The VideoTLV meeting special @Contech2010 Conference took place on November 9 at the David Intercontinental hotel, Tel Aviv. It was the 23rd VideoTLV meeting; topic was "Future Visions".
115 group members gathered, networked, drank beer and discussed an exciting review of an iPhone VOD app, a Facebook app for Social Video, and a new perspective on content business models. The event was co-hosted with the Digital Living show of Shelly Palmer and broadcasted live online thanks to LiveU.
Gilli Cegla, CEO of Novawind and Curator of VideoTLV opened the meeting with welcome statement and thanks to the Contech2010 conference team, VideoTLV team and event sponsors. Yoram Mokady, VP Content & Regulation at HOT moderated the presentations.
Shachar Abiri, iPhone project, HOT
Currently, iPhone users consume a lot of video, even compared to Android users. Hot has decided to exploit the iPhone for various options: video, marketing information, programming recordings, EPG search, order reminders, invoices etc. The Hot iPhone App was developed by Applicaster, who specialize in video solutions for iOs. The App was launched about two months ago; it includes a variety of original productions (Hebrew) and hundreds of Video hours all viewable via iPhone & iPad. After only 24 hours the Hot application reached the "Top 3" of the Israeli AppStore, and more than a month later was still ranked at the top. View time average is 1 hour and 5 minutes (compared to 20 minutes on cellular video content). During the launch period use of the application is free. In the coming days, Hot plans to start charging for most of its' content, along with a free content offer. Planned business model mentioned was integrated commercials. An iPad optimized app will be launched soon.
Dany Fishel and Ilan Leibovich, Rounds.com
Dany and Ilan (Co-Founders of Rounds.com) presented their Facebook application, which they described as Social Video. With Rounds, the video chat becomes a lot more interactive. They demonstrated how the chat participants send each other graphic elements during the video chat, play games and watch Youtube videos together, and simultaneously utilize the various screen options, both funny and enjoyable such as shared painting and snapshot effects.
The Facebook application supports a video chat of up to 6 people in each session. The application also operates in other environments including Messenger, Skype and Myspace. According to their data from October 2010, the average stay in Rounds per session is 19 minutes. With this data they approach advertisers.
Shelly Palmer, Shellypalmer.com
Shelly Palmer, a guest of honor at Contech2010, is the presenter of Digital Living, broadcasted on NBC.
Before our meeting began, Shelly interviewed 4 Israeli startup companies: Innovid, LiveU, Beamups, and Jinni. The interviews were held in collaboration with VideoTLV.
Shelly opened his talk with an insight of recent past: not so long ago, the common opinion was that on small screens people will only watch short videos, for short amounts of time, and that extended viewing would only happen on TV and cinema. Nowadays, people watch full-length movies on their iPhone or iPad and don’t reject the ongoing viewing on small screens. That phenomenon symbolizes a significant change in the way people behave today- they are taking their TVs with them anywhere, and that's why this business is changing.
In Shelly’s opinion, there are three content business models: "I pay", "you pay" or "someone else pays". But actually these can be cut down to two models: 1. "I pay- if the content is of a good enough quality- I'll agree to be sold to advertisers". 2. "You pay- and allow me free viewing as a customer". There are 88 million Americans that are spending a lot of money on a decent cable package. This model works due to the perception that cable packages contain a large variety of high quality content.
Shelly argues that if this is the model- if people are paying for this convenience- it should spill over to every technology, even for iPhone/iPad. But what seems to be the problem is that people are not technological enough- they have cable at home and will not change it. Nevertheless, many young, digital consumers, of the generation Y- unaware of any other form of reality (analog), won't even connect cable to their houses, and won’t put up with the binding policy which cable content providers impose. Shelly argues that technology companies can’t assess 50 years ahead and are blind to the changes that are soon to happen.
It is expensive to advertise at prime time, because the leading networks allow exposure to tens of millions of viewers. It's only natural that the price will drop once advertising moves to the internet. It is difficult to grasp the profit online, thus, the second model based solely on advertisers will not be sufficient. Brands & Advertisers prefer to focus on the masses, the millions of TV viewers, rather than the minority of online video viewers. So, if profit is not feasible in the second model, we need to turn to the first model where content quality is significant, and viewers would be prepared to pay for it. In effect, the solution is a combination of advertising and customer finance, and also an appropriate investor who is willing to support the project.
The issue of quality changes from one person to another; One's idea of quality and interest does not resemble the others'. That is why sales promotion is needed. There are three kinds of commercials: 1. Direct Response. 2. Call for Action. 3. Branding. The commercial must prove it caused action, whether it caused immediate purchase, near-future purchase or branding. But this is very difficult to prove! Even if the commercial spreads with the specific personalization, for the right person, on the right time, how can we assess its influence? And evaluate its costs? The brand might be improved, but is there any added value of actual purchases? Another parameter of interest to advertisers: the problem with Facebook, and the issue of divided attention and multi-tasking. For example, how much attention do I pay to the movie I'm watching, or the commercials I see during it, if meanwhile I'm tied up in Facebook? From this aspect, this era is most crucial for the advertising industry.
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