Tag Archives: myspace

Playboy Tries Out Interns, Tries to Look Relevant

The first issue of Playboy, published on Decem...
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Playboy has definitely faced some challenges over the past few decades, not the least of which is that now, thanks to the internet, getting a chance to see a pair of naked breasts just isn’t that big of a deal and certainly not worthy of payment.

Sure, some will claim Playboy has always been more than boobs, and while it is true that they have had some incredibly good people write for them in the past they have never been a business built on literary laurels.

With Hef on his last legs and his daughter stepping down as head of Playboy Industries, it is a big moment for the company.  Will they be able to reinvent themselves for a new generation or will they suffer a fate similar to that of newspapers made irrelevant in today’s webby world?

If Playboy’s first original webseries is any sign of things to come I can’t say that things look good for their future.

Interns” follows three 20-s0methings who are taking part in a seemingly fabricated internship at Playboy.  Instead of taking a tongue-in-cheek approach like, say, ESPN has done with “Mayne Street,” “Interns” plays it straight, hoping that somehow young people will be excited to see just how dull and tedious it really is to work for a magazine publisher, even with all the bunnies hopping around.

Since this is an attempt to get more mainstream there isn’t even any nudity in the series.  In fact, it is clean enough that MySpace hosts their dedicated channel.

Every webseries faces a similar challenge: how to break through all the noise and distraction and get a dedicated audience to follow along over a number of episodes.  So far, “Interns” is getting just over 100,000 views/episode over on MySpace.  Considering the name recognition and potential these numbers seem pretty low.  Check out the most recent episode and you’ll understand why…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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iJustine and AT&T Get Lost On the Internets

Justine Ezarik in a car with lifecasting e...

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Hey, have you been watching that new webseries, “Lost in America” starring YouTube sensation iJustine? Well, neither has anybody else.

“After two weeks, the series had generated just 31,000 views across YouTube, MySpace and four other sites, according to web video distribution firm Tubemogul. The only reason they racked up that many is that iJustine posted episodes one and six on her blog, bringing in 20,000 of that total.” (via)

There are plenty of reasons why their numbers could be so low but, after watching just one episode, it becomes pretty clear the reason is that the series is a not very entertaining infomercial:

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Top 5 My Media Musings for Tuesday

Cinema 4 at HOYTS, Forest Hill Shopping Centre.

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Every day I probably scan a few thousand bits of information via email, RSS, surfing, chatting and even the occasional tweet.  Here are the top five things that caught my eye:

1) MGM putting up movies on YouTube – This is really only big news because YouTube is the biggest provider of video on the web.  I like the point made by TechDirt:

“You don’t see movie studios today looking to do exclusive deals with one chain of movie theater to distribute their movies. No, the idea is to get the movie seen in as many places as possible to make it as convenient as possible for whoever to watch it. The same should be true of studios who realize that they want their movies available for free online.”

2) Project Playlist vs. Labels – Project Playlist is another music site hoping to help people discover new music and are in the news because they just hired Owen Van Natta (formerly #2 at a little site called Facebook).  Question is whether or not they can survive on ad revenue and whether their linking to music is yet another form of music copyright violations.  As the NYT points out:

“The record labels have indeed proven themselves quite willing to settle lawsuits and license their catalogs to up-and-coming Web sites, so long as the sites pay a nine-figure upfront fee, a penny or so for every song played, and often a big chunk of stock as well.”

And we wonder why the music business is suffering…

3) OceanSpray to Replace Charlie Brown – It is becoming more and more common for brands to fully sponsor shows so I guess OceanSpray’s upcoming ABCFamily special “Cranberry Christmas” shouldn’t be so upsetting…but it is. Via MediaPost:

The story is about an antagonist, Cyrus Grape, who won’t let kids ice skate over the local cranberry bog near his home. The hero, a young girl, saves Christmas Day for the children by reclaiming their favorite ice skating spot and discovering the land’s rightful owner.”

Yeah, that’s much more in the Christmas spirit than some red-nosed reindeer.

4) Bond Breaks Free – The weirdly named “Quantum of Solace” has been released first in the UK meaning the larger US market has to wait to see the newer, darker, James Bond, unless they know how to use BitTorrent:

“…despite searching the bags of paying customers, monitoring movie audiences with Bond-style night vision goggles and proffering misinformation, the industry has failed to stop the movie leaking to the Internet.”

Gotta wonder how much people are willing to put up with after paying $12 for a ticket and another $10 for soda and popcorn – Would you rather be treated like a criminal at the theater or actually just be one from the comfort of your couch?

