It’s been 30 years since Sony Corp. introduced the Walkman to an amazed world. Somewhere deep in my closet of obsolete gizmos that I can’t bear to part with is a Sony Walkman that not only played stereo cassettes with auto-reverse, it also had an AM/FM tuner and – in what was cutting edge for the time (1986?) – received a few channels of TV audio.
(Title lyric from Veruca Salt.)
Today’s NY Times has an article about Cast It Systems , a company that securely catalogs, tags, shares and otherwise handles digitized auditions for casting directors and their associates. It includes tools for comments and tracking, as well as obviously making geographical location less of a factor.
The productions pay a fee to access the database, making possible events like the recently launched open casting call for Twilight – which I would assume had more value as a publicity generator than as a practical way of acquiring talent.
That cynicism aside, Cast It Systems counts all the major studios and many production companies among its customers. It has successfully been used for The Proposal, The Hangover, Steven Spielberg’s Munich, Star Trek, HBO’s Hung, and many other projects.
Eric Hayes and Chris Gantos predict their services have potential for use in sports and even placement in mainstream jobs.
One of the events honoring Michael Jackson provides a test for judging who “gets” Web 2.0. Basically, any entertainment executive who doesn’t understand why the Liverpool Street moonwalk flash mob was wonderful should hire someone who does.
Here’s what happened. The Prince of Pop died Thursday afternoon here in Los Angeles. The brilliant Rob Manuel, 8 hours ahead in London, woke up to the news and Twittered that a tribute flash mob would be fun. By 6 pm London time, Milo Yiannopoulos had leveraged the power of social networking into having many hundreds of otherwise unaffiliated people gather to dance (or at least happily mill about – see picture) to Billie Jean at one of London’s busiest commuter rail stations.
The White Rock Lake Production will air July 25 at midnight ET/PT. It stars Zoe Bell (pictured in character as Eve, the assassin of the title), Lucy Lawless, Doug Jones, Ted Raimi, Brian Poth, Justin Huen and Jake Abel. Paul Etheredge directed and John Norris produced.
It’s not the first time Spike TV has picked up a show from the Internet. In April it started running MoCap, LLC, the darkly humorous adventures of a low rent motion capture company trying to get a foothold in the world of video games. Worldwide Biggies produced six half-hour episodes exclusively for Spike TV.
(Title lyric is from Ozzy Osbourne.)
Top-rated TV shows, like The Simpsons and CSI, can now command higher ad rates online than they can for their regular prime-time showings. A Bloomberg story goes into this in some depth: The Simpsons, for example, gets $60 CPM on Hulu and $20-$40 CPM during prime-time.
Gigaom emphasizes that Hulu caps its ad breaks and therefore its potential revenue. Analyst Michael Nathanson pointed out that a Simpsons episode on Hulu has just 37 seconds of ads compared to a broadcast episode’s nine minutes.
It’s nice to get some numbers starting to prove the higher CPM value that should be obvious intuitively. (It’s also amazing how surprised some TV traditionalists are by these numbers.) Online viewers have actively chosen to watch the program instead of finding the least-bad show for while they zone out. They also know that online ad breaks are short – therefore viewers sit through them rather than go to the bathroom or refrigerator.
(Title lyric Jim Jones [nsfw].)
Mio is releasing satnav with an integrated TV tuner (via /. ) in the UK. The Mio Spirit line was introduced at CES, but TV capabilities weren’t announced until it showed off the Mio Moov V500 (pictured) and V700 range at Computex Taipei 2009.
The device audibly warns you not to watch TV while driving, and it repeats the warning if it detects movement faster than 5 mph. What could possibly go wrong?
“It’s not intended at all for drivers to use while they are driving,” a Mio spokesperson assured PC Pro magazine, adding that the ability to watch television on the move was for users travelling by bus and for children travelling in the back of a car.
But getting back to geekphilia, the devices also have things like multiple ways of finding points of interest, a button that captures on-the-fly location and voice memos, and pre-loaded photos and travel information.
(Title lyric by Chris Cornell.)