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AOL Original Content November 20, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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AOL “original content”debuts. Observations:
– chat > video
– cost = 0
– promotion of a show that’s on CBS, not WB or HBO
– hosts are from New York mag (Primedia) & NY Post (News Corp.), not Entertainment Weekly, People, etc.

This is synergy? That said, I think this will be a hit and cost them little.

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Internet Movies Should Remain Experimental November 11, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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Movielink launched today. I’ll repeat my opinion when the plan was announced in August 2001: The promise of studios to offer movies via Internet had better remain limited in scope, with studios primarily targeting college audiences. There is little home demand for watching a movie on a 15-inch PC screen. On the plus side – through this experiment, studios will learn about joint-venture governance, pricing, and oligopolistic regulation, for a service that is better aimed at delivery to TV sets through cable or satellite.

Surveys show about 10% of online adults have any interest in watching feature films online, though the number increases to 15% for younger adults. Movielinek is an interesting experiment in windowing, but unless big hits are available early – earlier than DVD or PPV – I doubt consumers will put up with the download time, restricted viewing (24 hours after activation) and pricing that isn’t any better than Blockbuster. Check out:

Jupiter Research: Securing Online Movies

End of the Tunnel? November 8, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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At the risk of cheerleading, it looks like several media companies have their Internet operations humming. In BusinessWeek, NY Times Co. President and CEO Russell Lewis says: “Our digital businesses, which include our two Web sites and also the digital sale of archival material, was cash-flow positive last year. This year it has been cash-flow positive and profitable on an operating basis. In fact, the Internet area is the one providing the strongest growth of any division. Revenue increased 26.8% in the third quarter.”

Jupiter met with Disney recently, and their overall Internet operations are looking solid too.

Spinning Off AOL November 1, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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I’m not a stock or financial analyst, but How to Undo AOL Time Warner strikes me as colossally stupid. Time Warner is the world’s biggest media company and it’s the only one of the big 5 (or 6 if you count Bertelsmann) with a successful online media network. Disney has some successful online properties (ESPN, abcnews.com, Disney.com) & Viacom some promising affiliates (Marketwatch, Sportsline). News Corp. is nowhere and Vivendi is struggling.

Two of the big three online networks – with their loyal audiences ripe for media promotion and, someday, cross-media ad campaigns – are MSN and Yahoo. The other, of course, is AOL, which has a huge lead in audience attention (minutes online) and subscription revenues over the others. AOL’s execution has been slipshod, & plagued by historical Time Warner turf wars, but the vision is still correct.

Chicago “Reds” Update November 1, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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Thanks to I Want Media I find that the twin Chicago youth papers actually do have Websites. (They weren’t up when I first blogged on this topic.)

Actually, the Trib’s is only promotional at this point. It’s still ludicrous that the sites appear to be designed after the fact, rather than in lockstep with the papers. And I disagree with I Want Media – a great blog for media links, btw, highly recommended – on having free online sites for the papers. These new pubs are all about brand extension & audience growth – papers targeting younger readers absolutely should have online components; A&E listings off-line is almost a lost cause. See our report: Local Content – Profiling Arts and Entertainment Consumers