Saturday, May 17, 2008

Podcasting Needs To Become "Personalized Video & Radio"

What is "Personalized Radio or Video" you might be asking right now. Well, it is very simple and it is the concept of a prioritized or smart software agent created playlists. It is still too hard to manage and discover audio and video content that "You" are or will be most interested in. If we look at the success of TV and Radio it has been based on fairly limited choice and mostly high quality content choices. This limited selection has had the economics behind it to justify spending large amounts of money to market it as well.

Today, the reality is we have have almost unlimited choice of audio and video content from millions of sources. Everyone is becoming a "caster" of some form, whether it is audio bloggers to major media cable channels to you newspaper. Everyone and I mean everyone is starting to create audio and video content these days... just visit YouTube.com to see what I mean. This is starting to become a significant change for the larger and minor media companies as well and they are shifting fast to adapt, but many it will be too late. I think smaller broadcast radio stations will be hit first. I think the days of buying an hour of broadcast radio time for a lifestyle type radio show and reaching an audience is about over. Even taking that show to the Internet now is difficult. We are seeing so much noise online now and all our time to consume media content is getting spread too thin.

To the rescue is Personalized media and how that might work is to tell a software agent hooked up to your TV, on a website or your computer that will be an automated filter on content and make recommendations and suggestions (not search) to you on what you will most likely "Like" based on your past usage patterns. Sure this has some privacy issues, but it maybe the only realistic way we will be able to deal with the flood of media options we have today and in the future. We need our software to be smarter and make choices for us to save us time as I don't have time to sample millions of media choices.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Zune Springs Ahead To 2.5 Update

I have been working late tonight at Zune working on getting the new spring update to Zune users. The update included the release of NBC and MTV TV show content in the Zune Marketplace. I am a little loopy now as it has been many late nights here over the past month getting ready for this release. I have been doing the content programming of these new TV shows and podcasts.

I have also been working with NBC and MTV to get the marketing pieces and content offerings together for this launch. I think this is a big step for the Zune as it moves us into competing with iTunes directly with top quality video content.

A couple of highlights for the new release:
- Zune Cards now go to the device: listen to your friends music recommendations on-the-go.
- The social is now in the client.
- Mini-feeds keeping you up-to-date on all your friends music at Zune.net.
- Enhanced friends search.
- Reputation badges for passionate promoters of entertainment they love.
- New metadata editing tools
- Gapless playback (great for live concerts!!)
- The inclusion of NBC in our launch video partner list: get The Office, Heroes and 30 Rock here!
- An incredible line up of shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Adult Swim and Vh1
- Over 800 shows at launch in the Zune Video Store
- Integration with Windows Live Messenger

Read a Wall Street Journal article - Zune Eases Sharing To Close iPod Gap
Read Seattle PI by Todd Bishop - Microsoft adds NBC, other TV shows to Zune
Read Google News breakdown on this announcement