“As Seen On TV” Successfully Sells TV – Rabbit TV on the Run


Rabbit TV Blows by Netflix, Hulu and Other Internet TV Leaders

February 13th, 2013

In it’s first 30 days, it’s apparent that Rabbit TV is definitely in the Internet TV race – so much so that it’s already surpassed the top 2 leading Internet TV sites in User Time on Site.

Newly released Rabbit TV is fast out of the gate, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The only question is – will others like Hulu and Netflix be able to keep pace as Rabbit TV adds millions of subscribers in the coming year?

Rabbit TV’s partnership with “As Seen on TV” giants Telebrands and their massive national retail network has Rabbit TV shipping out currently to major retailers around the country, including Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Family/Dollar General to name a few.

Having only launched in January 2013, the company in the most recent days has shared that over 50% of its users are already spending more than an hour per visit, and sees this increasing dramatically as the company’s user-base compounds daily with new subscribers, says CEO William Mobley. Mobley goes on to say that the company’s eMedia guide, which manages and directs consumers to thousands of Internet TV content suppliers, is extremely popular with its subscribers, which reflects widespread acceptance of a shift whereby TV shows, movies and live events are, and will be delivered over the Internet for many years to come.

http://freecast.com/news-blog/2013/02/13/rabbit-tv-blows-by-netflix-hulu-and-other-internet-tv-leaders/

Is There Really A Loss Of Allure To CES 2013?


200px-The_Bubble_British_PosterWhen you don’t go to a Trade Show that you have been regularly visiting for the past 8-10 years it is a slightly uncomfortable feeling.    It sort of feels like you are missing out on something…but are you really?  CES is after all a gadget show and do we need to go if we are not Retailers of Consumer Electronics?  What a lot of people do not know is that there is a lot going on behind the scenes in more of a Business-2-Business nature; especially in the Television world that I move in.   A lot of networking takes place, and a lot of  ‘private suites’ allow for plenty of businessmen to gather, show of their wares in private, discuss and potentially deal-make!

However as a ‘tech journalist’ you might think that things have a different allure.  Certainly the BBC’s writer David Pogue has just publishd a very poignant article from his perspective.  It can be found in full here: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130104-does-ces-have-a-future

His outlook is that there is mostly years of repetition of  technology along with what I call ‘catch-up’ Companies there ‘en-masse’ with cheaper but the same gadgets from the year before and therefore swamping the floors, the industry and the news with old stuff in effect.  There is also a decline in the Big Companies with Microsoft having pulled out!   Apple is not there either and if Apple is not there how can it truly be called THE Consumer Electronic Show?  Qualcomm even did the keynote speech this year – Qualcomm?

Another journalist from our immediate industry Leslie Ellis pointed out that the the trending products were waterpoofing gadgets for your smartphones and tablets.   I suspect the Hunting Knife Company and the Mini Flying Helicopters will still be there in the South Hall and that Spearmint Rhino will still get its CES clientele.  Ummm, so what is it I miss?

Well in all honestly I do miss it as it kicks off the business year with a hectic, manic traipse around Vegas!  Therefore life without an early dose of CES certainly makes for a less-tired more calculated start to 2013.

All Hail Netflix and World Dominance!


Sinking_ShipIn response to the announcement by Ted Sarandos – Netflix’s CCO  or as I think it should be titled – CHM – Chief Hype Master who believes his Company is “CHANGING TELEVISION FOREVER”!   I would merely say,  Whoaaaa there Cowboy;  of course you have to get excited about your Content deals – Just like Everyone else does LOL!

However what I see overall is just another pretender to the business throne of the TV world!  Someone else who is once again going to radically change an entire business model overnight.  Someone looking to reign supreme and change the 80-20 mix (80% who watch linear TV and the 20% who watch all the other stuff)  … Mr Sarandos you have a privileged position and you are more than likely not part of the real world…a world of people who, quite honestly, have to get up in the morning and go to work in a horrible tough job, or clean the house, or go shopping, or do the laundry, or go to school, or LIVE.  People who work hard all day!  People who come home, open the front door, kiss the wife/husband/partner, kiss the kids, hug the dog and fit back into the evening’s ritual – Perhaps even cook a meal…or people who are both working; where the family is scrabbling around to find time for the kids pick-up, homework, chores, sports, hobbies, family BBQs, kids birthdays, sickness, LIFE, and all the things that the world delivers.   The world of spare time between 9pm to midnight!

