How YouTube Could Become YouLose

There's good news and bad news for Google's YouTube and its many users.

First the good.

Google is jumping on board the video love train that will share ad revenues with contributors. Revver does that already. But the giant YouTube's entry into pay for play changes the face of the online video experience.

Now the bad news.

Google and YouTube are mulling the idea of adding commercial videos before the clip you're looking to view starts playing. They haven't made up their mind yet. Perhaps this research from a recent Harris poll will make them think twice about it:
Nearly three-quarters of frequent&hellip

How To Do An Intervention On Radio

We all know that the radio industry is in transition. It is coming off "The Dark Ages", a time span that began after consolidation in 1996 up to and including this year. I get the feeling radio executives are finally beginning to recognize (and the brave ones admit) that they have dropped the ball during consolidation.

It's time for an intervention for the sake of the radio monopolies allowed by Congress when it passed the enabling legislation -- The Telecommunications Act of 1996.

There was the Wall Street stuff -- getting used to running public companies, pandering to investors and analysts and for the most part having&hellip

What If Clear Channel’s Sale Fails

Never have so many pulled so hard for so few.

The lines are drawn -- the many people in the radio industry who are hoping that Clear Channel will actually sell off part of its conglomerate and take a small group of radio stations private vs. the few owners and Wall Street money people who hope for a large pay day today and another one down the line if they decide to sell off more assets later.

But shareholders are funny people especially when some of them owned Clear Channel stock in the $90 range and are now holding the same issues in the mid-30's. The Wall Street Journal last week did a piece on the showdown between&hellip

Consolidation — The Monopoly Game That Kills

The situation at KDND, Sacramento is prophetic for more reasons than the obvious -- that a 28-year old listener died in a stupid, irresponsible on-air contest where she was encouraged to drink water without regard to her health. Now, the family of victim Jennifer Strange is suing the station and naming some 40 defendants in the case.

There's no doubt in my mind that the contest was irresponsible, but its up to a jury to determine whether there is legal culpability. And the FCC may determine whether the station gets to stay on the air. There's an uproar to strip KDND parent Entercom of the license. On that issue, I would not&hellip

“My Box In A Box” — Record Label Prototype

The most viralist video on the Internet right now is a simple clip recorded by two Philly girls doing a parody of SNL's "Dick In A Box" digital short. The girls call their version "My Box In A Box". This whole thing may just sound like another YouTube "can you top this moment" but I think it is more than that -- it's a glimpse into the future of the music business.

One girl (Leah Kauffman) sings the song and her friend, Bunny, lip syncs the video -- and does a damn good job of it (Ashlee Simpson, take note). Then a&hellip

This Frog Is Dead In The Water

Spiral Frog's got problems.

Last year it previewed a music service that offered free music downloads in return for users spending about a minute and a half watching ads (even more ads for video). What were they thinking?

Who do they think is their audience? Its not the Generation Y I have come to know and love. No way are they going to watch all that advertising. Maybe 30 seconds of ads while the music is downloading -- once -- but not all this blatant capitalism for every song.

The labels knew a good thing when they saw it (I am being sarcastic here). Universal and BMI and a few indies jumped aboard the Spiral&hellip

Labels Fighting DRM There So They Don’t Have To Fight It Here

Like President Bush, who is surging ahead with his plan to send more troops to Iraq instead of withdraw as much of the country seems to want, record labels can identify. Labels know they are going to have to eat their words on digital rights management (DRM), but they don't want to do it too soon. Maybe they want to fight the downloaders there so they don't have to fight them here because in China where most of the music is pirated EMI has done a deal with their leading website to offer free music. And the two are going to work together on music&hellip

Video Ad Model No Threat

Traditional media finally has something not to worry about.

A study from Forrester reveals that 82% of the consumers they surveyed thought video ads were annoying. A full 75% said they just ignore the video ads and only ten percent said they interacted with these ads occasionally. If I'm selling traditional media, I'm going to like selling against these statistics.

Of course, you don't have to go to a research company to know how ineffective the new age of Internet advertising really is, you just have to be a Gen Y'er or the parent of a Gen Y'er or a nosy person watching someone blow off Internet advertising. I know I&hellip

Killer Radio Contests Don’t Work

KDND, Sacramento is in hot water because its morning team did a ridiculous contest egging on a listener in a water drinking contest. Water is harmless, right? Not in excess. The victim, a contestant, drank more water than she should have. Entercom, the owner, dutifully fired ten people including the morning team, as a reaction to the death of the 28-year old Jennifer Strange. Criminal charges are possible. One of the morning crew apparently questioned on the air whether they were doing the right thing. If no charges are pressed at least a prosecutor will get a chance to make some headlines for a while.

