Drew Graham, Director of Development at Varvid.com, explains the advantages of using Constant Contact. Constant Contact is an online e-mail marketing service that offers e-mail marketing, event marketing surveys, and full social media integration. Constant Contact analytics let you know who’s actually opening and reading your emails, as well as which links they click on. Drew finds that Constant Contact is very useful for spreading the word on events such as the on-going webinars that Varvid holds and he highly recommends getting the free trial and taking Constant Contact for a spin.
Google’s YouTube is currently in discussion with the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association and certain European soccer leagues about streaming live games online, according to a Google executive. And, in an interview on February 23rd, The Bloomberg Report quotes Google’s Director of Content for Asia Pacific Gautam Anand as explaining how YouTube is hoping to show more live sports by the end of 2011.
This isn’t the video giant’s first foray into the sports world, as in January of last year a contract was made between YouTube and the Indian Premier League to host live streaming cricket games for the whole 2010 season. This deal provides Google with a share of ad revenue from both the league’s website and the games, with the channel bringing in about 55 million visits from more than 250 countries.
If this deal goes through, it would be a major win for YouTube, and could potentially be a huge blow to cable networks if people start watching the games online, rather than on their networks. The significance of sports programming lies not only in the huge boost in viewers YouTube would receive, but also in the length of the programs themselves. Consider the average length for an NBA game (2 hours 30 minutes) and the average length of an NHL game (anywhere from 2-3 hours, or more) in comparison to the typical video clip you see on YouTube. Having more viewers who’re staying on their site for longer periods of time gives Google’s YouTube a huge opportunity for the advertising dollar, and will also open the floodgates for online video advertising. We’ll be following this story and keep you posted on any updates.
Aaron Booker, founder of Varvid.com, uses LastPass to keep his own data, and data entrusted to him by clients, safe and secure. LastPass is a highly-rated product that integrates seamlessly into Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems, as well as all the major web browsers, and all the major mobile phone/tablet platforms. LastPass was named Pc Mag’s Editor’s Choice for password management and the Varvid staff uses it regularly to keep all employees in the loop, and to ensure that all confidential information remains in a secure environment.
On Tuesday February 8th, Comscore released their coveted U.S. Digital Year in Review for 2010 which analyzes the online trends in the U.S. media landscape. One of the main focuses of the report is online video, and what we’re really interested in: Online Video Advertising. First, the online video numbers: The report shows that in 2010 an average of 179 million individual Americans watched video each month, which is a little over half of the nations’ entire population (307 million) and in December 2010 alone, 88.6 million people watched online video on an average day, up 32 percent from December 2009, and total viewing sessions for the last month of 2010 reached an astonishing 5.8 billion, which is up 13 percent from December 2009. A great insight that puts this all into perspective, is that the average American spent more than 14 hours watching online video in the month of December 2010 (12 percent increase from last Dec.2009) and the average viewer streamed a record of 201 videos (an 8 percent rise from Dec. 2009).
Growth in online video views can be largely attributed to the convenience and cost of watching content which is normally broadcast, like movies and TV shows. However, most online video portals are supported by advertising – video advertising. Data from 2010 shows that a full 50% of Americans are reached by online video ads each month.
One interesting statistic shows that while traditional TV ads take up 25% of total viewing time, online video ads take up only 1.6% of total viewing time. From a consumer perspective, that makes online video watching a much less-interrupted experience than TV, and so more enjoyable. It also means that advertisers are wising up to the “viral” game – make your ads short and entertaining, blurring the border between content and advertising and making ads something that consumers want to tell their friends about. That’s the future of advertising: engaging, interactive content that excites the viewer on its own, while also delivering a branded message.
Varvid.com founder Aaron Booker expounds the virtues YouSendIt, an online file transfer service. YouSendIt offers fast and secure file transfers for a reasonable price, and is far easier to use than an FTP setup. By pinning the sender’s email address to each file, YouSendIt makes tracking each client’s progress a snap. Aaron uses YouSendIt for his business’s cloud-based video editing service and highly recommends their services for anyone who needs to transfer large files over the web.
Varvid.com founder Aaron Booker is back to tell the world about DropBox, a fantastic backup/file sync utility that he uses to make sure his small business has access to all the files it needs at any time. DropBox, whose free version give users up to 2 gigabytes of storage, offers a wide range of price points for organizations of any size. Quickly and securely, DropBox syncs itself between all of the enabled machines – Mac, Windows, and mobile – ensuring an end to the all-day wait for someone to email you the latest version of a file. DropBox has improved efficiency at Varvid so much that we needed to upgrade our account – and we’re so happy with their service that we’d highly recommend it to anyone who needs a cloud storage solution.
Google and Apple are (in a roundabout way) at it again, as both make attempts to bring their own video encoding technologies to the forefront of internet-delivered video. The most recent shot was fired from the Google Chrome camp, when they claimed that future versions of the Chrome browser would not support H.264 (Apple’s favorite), instead boosting support for the WebM and Theora codecs. WebM is Google’s favored “open source” video codec, in contrast to H.264, which is licensed by the MPEG LA patent consortium, who hold Apple as a member.
Google’s announcement comes as another turn in the long-drawn battle for online video supremacy. Back in April of 2010, Steve Jobs wrote a long manifesto on why Apple products don’t and won’t support Adobe’s Flash codec, and would be promoting H.264 as the web-video standard for mobile and desktop viewing. Many were outraged at the time, and couldn’t conceive of an internet video experience without Flash. And yet by May of last year, H.264 was already the format of 66% of web videos. Many more, I’m sure, didn’t notice at all when their beloved funny cats YouTube videos were in a different format than before.
Currently, MPEG LA is offering H.264 as “royalty-free”, primarily due to pressure from the press when they got wind of the free open source codecs. However, “royalty-free” does not mean free for all: H.264 is only free for those who would use it for Internet-delivered non-commercial uses. All other uses of H.264 run the risk of being asked for not-insignificant amounts of money from MPEG LA. Google’s announcement implies that it would be better for everyone if they switched over to WebM – less risk for encoders, better for the open-source community, potentially better for end-users – but the real question remains to be answered: How is it better for Google?
And so, Adobe may indeed be the Helen of Troy in this battle between titans. Because, as it turns out, Adobe Flash supports WebM technologies, and is in fact a WebM partner. Was it a heartfelt plea from Adobe that got Google to lay the smackdown on Apple favorite H.264? Or are they really in it to uphold the principles of open source? As usual, we, the little guys, will have to wait for the next press release to find out.
Thanks to Peter Csathy for his blog post on the background of the encoding business.
Varvid’s founder Aaron Booker talks about Cisco’s Flip HD camera , the value it adds to our VENUE Packages, and explains why it’s such a great product. The quality of video that the Flip Ultra HD captures is phenomenal, and it’s perfect for filming interviews and testimonials. Matched with it’s intuitive interface, and how easy it is to use, Cisco’s Flip Ultra HD is an amazing video capturing device that any marketing guru should include in their arsenal. The Flip Ultra HD features a one-touch record button, 8 GB of built in memory memory which records up to 2 hours of footage, image stabilization and a USB port built in to the device to easily upload your footage to the computer of your choice.