columbia to create, Electric and Musical industries. EMI. Still one of the world's leading record labels and famous for signing The Beatles in the 60's.


But today, it is the very threat of technology, that has brought about the demise of HMV. Internet digital sales, such as Itunes, has eroded sales on the high street and HMV stood by, like so many companies of old and watched it all happen. Who was in a better place to adopt online music when it began, than HMV? It was the music brand. Indeed, it was the DVD brand.

In 1984, Dublin's own, Bob Geldof, opened the flagship store on Oxford Street as the biggest music store in the world and it still is. I was in it many, many times. In 1998, HMV was spun off from EMI and sold to Advent International, a private equity house. In 2002, it floated on The London Stock Exchange at a 1 billion sterling valuation. Last Friday it was worth less than 10 million.

It now faces a breach of its banking covenants in January and therefore, "material uncertainty" of 220 million stg debt with 8 Banks. When you start to breach banking covenants, it's the start of a quick but slippy slope. I know. I've done it and it's the first big flag of impending doom.

Why is it happening?

Alan Giles CEO since 1999 said in 2004 he wouldn't "bet the company" on making the investment needed for digital because, "if we had bet the company then we would have lost it". Irony. They didn't make the investment and now they have lost it.

In fact, since he said it, the sales of "singles" has risen from 40m a year to 180m a year (!) almost entirely due to digital downloads. So talk about an opportunity lost.....

The Web now accounts for 60%+ of sales, HMV has about a 20% market share of UK sales and 5,000 staff losing about 36 million stg every 6 months and 176 million in net debt. The share price has gone to 2p, from £2.72.

Christmas accounts for 60% of all annual sales so these days right now, are critical to the future of HMV. However, it's unlikely they're going to make it.

Their online offering is frankly, naff. Real "retailer built", rather than Social Media savvy. And they no longer have the money to make the investment they need to. 

And HMV is now irrelevant in a changing market landscape. Even today, it just isn't at the digital races. It's simply become extinct.

It is the story of a big brand that didn't get digital. Like their sister company, Waterstones, who let Amazon own books - or Blockbuster/Xtravision who let Netflix own video - or TV broadcasters who let The Huff Post own the news -  or Microsoft who let Apple own computing - they are the  story of the ongoing saga of dinosaurs in a world that's changed. There's no excuse either because even allowing them to miss the boat at the start, they've done little to catch up. It's appalling actually because that lack of thinking, might now cost 5,000 jobs.

Instead of walking away with some payments no doubt, the management team should be taken out and flogged. Publicly.

But herein lies a lesson for the other companies out there who have their heads in the sands. There still is lots of them and they will be replaced by this new order.

The Web is here, are you?

(I'm grateful for some of this content to Graham Ruddick's article at the beloved, The Sunday Telegraph)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Connecticut Tribute Viral.

I have to say I thought we should not let the Connecticut Shooting pass. There is a huge amount of online activity and tributes to the victims. In fact it is the news story of the week that has dominated the world's media.

It's shocking and it's sickening.

So I saw this and thought it was about as fitting a tribute you could get and has gone viral. No harm just to take stock of a world gone mad every now and again.

It's the cast of The Voice singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah as the show finished on Monday night. Each singer holds a card bearing the name of each child and their age whom were killed, murdered, last Friday.

And it shows the power of online even at times like these.

Monday, 17 December 2012

The next big Social Media Network will be Video sharing. ESPN starts it off with Twitter.

The next big Social Media network is likely to be about video sharing.

Story sharing, posts sharing, pic sharing is all done and what's needed now is the ability for people to share video. Personal video but also video that they think you'll be interested in seeing. Not a Google 'hangout' but rather a place where you can post video you think people will be interested in seeing it - sharing a sports video for example or a news clip.

Sports is a key driver of video on demand (vod) and of video sharing. During the week, ESPN, the sports broadcaster, have integrated instant video replay content which they will deliver to sports fans via Twitter.

Clearly Twitter's strength is mobile and this new sports package will allow people to see the action in replay, as they move about. They're starting with College Football - clearly getting to the younger sports and twitter savvy audiences.

Users will also get alerts to their phone when some key action takes place so that can instantly go on and have a look. And yes, the clip will have a pre-roll Ad, largely initially for Ford Fusion.

It's video sharing in a real smart way - it's Social media video sharing. Spreecast seems to be the first attempt at this but I think, a poor attempt.

It also gives brands like ESPN a real useful footprint and presence on Twitter.

But you're going to see more of this - Social Video sharing.
It has to be the next wave.