Netflix, AppleTV, GoogleTV, Hulu, TV Everywhere, Boxee, Sezmi, Amazon On Demand, YouTube, Vimeo, Veoh, CinemaNow, Roku, Vudu , Samsung, Yahoo! ConnectedTV, Qriocity, xBox, Playstation, Tivo, Wii, YouView, Vizio
I’m sure you came up with a list of a dozen or so thoughts – here are a few obvious ones: each of these companies are trying to create killer video services; each of these companies realize that the living room is currently the best place to reach video consumers; each are trying to “win the living room.” But let’s push these to the side for the moment, and consider that the commonality is each of these companies is creating significant noise in the marketplace as they compete for the attention of the consumer.
World class noisemakers
Apple’s efforts at making noise are world class – besides the hoopla that swirls prior to an event, the press revivals are devotee opportunities to rush to the Apple altar to commune in what’s new. But this cultish following has not come cheaply – rumors are that in the early days of iPod and iTunes Apple spent close to $1 billion in marketing. There is no question that its devices are cool and sexy and simple, but let’s not underestimate the role that creating noise has played in Apple’s success.
Another example to create noise came when Samsung announced that they will spend $70 million in marketing the Samsung Apps that will bring content services to living rooms around the world. Another video consortium called YouView in the UK will be spending nearly $50 million market their service. Microsoft, Google, Sony and many others, have massive noise making engines to compete for consumers’ attention. Smaller companies like Sezmi are creating partnerships with the likes of Amazon to create even more noise in the market.
Ultraviolet and the problem of making noise
So I was at a holiday party the other day, and I conducted a clandestine focus group of my friends. I asked any of them if they had heard of UV, and besides getting the expected snickering about the 2006 movie as well as the sun’s harmful rays, none guessed correctly about Ultraviolet. This is clearly a noise problem.
After being around for over 2 years, UV has not made a chirp in consumer’s minds. For a group of such big companies who have been working hard, that seems like a problem to me. How will UV reach out and make some noise? I personally think it comes down to a whole lot of money to buy the hearts and minds of consumers. And it remains to be seen if this consortium can pull off reaching into the pockets of its members to pay to make some revolutionary noise.