Does anyone in this industry REALLY believe that we are glued to our TV screens 24/7 as if that is the only thing in the world?  Come on what are we believing!!!   Why are TV shows scheduled, why are their ratings, why has the business delivered the same format for the last umpteen years, in the way it has?  Because TV has created a system that has adjusted to and suits the masses not the few.  We ordinary folk adjust and organise ourselves to schedules, we like schedules because we can do other things in the meantime!  We don’t need TV, we have TV which is part of an entertainment package that we use to entertain ourselves within scheduled periods in our lives and Mr Sarandos it is not the ONLY thing we have!

What is the best way for a busy family in the modern hustle and bustle of daily life – It is Linear TV, PVR and Catch-Up TV (aka VOD) perhaps even Apple TV which is an on-demand (not subscription) service…Pay as You Watch (makes sense).   Unless Netflix can be the only supplier of ALL the Content with ALL the options in the world including a humble price tag we will see that they are merely just another choice in a HUGE selection of TV offerings that we have today.  Linear TV still reigns supreme according to the Analysts but who cares in the heady world of OTT Services – All hail Netflix!

Trusting Me Trusting You – TV Recommendations and Facebook


How much do I trust recommendations regarding Film & TV that come from my friends…Good question and easily answered. Not at all – Why? Because my friends are an eclectic bunch of multinationals and they all have their particular quirks, idiosyncrasies and tastes. They dress differently, they eat different foods, they listen to different music. They are individuals. We do have some things in common like children in the same schools, a like of sports amongst some of us, fine wines and spirits, however we are not trying to be like each other. They don’t watch TV in the main because they are Architects, Artists, Dancers, Choreographers, Jewellers, Photographers, Film Producers on one side and on the other they are Founders, Restaurateurs, Secretaries, Cleaners, Electricians, Builders and Craftsmen. So whatever recommendations I get on Facebook will certainly surprise because Facebook is not necessarily their thing either. They are too busy! We have discussed this over a wine or two on a sunny terrace. We find that TV is a plonk yourself down after a hard day with a Glass-Of-Wine-Whats-On-In-The-Next-10-Minutes state of mind. We do communicate via the Internet and we watch their films, read their books and look at and even buy their art, we eat in their restaurants etc. I think amongst then we are the biggest TV enthusiasts out of all of them and I know I cannot impose any of my TV likes upon them. Thankfully there is the TV Professional at the Broadcasters who scouts for and buys new things for us to watch, otherwise TV in our house would simply fade to black.

Never Mind The Carbon Footprint: Is Trade Show ‘Radiation Hazard’ Something We should Be Concerned About


We seem to have forgotten about ‘Carbon Footprints’ now that the Politicians no longer have it on their manifesto. However has anyone looked at Trade Show Carbon Footprinting? IBC alone never ceases to amaze me – The waste is horrendous, the carpet, wood, metal, plastic as well as a whole plethora of electrical cable, wires and more and trashed each year. Furthermore an unhealthy environment it is now that the Wi-Fi saturation increases. If the demos don’t work – What does it do to the attendees, participants, stand staff et al? Is this a healthy and legal level of radiation – does anyone care? The hyper-concentration of radiated signals must surely be of concern to somebody apart from me?

Post IBC – A look at the State of Play in the Digital TV Market


If IBC 2010 was lackluster then IBC 2011 was a damp squib. There was no real hype, no buzz and certainly no crowd pullers. In 2007 the Rugby World Cup was on and many, many stands took advantage, using it as their crowd puller. This year it hardly featured and those that had it saw fairly meager gatherings. As we are right in the middle of a totally disrupted market many Companies had their principal offerings hidden in private rooms or on stands that needed invitation to view. The rest was HD viewing and fancy remote controls. This tells me that there is flux and change coming but the industry does not know in which direction it will eventually head. As with 3DTV and 3D UIs it was all proven to be a flop over the year. 3DTV is and in my opinion will never be mainstream viewing for another decade or more. So will the ‘TabletTV’ and this ‘Whole-Home-Solution’ with Gateway be the answer or will the “under $100” STBs still be the Broadcaster & Operators mantra when push comes to shove in an economic downturn? Will the CE manufacturers falter in the Connected TV space? Will the Regulators wake-up and see that TV is in a fragmented mess across Europe and react accordingly?