5) Women are Pirates, Too – I love looking at the top “pirated” TV shows downloaded via BitTorrent.  Not only is it constantly surprising to see “Prison Break” at the top of the list (who watches this show?) but I am also fascinated that both “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy” are always in the top 10.  I doubt lots of men are downloading Housewives and that means women are very much in the pirate game.

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The New View Review: Imaginary Bitches Making ’em Up?

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Timely post on NTV that goes back to the essential question for web video: what is a view?

This time, the videos in question are part of a new web series, Imaginary Bitches, starring All My Children actress Eden Reigel:

“Pointing to the inbound links on each IB vid on YouTube, our tipster noted the high number of views coming from suspicious MySpace profiles. For example, Episode 1 links include 4,463 views from Pam/Jenna (a fake Office profile). Episode 7 links include 18,938 views from Leona Lewis (a UK pop artist). There are several more examples, with each MySpace profile showing the video in the comments field, never embedded by the actual profile owner. Sometimes the videos appear in comments far removed from the profile’s front page.

Andrew Miller, the series creator and writer, denies any wrongdoing.”

Whether or not someone is pumping up the numbers is less of an issue than whether or not one can confirm or deny the validity of a view at all.  Until someone figures this out web video will continue to struggle to find ways to cashify.

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Dirty Soap on MySpace – Just Not Too Dirty

There is an article from Business Week about MySpace’s continued move producing original webisodic content.  The focus is on their latest project SOAP, based (loosely as hell, one guesses) on the late-70’s classic of the same name.

Two things struck me about the article.  The first is that it claims MySpace is still only paying $5000/3min episode.  If that’s actually true they are at the very bottom of the spectrum and it will be interesting to see if they can really produce anything watchable at that cost.

The second thing didn’t honestly “strike me” since it was the point of the article.  Here, read this quote:

“During a run-through of the script at a Los Angeles restaurant in early April, an actress playing the clan’s octogenarian grandmother flashed the middle finger. That was too much for Cristian Cussen, MySpace’s 28-year-old programming chief. The flipped bird can stay, he told the producers, but it must be blurred. “I can’t show that to Procter & Gamble (PG),” Cussen later explained.”

Yup, a middle-finger.  Something I’m pretty sure they let Jon Stewart do on Comedy Central already.  So, you can pretty much forget about cursing, nudity or any of the other things you already can’t see on regular television.

I understand MySpace’s need to please perspective sponsors and there is plenty of room out there for “safe” content but it’s a little dismaying to hear MySpace setting the bar so low (high?)

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“Special Delivery” Proves Promotion Matters

SAI has a taken a look at the MySpaceTV series “Special Delivery,” a sort of hidden cam prank show.  They took a look at the view counts for the show on MySpace and YouTube:

“Of the 12 episodes of “Special Delivery” added within the last month on YouTube, only one has more than 1,000 views. Meanwhile, episodes of “Special Delivery” found 254,778 viewers on last week and 155,011 the week before. That’s on par with “Quarterlife”‘s performance on MySpace, and bodes well for MySpace’s next original series, “I Love Chieftown,” —  as long as the financial model doesn’t assume big audiences elsewhere.”

Of course, they also note that MySpace promotes the show on its front page while there is no such love to be found over on YouTube.

This demonstrates a couple of things.  First, that front page promotion is currently the quickest way to drive hits and the people who decide what goes on that front page have more power in the short-form video world right now than practically anyone else.  Obviously, it benefits MySpace to promote the show on their front page but what would YouTube get out of doing the same for the show on their site.

Front page placement on YouTube has been known to drive anywhere from a few hundred thousand to over a million views to a once obscure video but since they have no stake in “Special Delivery” and MySpace is basically a competitor there is no reason for them to offer that kind of free traffice.

The second thing this demonstrates is that even though you might be widely syndicating your videos, if you don’t have a specific promotional plan for the video on every site it lives on you’re just screaming into the wind.

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Hard Truth for Madonna’s Hard Candy?

If you are so inclined you can go and listen to Madonna’s new album, Hard Candy, streaming in its entirety on her MySpace page before the album has been officially released for sale.

This would appear to be a pretty digital-age savvy move but as Mashable points out:

“If it actually helps sales is a difficult thing to measure, but it could also be seen as a rather large gamble to expose an entire work to the public before sales.  I must say as each track plays, I am finding myself less enthralled with this particular outing from the Material Girl.”

This is an interesting question – until recently there was really no good way to hear an artist’s album unless you went out and bought it. You might get to hear one or two songs on the radio, if you listen to the radio, but most of the tracks would be a complete surprise.  I remember many occasions buying an album after hearing one great track on the radio only to be totally disappointed by the rest of the album.

Now, the question is, do customers deserve the chance to hear an album in its entirety prior to purchase?  That would be a pretty huge change to the way things have been for decades.

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