Thursday, December 28, 2006

broadband trend predictions

Broadband Directions, a research and consulting company, gave its 7 broadband trend predictions for 2007. Most of the predictions can be summarized as a remake of the broadcast business models to Webcasting except the iTV box and Google. Here are my responses to these predictions:

1. "Apple's iTV box will likely succeed." My response: The concept of iTV is great especially bringing broadband video online to TV set. But Apple's notorious non-open product strategy make it unlikely to be adopted quickly. But its launch may push either IPTV to move faster or other competitiors to come up with devices that tap onto the potential rich audio and video inventory on the Web.

2. "All eyes on Google." My response: Why Google is on the spotlight is because of its superiority in the search technology, which is essential in the navigation of the cyberspace. If no one dare to compete on search, yes Google will be the ruler of the Web and online media content.

3. "Ad-supported video dominates (at least for now)." My response: Advertising is important for high traffic sites. For niche sites, ad-support is not the solution or cannot be counted as primary source of income.

4. "Syndication grows in importance." My response: It's a very natural rational use of resources. TV's syndication is built on a good library of video and a large demand for quality programming. The Web also needs the library and accumulation of content will faciltiate syndication.

5." Community-building around video goes mainstream." My response: While many celebrate the success of YouTube, another question is how many "YouTube" can the market accept. There's a firstmover advantage here. YouTube improved over many primitive user-generated video sites such as StupidVideos. Being the first successful one is great, being the second or other copycats can only do that much. Ideas are the still the crucial element to success in user-generated video, as I emphasized in the Webcasting book in chapter 3.

6. "Brand marketers score with broadband video." My response: Advertisers will try everything that works. Broadband video is a novel idea still so one can exploit its novelty. Once its novelty appeal is over, how to sustain a broadband video campaign may be very interesting to see. Entertainment value and consumption pariticpation are the key to their success.

7. "Legitimate P2P gains traction." My response: Peer-to-peer does not constitute ownership but sharing of owned content. Who should be compensated for the efforts for providing the infrastructure? If the purpose of sharing is for sampling or promotion, then the compensation should come in the ultimate purchase of the legal copy. The public good characteristics of media products, especially online content, conduce sharing. Unless restrictions to access are enforced, then P2P can only contain non-valuable content that don't mind to be shared without any property rights. I am worrying about the quality of P2P content and its role in the media value chain.

I am a bit disappointed at no mention of non-profit organizations' role in the shaping of broadband video trends.

Friday, December 08, 2006

webcasting business model

webcasting business model

Below are collection of questions from COMS729 Globalization, Convergence and Strategic Media Management course graduate students at Bowling Green State University on different country chapters of the Webcasting Worldwide book:

Date: Wed Nov 29 2006 12:04
Author: Baumann, James Anthony <>
Subject: Canada

Martin, C., Allagui, I., & Chaussé, M. (2007). Webcasting in Canada: The imbedded media. In L. S. Ha & R. J. Ganahl III, Webcasting worldwide: Business models of an emerging global medium. (pp. 69-88). Mahwah: NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

In chapter 4, Martin, Allagui, and Chaussé (2007) discuss the history of webcasting in Canada. Martin et al. begin the chapter by first discussing the history of communication technology in Canada starting from the railroad, advancing to radio, then television, and finally progressing to the personal computer. In the study, the authors performed a content analysis of 20 webcasters in Canada to determine the characteristics and reach of the corporations. Martin et al. does note that the corporations analyzed are probably not the top 20 webcasters in the country because the data to verify this does not exist. Upon analyzing the design, content, and revenue sources of the businesses, the authors concluded that webcasting is not an industry in itself and that webcasting sites are integrated into the larger portfolios of media conglomerates. Martin et al. also accept their hypothesis, which states “webcasting technology is not disruptive enough to alter the general equilibrium of Canadian cultural industries because what is called a webcast is quite similar to what is now broadcasting.” (p. 86) Martin et al. conclude the chapter by posing two questions regarding the future of webcasting, the first dealing with the aspect of copyright laws in regard to internet diffusion, while the second questions the effect of communication technologies on societies.
My question concerning this reading derives from the later posed by the authors asking, “what is the effect of communication technologies on societies?” The authors approach the question by asking if their should be rules against the dissemination of content from larger nations to smaller nations due to the possibility of destroying culture. I question the effectiveness of implementing such a strategy due to what I believe would promote isolation among cultural groups worldwide. Do cultural groups benefit by restricting the cultural content of other cultures from reaching its people? Personally, I believe this would promote isolation between cultural groups, ultimately adding unneeded tension between groups that are tenuous already. I do believe that regulation needs to be in place to ensure an equal exchange of cultural products; however, I believe regulation restricting communication technologies from reaching potential audiences will only add fuel to an already burning fire.

