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Jan 9 2006
2006 Looks to be the Year of Web + TV II
PaidContent has an exclusive interview with Marco Boerries, SVP-Connected Life, Yahoo!. With the recent media storm over content and online video (stepped up even further by last week�s CES conference and this week�s Macworld expo), an important question is: When will the moving parts come together to make online video become a pervasive medium? In other words, when will the hype turn into mainstream adoption reality. (In this discussion, it�s important to make the distinction between online video and IPTV.)

Boerries is emphatic that online video will reach a tipping point in �06:

I think we�re going to see the first critical mass in �06. I think with Intel�s Viiv, we�re going to see that. We�re going to start seeing it happening; it�s going to need some ramp-up time. That was the reason we partnered with Intel�see what they�ve done with Centrino, right? Five years ago, less than five percent of the notebooks had WiFi in them and it was not always working ... Now, 99 percent of the notebooks have WiFi and it works most of the time. That�s the leadership that Intel can provide to the industry ... in terms of technology, standardization and investment dollars in marketing and getting the digital home opened up ... We don�t have a million users today in the U.S who connect the TV and the PC. This is to me always a critical threshold (one million) and we�re going to pass this threshold this year.

Read the rest here.

A good comparison chart of the current video offerings of the four main portals (and Apple) is here.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  13:08 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 9 2006
Yahoo! and Starwood Team Up for Free Wi-Fi
According to The Wall Street Journal (sub. req�d), Yahoo! will be testing free Wi-Fi at two Starwood-owned hotels:

Seeking new ways to distinguish their respective brands, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and Yahoo Inc. said they will begin a test of Yahoo Internet lounges in two Sheraton hotels today.

Dubbed Yahoo [email protected], the lounges opening today in the lobbies of the Sheraton Boston and Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina will be part business center, part Internet cafe. They will have desktop workstations and space for guests to plug in laptop computers. Internet access, including wireless capability, will be free, the companies said.


A couple of comments:

It�s totally annoying to pay $9.95 or more�on top of $200 to $300 (or more) for a room�at a major hotel for slow or �cludgey� Internet access. I dance with glee at the prospect of free Wi-Fi. And if this relationship takes hold and proves to be successful, expect Starwood competitors (e.g., Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt) to try something similar.

Starwood is a global hotel chain:

At December 31, 2004, our hotel portfolio included owned, leased, managed and franchised hotels totaling 733 hotels with approximately 231,000 rooms in 80 countries, and is comprised of 140 hotels that we own or lease or in which Starwood has a majority equity interest, 283 hotels managed by us on behalf of third-party owners (including entities in which we have a minority equity interest) and 310 hotels for which we receive franchise fees.

So if it were to go global (or partly global), it would be a potentially significant deal. We�ll see.

Notice also that Yahoo! is doing this without a partner provider. Where else might the company do this in the future?

More at Search Engine Journal.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Greg Sterling at  09:54 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 9 2006
Forecast Time Again
It seems like everyone and his second cousin has an online advertising forecast these days. We�re working on ours, expanding it to include more categories this year. But here�s a nice write-up by Chris Sherman of the recent SEMPO survey that has lots of juicy data about search marketing. The organization offers figures for 2005 ($5.75 billion spent in U.S. and Canadian markets) and a forecast for 2010 ($11 billion).

I�ll be putting together a �forecast roundup� for this week�s Local Media Journal.
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Greg Sterling at  06:17 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

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