All in all the&hellip

How Apple Does It

Apple is reporting a fiscal first quarter profit up 78% from a year ago. A 24.5% increase in revenue from the prior year's quarter. Shareholder value is up 65 cents a share over a year ago. You may also remember that news accounts had iTunes slipping in the second half of 2006. The vultures were circling Cupertino. Luckily Apple CEO Steve Jobs bought none of it. Jobs knows that he is in the iPod business and that iTunes exists for the iPod. Apple sold 22 million iPods for the period ending December 30th -- a 50% increase from a year ago. Steve Jobs once again had his eyes on the right prize.

If you were in an Apple store&hellip

Getting Real About HD Radio

It's time to take our medicine. HD Radio as a concept, as a savior, as the enabler of more channels is never going to happen. I am sorry to say this because so many of my radio friends are betting their futures on it. Its time to deal with the failure of HD and move on rather than to continue to fool ourselves. HD will not make any difference whatsoever to the future of radio.

If not HD, then what?

I'm not opposed to installing HD capability on radio signals if that is going to improve the sound quality. It should always be our goal to improve the quality of the radio signal. But at the same time it would be helpful to&hellip

Clear Channel Being Clear Channel

The Arbitron diary system is history in Philadelphia, the first People Meter market. Philly has long been a test market for Arbitron in the development of The People Meter, a technology that should have been implemented years ago. There is no reason under the sun except for perhaps pricing that any broadcaster would choose a paper diary over this advancement. And doing ratings on the cheap was never a good investment for the industry.

You'd have to give Arbitron an A for persistence and you'd have to give Clear Channel an F for putting the radio industry's interests ahead of its own.

Clear Channel certainly has the&hellip

Will Gen Y Love The iPhone?

Apple has excited its base once more with the long-awaited announcement of the new iPhone/iPod that will be available in June. The online edition of The Wall Street Journal did a "hot or not" poll Monday wondering if iPhone will be another iPod or a Newton, Apple's pioneering PDA that failed. The results were overwhelming on the positive side. David Pogue's initial reaction in The New York Times was glowing.

Of course, I have come to trust the instincts of the&hellip

If Steve Jobs Reinvented Radio

Steven Jobs did it again. The Apple CEO brought another product to market that promises to be a big revenue producer for him and a revolutionary device for consumers. The iPhone will arrive in June and will work on the Cingular mobile system. Chances are you already know a lot about the iPhone. No need to go into it here. That's only part of the genius of Jobs. He thinks them up. Builds them. Makes a big deal out of them. And sells them.

So, I've been thinking -- what if Steve Jobs took over a radio group with, say, 1,100 or so stations. What would he do? What could he do? Is analog radio off limits to the master? Or,&hellip

Clear Channel — The Purple People Meter Eater

What Clear Channel, the largest radio broadcaster, is doing to delay or disrupt implementation of Arbitron's much needed People Meter ratings methodology reminds me of the Sheb Wooley hit in 1958 where he sang about the one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater. To me, Clear Channel is acting like the Arbitron People Meter Eater. Refusing to even allow all-important encoding of their stations' signals to permit these personal devices carried by a sample of listeners to record Clear Channel station listening. Surprise! Clear Channel is taking a hard-nose policy on pricing and other issues that clearly haven't helped radio&hellip

Stupid Music Media Tricks

You've heard of David Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks. Somehow all the smart executives in music media manage to do things that are, well, not very productive for them. With that in mind, try these Stupid Media Tricks on for size:
Throwing radio listeners a bone by saying that HD radio will bring digital audio to terrestrial radio stations when what the industry really wanted was more channels. Unfortunately listeners don't. Radio owners dragging their feet on implementing the People Meter seemingly never running out of excuses for sticking with a paper diary system in a digital world. At this moment Clear Channel, the largest&hellip

Radio Dying From Self-Inflicted Wounds

Excuse me, but am I dreaming or having a nightmare about Arbitron's People Meter. Yes, I know implementing this new portable technology will cost significantly more and that radio will have to share listening with other media, but -- I have a major question to pose. Why is the radio industry in this age of technology still culling their audience ratings from a paper diary system? Why is Clear Channel still nickel and diming the People Meter when the radio industry not only needs it -- it needed it years ago?

Radio is an industry that is dying from self-inflicted wounds.

Take HD Radio. I have a problem with the name --&hellip

Labels About To Eat DRM

Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been a dismal failure. My music industry students at USC knew it before anyone because they are part of the generation that helped neuter it. We know why labels like DRM. It protects their rights and in their fantasy helps sell more music.

Now the labels are getting ready to swallow the bitter pill and give up on trying to manage DRM. It is in their best interest to do it now, but they will probably drag it out. Revenue from digital downloads and mobile content is down. Even iTunes sales are down and if the Christmas spike materializes once the figures are in, the trend is still off.&hellip