There were no answers at IBC 2011 and the last two years have shown that we are a ship looking for a port!  It turns out that Convergence = Divergence.  There are still no answers as to what is the real future of Digital Television Broadcasting, only many more questions?

The Shifting Sands of the Digital TV Industry


Are your exhausted, disgusted, frustrated, befuddled, amused or enthused at the daily ups and downs in the broadband industry?  A LINKEDIN Discussion

It’s a MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD World if you follow the broadband industry. Barriers are falling, borders are reshaping, allegiances are changing.

I really love that there is always optimism spouting forth when debates arise and that rarely you get anyone contributing in a rational manner, even negative manner for people are afraid to tell it as it is anymore.  Especially on open fora such as this  – BTW I am not being rude to anyone…Not at all!   Just noted that the LINKEDIN fora are somewhat restrained due to Big Brother fear.

Back to point: In fact the answer to this point really does depend on where your Company stands in times of disruption and turmoil.  If your Company is the water that shifts the sands you are the cause and are in power…If you are the sand and being shifted all the time then it is a different response as you are powerless.  There are ways to anchor yourself but it means a fight to stand strong against a disruptive wave that might when things calm down see you in the same position weaker or stronger than before.  We have seen this in Digital TV Technology … Many projects and initiatives around new-technologies have been launched.  I have been in Companies that have been the sand being shifted and we found ourselves shifted somewhere else a short time later and shifted again…The TV industry at present is chasing rainbows (but using technology to do it) in order to get that pot of gold but many times it is not there…sometimes it is and it is pure luck that lands you that pot of gold position today.

In the Digital TV world there is massive disruption because of technology advancements.  In fact there is a huge problem in technology leap frogging (shifting sands) as well as over supply of new and better mousetraps by a myriad of new Companies, who when asked to supply in mass quantity suddenly realise the dificulty that is scalability in technological and Corporate terms…a Digital Technology runaway train that simply is, in the main, irrational when it comes to business acumen…a Business that should like all businesses obtain ROI and Profitability.

I will give an example – Black and White TV, Colour TV, High Definition Analogue, Standard Definition Digital, High Definition Digital, 3DTV…Ultra High Definition TV, Super Ultra High Definition TV … Hologram TV…TV Everywhere…For the same mass eyeballs that watch TV between the limited hours of 6-midnight.  Terrestrial, Cable, Satellite, IPTV, WebTV, OTT, TV Everywhere…on all devices…even the Fridge gets a mention…

Analogue HD failed, 3DTV is a waste of investment as it turns out, UHDTV what for?  To keep TVEngineers in work …  We have seen masses of Companies chase a technology – BluCom at Astra  – Business model failed, Public Service Broadcaster DTT interactiveTV – Business Model Failed.  IPTV – MULTI Billions of dollars investment for a very small % of TV subscribers in comparison to Broadcast TV.     Good ROI – Dont think so.  Now Connected TV is the Valhalla, so was WebTV which failed not because web was weak in them days but the cost of Customer Support was ignored…Sony last week tried to justify “carriage charges” for its Connected TV platform to Broadcasters who already ship the same Content to a TV antenna for no carriage charge … Business model not thought out or ignored.  There are too many other examples to write here.   In the main as one technology tries to mature another pops up to distract the CTO and he runs around like a headless chicken too frightened to ignore it in case it is the next big thing and to frightened to invest in case it isnt.

Why are CE manufacturers becoming Broadcasters?  Because they have run out of market…The TV is a commodity and we all have a couple or 3.  So what do they do next?  Tesco becomes a Broadband provider and a Bank … etc. etc.

So as it stands some of us are trying to ride the tide of technologies,  anchored in the fundamentals we try to keep our head above water in the hope that some of these waves pass by without damaging the foothold we have…We adapt for sure but we have also been victime of wastage, massive distractions and money has not been wisely spent…Whilst everyone else is trying to be in everyone elses’ business we will see in the not too distant future consolidation and the “nettoyage” that is borne of technology bubbles…or we may just float away taken by the wind, forever changing direction and not ever reach the end goal.  Or we wont!