Thoughts on technology, investing, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

Category: Media

Hulu first impressions

I recently received a beta invite from NBC Universal and News Corp’s new video venture, Hulu. After watching some videos, I’m impressed with what they’ve done for a beta release. Hulu offers both full-length shows and clips from current programming as well as classics from its back catalog. In their words, Hulu offers current primetime […]

Streaming video via

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today regarding and how they outsource their streaming video technology and expertise. I watched some of the NCAA tournament games in the first round via CBS Sportsline which was powered by This is a great example of turning your leadership in a market niche into […]

NBC Chief Mulls Blogs for Top News Anchors

NBC’s President, Jeff Zucker, wants his top news anchors (Brian Williams, Katie Couric) to have blogs. Zucker said he was considering a blog for Williams and could envision a similar blog for Katie Couric, the co-host of NBC’s “Today” show. He noted that the morning program hadn’t changed its format much in more than a […]

New Gawker site Sploid launched

Gawker launched a new site in their network yesterday called Sploid. From the site’s description, Sploid is a news site with a tabloid mentality — top stories up top, played big, as fast as they break. If there’s a political line, it’s anarcho-capitalist: sniffing out hypocrisy and absurdity, whether from salon left or religious right.

Digital music players market penetration report

A recent from shows that 11% of U.S. adults (or approx 22 million people) have or MP3 players. The study didnâ??t take into account teens or younger as the survey was only taken from those 18 years or older. Some of the other interesting stats from the survey:

– iPods/MP3 players are gadgets for the upscale. Fully a quarter (24%) of those who live in households earning more than $75,000 have them; 10% of those living in households earning $30,000 to $75,000 have them and 6% of those living in households earning less than $30,000 have them.

– Those who use the internet are four times as likely as non-internet users to have iPods/MP3 players, probably because internet users can get much of the music they enjoy online. Fully 15% of internet users have iPods/MP3 players, compared to 4% of non-internet users. And the more advanced the internet user, the more likely it is that he has an iPod/MP3 player. Those with six years or more of internet experience are twice as likely to have them as those who are relative internet newbies (those with less than three years experience).

– Broadband access is strongly associated with ownership of iPods/MP3 players. Some 23% of those with broadband at home have iPods/MP3 players, compared to 9% of those who have dialup connections. And those who have broadband access at home and at work, are the most likely of all to have iPods/MP3 players. Almost a third (31%) of those with broadband all around them have iPods/MP3 players.

Additional details can be found here. The study illustrates an impressive market penetration for these devices, but Iâ??d be interested in seeing some trends. Is the market growing? Has it stabilized? Iâ??m especially interested in seeing how digital music player usage correlates with the gains in the satellite radio market. Are these complementary markets or are the mutually exclusive? I own both, but as weâ??re starting to see convergence, it will be interested to see how it all plays out. Super Bowl commercial pulled

On the way home, I listen to on . Dylan Ratigan, host of the Bullseye segment, had an interview with the CEO of , . Apparently, the NFL contacted Fox after their commercial aired in the first quarter and requested Fox pull the commercial. Fox complied and the spot was not aired a second time.

When asked on CNBC why he thought the ad was pulled, Parsons stated that it was the NFL censoring GoDaddy’s parody of censorship stemming from last year’s Super Bowl half time show controversy. Watching the commercial, I have to agree with Parsons as this is the only rationale that makes any sense. Fox reviewed the commercial two weeks in advance. In addition, the ad itself was rather tame when compared with standard beer commercials and the coverage of NFL cheerleaders on the sidelines. Honestly, I think the NFL is going overboard here and the league appears hypocritical.

Additional info:
Was the banned Go Daddy Super Bowl ad indecent?

Marketing satellite radio

This morning on I heard that is considering entering the satellite radio business. Who knows what level of accuracy this report has, but I made me think about the current media coverage of the satellite radio industry. Most of the hype surrounds the recent signings of big-name talents and content providers to the two main players: and . Iâ??m talking about Howard Stern (Sirius), Major League Baseball (XM Radio), the National Football League (Sirius), Opie & Anthony (XM Radio), NCAA March Madness (Sirius), Dr. Laura Schlessinger (XM Radio), G. Gordon Liddy (XM Radio), NASCAR (XM Radio), and the list goes on. As a subscriber to XM radio, the feature that actually sold me on the service was the music programming itself(shocking, isn’t it?). Granted, all the other features and programming allowed me to justify the monthly subscription fee, but what struck me was the tremendous music selection on XM. Now, this is not to say that Sirius doesnâ??t have great music, but the key is the human factor of actually creating the play lists and having excellent DJ’s run the show. When I initially listened to XM, there were a handful of stations that made me say, “hmm, if I were to personally put together a radio station and play the songs that I wanted to hear, this would be it.” Now isnâ??t that the point of radio? Maybe itâ??s the original and most pure point of radio from a listener’s point of view? Why do we listen to any particular station? A radio station is selected that best suits one’s listening interests and preferences. So it was with XM Radio for me. Everything else was fine – the technology cool and the programming extensive – but the selling feature was great music 24/7 that freed me from trying to find it myself. Iâ??ve found I spend less time messing with my MP3 player and more time just enjoying music.

With that point made, it strikes me that none of the coverage on these satellite radio services actually speaks to the music. This point specifically strikes me as significant when there is talk of DirecTV getting into the market. I’ve had DirecTV for years (specifically for the NFL Sunday Ticket to watch my beloved ) and the service has always provided 30+ digital music channels. In the most generous terms, these channels were bad. I hope there wasnâ??t any active human intervention in the programming. So, if DirecTV plans on entering this business, I surely hope they have plans to upgrade their current music offerings. For this nascent industry’s sake, I hope a little more emphasis is placed on the music.