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When times are good, the internet is responsible for memorable stories of rapid riches. But economic downturns are different. Even through parts of the internet economy have held up well, relatively speaking, in this economic downturn there are a growing number of gold to lead stories.
Monetizing viewership is a recurring problem online. But companies need to be prepared for spikes in popularity, whether they expect them or not.
Case in point: Susan Boyle's now infamous rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream." Susan may be bounding ahead in the competition for "Britain's Got Talent," but she's not making the show's parent company ITV any money online. YouTube videos of the singing sensation still don't have ads in the U.S. Because ITV hasn't figured out where to put the money earned on YouTube, the network is wasting 1000s of views a day.
Hulu has fast become one of the internet's top destinations for professional video content. With free high-def programming from the likes of NBC, FOX, Comedy Central and many others, it's not hard to see why.
There's only one problem: it's only available in the United States.
Interactive TV is about to get a boost. Showtime Networks will unveil a new (ITV) application next week that uses remote control ordering to give consumers access to long form video, and free full-length episodes of Showtime programming. The technology will bring television commerce (tcommerce) and advertising that allows watchers to become customers a little closer.
Showtime and its two other channels, The Movie Channel and Flix, do not currently accept advertising. According to the company, which is pitching the technology as a Showtime Marketing Application, "the most valuable component is the ease with which a viewer can now order Showtime, and the upgrade can be processed and authorized within seconds." If that ease of ordering can be applied to other networks, and ad units within those networks, ITV is tied to the remote control.
You know that iTV saying about how, in an ideal TV advertising world, ads for dog food would only be broadcast to households with dogs? Well, that may soon be the case in 500,000 homes in the New York City area.
Cablevision Systems is poised to announce the largest experiment to date in targeted television advertising, reports the New York Times. Homes in Brooklyn, the Bronx and parts of New Jersey are about to get ads based on data concerning their income, ethnicity, gender, or whether the household harbors children or pets.
In December 2005, ITV purchased social networking pioneer Friends Reunited for £120m plus an earn-out of £55m. At the time, Friends Reunited had 46m registered users, an impressive number that made the husband-and-wife creation one of the largest social networks in the world.
As competing social networks like Bebo and Facebook gained prominence, Friends Reunited stuck to a subscription model. And despite losses in users and traffic, the service pulled in £22m in 2007, making up a hefty chunk of ITV's online revenue.
ITV has been busy promoting its newly rebranded video player lately, as it attempts to improve take up of its online catch up service.
While video views on ITV.com have risen over the past year, it still lags behind the iPlayer. It has updated again though, and now the ITV Player looks more of a match for the BBC's online video offering.
ITV has been tweaking its online catch up TV service, and has introduced a few improvements for customers viewing video on its website, using Microsoft Silverlight.
The service is going to be rebranded as the 'ITV Player', which is at least a bit more distinctive than 'catch up'. As well as a new name, ITV needs to be improve the usability of its online video, so what difference has Silverlight made to this?