I came across two quotes about innovation this week while reading various online articles. They come from a couple of tech company CEOs, and the fundamental differences in philosophy stood out to me so I thought I would share:
“If you don’t continue to innovate people are going to shift interest elsewhere. We need to continue to innovate a lot more rapidly than we have been.” – Owen Van Natta, CEO, MySpace
“You can’t plan innovation or inspiration, but you can be ready for it, and when you see it you can jump on it and you can make a difference.” – Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google
So, any wonder why Google is taking over the world and MySpace is seemingly praying that their freefall stops on its own? Myspace’s philosophy is all very “Office Space”. You can almost hear Van Natta around the office: “Yeah, um, I’m gonna need that innovation on my desk tomorrow at 9 a.m. sharp. Mmmmkay?”
Now, in all fairness, Van Natta is new to the MySpace gig, but I think Google’s track record speaks for itself. In my opinion, trying to mandate innovation just breeds fear and paranoia in an organization. Even if the end result is a product that’s “okay”, you truly don’t end up getting the best out of your employees/teammates. You don’t get true innovation. You get… “usable stuff”. But what do you think? Can corporations successfully mandate innovation, or are they better served creating an environment/culture that’s conducive to innovating?
Here’s a round-up of some interesting things going on this week in the “Social Media” space:
Paramount built a cool little social media fan hub to promote the upcoming Transformers movie. It let’s you create a ton of content that you can take with you back to your relevant social networking sites. You can even “switch sides”.
Zensify’s iPhone app allows you to see a tag cloud of trending topics among all the people you follow on numerous social networking sites.
There is not much in Advertising, TV or Cinema that makes me cry besides a jackass who is cruel to animals. I am a little bit of an adrenaline junkie and a tad rough around the edges, but I am definitely not afraid to cry. The truth is, when the heartstrings need to be pulled, a lot of story tellers fall short either by regurgitating the tried and true method, or failing to establish the characters so we can identify with them… so we actually care about what happens to them. “Wow, that explosion just wiped out all those people, cool effects” versus “That son of a… why did they have to kill the innocent dog? If that was my dog I would…”
So, are you ready to cry? Here is a series of Thai Insurance Commercials that lubricated my tear ducts. It’s not character development that gets ya. It is their ability to speak to all the curve balls life throws at each and every one of us, something all of us can identify with. Enjoy, I’m going to go chop some wood.
Biologists define symbiosis as the relationship between two creatures who rely upon each other. The relationship is called mutualistic if both creatures benefit; if only one benefits, the relationship is called parasitic.
YouTube has benefited from having Hulu’s premium content on their network. Some of Hulu’s content like Family Guy, has quite a presence on YouTube with a few Family Guy clips exceeding 5 million views (at a minimum). Add in Simpson’s episodes, Saturday Night Live clips, and other NBC/Fox related content, and it’s apparent that Hulu is a vital source of premium content to YouTube. YouTube itself also seems to be getting very dependent on premium content as the other Top 10 most viewed channels on YouTube include UniversalMusicGroup (#1), SonyBMG (#2), and CBS (#8). All this is a result of YouTube failing to grow revenue off of their UGC (User-Generated Content) videos and shifting gears to feature more premium content on the site that they hope to monetize.
So this is a classic Win-Win right? Well no. It definitely seems that Hulu is becoming the Parasite in this increasingly Parasitic relationship.
To start with, though YouTube is benefitting from the premium content Hulu offers, YouTube cannot run ads against this premium content. Though I don’t know if Hulu paid the minimum $200,000 required to have a brand channel on YouTube, even this cost doesn’t come close to the revenue that would be generated off of ads against Hulu’s premium content. Hopefully YouTube is charging Hulu much more than $200,000.
Adding further insult to injury, Hulu is running Hulu animated bumpers before each of their clips on YouTube. (Bumpers are short animations that run before clips signifying the creator or owner of the content.) So in essence, Hulu is promoting their own online video network on their rival’s network. This reminds me of the NFL playoffs awhile back where the upstart Fox network had just signed on the NFL and did a cross-broadcast with NBC during the Fox portion of the playoff broadcast. When it came time for NBC to reciprocate, they basically blew off Fox. I sense a similar lack of respect going on here but, ironically, Fox and NBC are now in bed together with Hulu.