Date: Wed Nov 29 2006 13:07
Author: Biesalski, Constance <>
Subject: Germany

The authors say that increased broadband penetration encourages additional broadband-dependent offerings, such as web TV (webcasting, respectively), which further drives broadband adoption. They consider this to be the only factor throughout the chapter.Are there any other factors that influence the growth and the popularity of webcasting, webTV and video/audio offerings? Can you think of any other ideas and incentives to push the webcasting market that are beyond broadband adoption as the decisive variable?Furthermore, as stated by the authors, it is more likely that webTV in Germany will develop a completely new market with niche products and that the market will be characterized by an international target group operating under globalization. Do you think this is the right strategy and why do you think it has been chosen instead of focusing on the German audience?

Author: Cruea, Mark Douglas <>
Subject: Greece

Greece – Arampatzis
Arampatzis characterizes Greece as a media market where TV dominates and the Internet is closer t to the bottom of the media landscape in terms of usage and penetration due to cultural reasons, high connection costs, and poor infrastructure. This chapter then proceeds to discuss various aspects of Greek media including print media, television (he even makes a reference to “non-pubic television outlets” p. 195). Television was state-controlled until 1989 when private television became available.

In addition, Arampatzis discusses the legal framework for Greek media. Specifically, he examines Greek legislation that requires commercial stations to provide high quality programs, objective information, and news reports, and promote cultural development. Other legal issues involve the question of who controls media and their involvement in government contracts.

Moreover, Arampatzis looks at Internet penetration, which for Greece, is among the lowest in Europe. However, Greece has achieved significant growth in the field of digitization since 2000.

Given the proceeding discussion, the bulk of the chapter is devoted to webcasting business models and revenue sources. In regard to business models, Arampatzis examines ten businesses. His findings indicate that there are one to two well-developed companies while the rest are hindered by the underdeveloped infrastructure and lack of clear business strategies. Many local professionals were even unaware of the term webcasting. Most leading Greek webcasters are bricks-and-clicks resulting in content that is not original. Rather, content is generally repurposed material or part of a simulcast. Content is also dominated by Anglo-Saxon productions.

Revenue is largely generated by advertising and content syndication. Only one company in the top ten (Mad.TV) opened up to ecommerce by selling CDs, DVDs, and other entertainment-related merchandise. In general, Greek webcasters were very reluctant to employ a subscription scheme because of an immature market. was an exception.

Question: Given Greece’s strong television and radio industries, is there a way to involve these existing media, with government assistance, in developing a stronger infrastructure to help increase penetration into the market? Once the penetration has increased and the infrastructure is in place, it seems like businesses might have a friendlier environment within which to operate.

Date: Mon Nov 27 2006 14:17
Author: Famiglietti, Andrew Anthony <>
Subject: United States

Com 729
Questions for Ha and Ganahl Chapter 3

Summary: This chapter provides an overview of radio and video webcasters in the U.S. and their associated revenue streams. The data provided show several patterns. First, video webcasters show more diversity of business type and content source. Video webcasters show at least some presence of clicks and bricks and ISP businesses, and original and repurposed content, whereas radio webcasters were completely pure-play businesses using simulcast content. Both video and radio webcasters show a diversity of content delivery strategies (including live streaming and on-demand downloading) and revenue sources (pay-for-play, advertising, and e-commerce). Webcasting insiders interviewed suggested that they believed the potential of their industry lay in providing content users wanted but were unavailable to them on terrestrial networks, and that the threat of cannibalization of terrestrial broadcast by webcasting was overblown.


-How do we think webcasters that have emerged since this chapter was written – such as YouTube – compare to the webcasters profiled here?
-The chapter discusses the chicken and the egg dilemma of broadband internet and webcasting. What do we think? Will webcasting drive broadband demand, or will the availability of broadband drive webcasting demand?
-What does the relationship between broadband and webcasting suggest about the relationship between users and new media?
-What do we think about non-profit webcasters? Are they important in the “long tail” or is the methodology of the chapter correct in ruling them out as important forces in webcasting? What factors might change this? Could municipal broadband (if ever deemed legitimate) get local governments involved in non-profit webcasting?

