Daily DigVid Review: Happy Firefox 3.0 Day
And the blogosphere rejoices at the birth of a new browser. I already downloaded mine and it is pretty cool. The interface is simpler – and I’m always a fan of the simpler interface, see Hulu and the new TVNewsday.com for examples — and it does seem to run faster and cleaner, which – surprise! – is what Mozilla said it would do. The one thing I don’t like is that one of my favorite toolbars now does not work, but I’m hoping that will get upgraded soon enough. The article from WebMonkey I linked to above loves the new “location bar,” which is the place in the browser where you type the URL. They said early testers called it the “awesome bar” and here’s why: you type in http://www.broadc …” and soon our Web site pops right up and you can stop typing and click right over. If it makes my life easier, I dig it! So help Mozilla set that world record and download yours today. P.S. Thanks to AllThingsD.com for the crazy crop circle/Firefox art. P.P.S. After all this, at the moment I’m a little peeved at Firefox 3.0 because it’s made my posting today challenging, shall we say. Why can’t everything just be automatically interoperable upon upgrading?
Speaking of Hulu – and I often am – Mark Cuban loves it, but I think he’s just jealous of YouTube because no one has heard of Broadcast.com, even though Cuban sold it to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion, causing him to retire and become a professional blogger/fanatical NBA team owner/reality show host. OK, and the original dotcom billionaire does actually have a real job: chairman of HD Net. Actually, his analysis of why Hulu is better than YouTube is both interesting and reasonable.
Comscore’s most recent metrics on online video viewing backs up Cuban’s argument – some 11 billion videos were viewed online in April with YouTube making up four billion of those, or almost 40%. But most of that goes unmonetized because advertisers don’t want to appear willy-nilly in some user-generated YouTube video – they want to know where they are going to be placed when they buy an ad. It seems like YouTube needs to stop letting the kids run the company, employ some licensing folk, get a sales force and put some real content online. That way, the company’s premium content can subsidize everything else they do. If anyone has the money to invest in this, Google does.
According to the rest of Comscore’s metrics, Fox Interactive Media/MySpace/Fox.com attracted 5.1% of video viewings; Yahoo! 3.2%; Microsoft/MSN 2.4%; Viacom Digital 18% (see Viacom, you should have just let YouTube do its thing instead of getting all crazy and suing them); Time Warner — without AOL — 1.3%; ABC.com 0.9%; Disney Online 0.9%; AOL 0.9% and ESPN 0.8%. Note that neither NBC nor Hulu appears on this list.
Online advertising was only up in the teens in the second quarter, according to Tech Trader Daily, down from 23% in Q4 2007 and just under 20% in Q1 2008. In the article, Pacific Crest analyst Steve Weinstein attributes this to the economy, which makes sense, but then he says online ads are taking share from television. That may be true, but the upfronts are coming out far better than anyone expected, and the reasons for that aren’t based on the economy. Instead, they are these: 1) the inverse rule of TV buying – lower ratings mean less inventory, which means scarcity and increased prices 2) advertisers are just coming off an expensive scatter market, which means it still makes sense for them to buy as much as possible in the upfront, because that’s when they get the best prices. Advertisers also may be shoring up for even worse economic times ahead.