Finally, making matters worse, Hulu is also running Hulu branded animated ads on the clips while they’re running – on YouTube! Sample clip below:
So how is this all relevant to Online Marketers and Advertisers? For now, not much as YouTube will continue to promote brand ‘contests’ and premium brand channels that marketers will gladly pay for. Premium brand channels are still a great way for brands to showcase their video content within the YouTube community. The Axe Effect brand channel is a great example of a premium brand channel but these are definitely not ‘free’ like normal channel sites such as Pepsi’s main brand channel.
One other area where YouTube is trying to grow revenue is by leasing out it’s real estate with home page takeovers like recent efforts for Wolverine and Sprint. But is that enough? 2008 revenue projections from YouTube would say no and even plans to try to monetize premium content might not be enough. With Hulu already owning the premium content space, it’s only a matter of time until advertisers and brands get wise to where the ‘valuable eyeballs’ are and move their dollars over to Hulu. That leaves the question – what’s YouTube to do?
IMO, YouTube is not going to win the premium content battle. Sure, they can always offer premium content on the site but that’s not what built YouTube into what it is today. YouTube was built by community members and User Generated Content. This is where Where The Hell Is Matt?, The Evolution Of Dance, and The Global Rendition of Stand By Me all reside and generated eye-popping numbers of views. This IS YouTube.
YouTube should overcome most of these challenges. Efforts that embrace the community in unique ways like The YouTube Symphony, are definitely steps in the right direction. However, YouTube does need to address the Hulu issue and address it soon. At first I thought the image above captured the Hulu / YouTube relationship perfectly. However, after digging around a little more and seeing just how uneven this relationship really is, I thought the PG-13 graphic below better encapsulated how Hulu must view this entire relationship.
Augmented Reality is all the rage in Interactive Marketing nowadays and it’s come full circle back to the Nintendo DSi. As reported by Kotaku, there’s a game coming out for the DSi that allows you to, “Use the DSi as a portal to the astral plane to find and collect ghosts that exist all around them (you).”
Though I can see why AR is popular in advertising and marketing circles, AR has actually been around for awhile in the gaming world. Has everybody already forgotten about the PlayStation EyeToy? Of course, the EyeToy wasn’t mobile so maybe there will be a greater interest in mobile AR type games that can somehow even be tied back into marketing and advertising campaigns. Now we’re talkin’…
If you love getting new tech toys, I just got one that’s ALOT of fun. I previously wrote a post on some mind-blowing technologies from the Streaming Media East conference and Qik was one of those technologies. Well I just got my hands on the Qik application for the iPhone and this thing is SWEET. (This is a BETA application for the iPhone btw and not public – unfortunately.)
In a nutshell, I now have video capability on my iPhone (not jailbroken either) and can stream that video in real-time to my Qik page. I also have Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all setup with my account so that friends, families, business associates, etc. can all get notified right when I’m starting a broadcast.
The application also allows me to see the current numbers of viewers of my broadcast and the delay (if any) of my broadcast to the destination point where viewers can see the video itself. You can see my profile at Qik or check out the embed below which will update any time I broadcast live. The only problem so far is that I was trying this out on EDGE which sucks and is horribly slow. So broadcast delays were about 20-30 seconds. I just ran a recent test on our internal wi-fi with much better results (as you can see from the video below.)
So other than some spontaneous Zugara office moments, expect some cool real-time broadcasts from E3 next week….
P.S. After I’ve played around with this thing for a few weeks, I’ll post a more formal review. On the surface though, this definitely seems to be a game changer in both the mobile and interactive video worlds…
“Google’s search engine has thrived because PageRank uses democratic algorithms that tracked page links. By contrast, real-time discovery engines like Twitter and Facebok use a more dynamic kind of democracy, linking to content that users finds worthwhile. As a result, content on the web is splitting into two basic models, and understanding this distinction makes clear why Google’s centralized role is being threatened.
Simply put, it’s the difference between discovery and search, between the “Now Web” and the “Then Web.” Here’s a more specific analogy: In college, most of us spent a lot of time in the library but also in a social hub like the campus coffee shop. One was a place for digging up information, the other a more dynamic, conversational setting, where ideas were casually exchanged. Google has been the web’s library: archival, organized and oriented around research. Twitter and Facebook, on the other hand, are coffee shops: instantaneous, conversational and oriented around discovery.”
We Are Organized Chaos (WAOC) is Zugara’s (www.zugara.com) interactive marketing and advertising blog where we’ll be featuring some great projects and discussing upcoming trends in the digital world. Work — good and bad — will be critiqued. Hope you’ll enjoy reading our insights and thoughts on interactive.