Author: Igboaka, Primus Chuks <>
Subject: Ha & Ganahl (2007) Ch. 16 South Korea

Comments: Very interesting article gives a general overview of developments in the
webcasting business from Korea’s perspective. The author was detailed, however uses terms that were not explained in several places assuming that readers will be very familiar with them. For example, IPTV, KISDI, BBS (online), NHN, ON Media, CJ Media, SBSi, KBSi, iMBC, EBS, PSB, TGMBC, the list goes on and on. These initials were repeated several times without clues to the average reader as to what they mean! Regrettably, the author assumes that these initials are already known to the readers. I found the authors effort not to explain them to be distracting to comprehension of the article – at least to some point

Q1: If there are few internet rating companies that report on internet traffic (p.322), how
does the author guarantee that statistics used in this article are accurate? I talk from the
experience of a citizen of developing country where getting these data are difficult and
available data are either inflated or under-reported or both.
Q2: What are the secrets to South Korean’s fast development in internet/ broadband
technology and webcasting? What could developing countries learn from their business
innovation in this field of internet technology and webcasting?
Q3: The author disclosed that “Click & Bricks” business model is the most successful in
terms of revenues and number of visitors to the web (322). But at the same time in pg 323,
the author indicated that among the 20 webcasters in the study, that 12 used the branded
content model, while 8 were content aggregators. If the portal sites domination of
websites in Korean seems to be the universal trend (p.323) and assuming that the Metrix
Corporation internet site ranking data were right, does this signify that most Korean
Webcasters don’t make profit, since most of their business models do not favor the one (Click & Bricks) that give the revenue and most web consumers’ traffic (p.324)?

Author: Kavathe, Rucha Satish <>
Subject: United Kingdom

Arampatzis: United Kingdom
In my research on digital television in Europe, UK came across as a frontrunner in policy and implementation, which is why I thought it would be interesting to look at webcasting in Uk as well.

As far as accesibility goes, United Kingdom is one of the frontrunners in the webcasting world right now with 59% of the population having access to internet and webcasting is a part of a variety of media industries like newspapers, television and radio. UK has adopted a strong digital, new media and online policy and because they do not have problems of slow speed, there is a wide variety in content irrespective of webcasters' nature as pure-play or clicks and bricks.
Content strategies in UK suggest that a large percentage of content originates from abroad (50%) including BBC. The author attributes this to the dynamism of the English as a people and the reach of English as a language.
Revenue was one of the most interesting aspects of this paper. The UK government supports new technology and has invested heavily in content and infrastructure. One of the top revenue sources for these websites is advertising, however, BBC online is the undisputed leader among UK media websites, and being a public broadcasting corporation cannot use advertising on its website. the other companies are said to recover upto 90% from advertising.
My question is, how can other public broadcasters replicate the success of BBC online without the financial backing it receives from public and private sources?

Author: Merrill, Stephen A <>
Subject: Italy and the United States to a degree

I really liked the chapters on the United States and Italy, they have parallels that are kind of uncanny, Bonini states on page 179: Unlike American radios which looked at simulcasting as a way to "bring back home" all those listeners who were members of a local community, but had to live "elsewhere" on a regular basis this centripetal aspect seems to be absent from simulcasting in Italian local radios, possibly because of the different geographic and cultural configuration of our country in which distances do not seem as endless as they do in the US and in which people do not seem to to have made the culture of perennial mobility their own.Could it be said that there is an entirely differently approach to individual identification between Italy and the US? Where in the United States we may identify ourselves first by our local and regional affiliation rather than a national identity. As a nation the United States has such a dominant commercial market that the only way to establish a media identity is to adopt a local identity as a primary identity.Also, while taking Everything into consideration, Free radio in Italy seems to have greater diversity in its offerings than the rather homogeneous US market, when in the US if so many outlets offer the same type of programming that you can take Program A and carry it across market F, G, etc.... A branded management approach emphasizing the local content must be implemented for station survival.Secondly, the United States with such a high rate of broadband penetration, simulcasting is seen as a complement (or a Substitute) for stations to reach their intended audience, for people that utilize a computer frequently with work it can be a good outlet to listen to their desired media. (on a side note, if I had to listen to an easy listening sound track at work through the office pipes I would escape to the internet and I would rather listen to a local station of MY CHOICE that provides the content I want with the information I want)Third, the United states seems more geared towards very solitary activities, there is not a greater sense of community when you travel outside of your home jurisdiction so the desire to connect with your "Home" is very strong, whereas Bonini seems to indicate that Italians do not face the same issues. I found it very interesting.

Author: Merrill, Stephen A <>
Subject: Re: Italy and the United States to a degree

Another thing. I realize this may be a newer service than when this study of the United States was conducted, but did you come across a project by the Music Genome project, it seems to be garnering a lot attention and wondered if you had compared it to other pure-plays based in the United States.

Author: Szalvai, Eva <>
Subject: on Spanish webcasting

Do you think that with the slow start in the Spanish webcasting market and the recent acceleration of deregulation and decentralization in Spain, we can expect a leapfrog in the proliferation of this emerging media? (For: consider the emerging power of Spanish language and growing cultural sharing in the Hispanic world; Against: collectivistic Mediterranean culture specifics)