Posted on March 24, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid |
On June 30, 2007 one of the most addicted kool aid drinkers, Duncan Riley, proclaimed that the seeds of a revolution had been sown and that the “the missing link in Web 2.0’s challenge to network television” had been discovered. What was afoot? According to Duncan, live online video streaming.
So it was with interest that I read Erick Schonfeld’s post “celebrating” the one-year anniversary of Justin.tv, one of Web 2.0’s most useless startups. Erick’s post reveals that in February, less than 300,000 unique visitors wasted time on Justin.tv if comScore’s numbers are to be believed.
The less-than-stellar numbers may not even reflect the true failure of Justin.tv to resonate with mainstream consumers as it appears that a considerable number of Justin.tv’s visitors and one commenter claims that 70% of the traffic is originating from the Mideast and South America.
But the news gets even worse for Duncan’s revolution: Justin.tv is not alone. None of the other “major” live video streaming services seem to be mounting a challenge to network television. Only one of the five players covered in Schonfeld’s comScore data report attracted more than 500,000 unique visitors last month. And Ustream.tv, which seems to be a favorite amongst Web 2.0 kool aid sippers, looks to have pulled in a paltry ~100,000 uniques.
All told, comScore’s numbers indicate that the “the missing link in Web 2.0’s challenge to network television” was roughly 1.5 million “viewers” strong in February.
To put that in perspective, consider that American Idol pulled in more than 28 million viewers for its February 26 episode alone. If American Idol is an unfair comparison, one need only consider that web-to-television experiment , which was pulled by NBC after its disappointing debut, pulled in 3.86 million viewers. A paltry showing for network television but still well over double the number of unique viewers attracted by Duncan Riley’s network television killers.
Obviously, Duncan would probably retort that the game is still young and that comScore is inaccurate. Perhaps, but it should be blatantly clear to anyone with an iota of common sense that Web 2.0 has a long way to go before it challenges network television no matter how you measure things.
Excluding the illegal content which is apparently infecting Justin.tv, live online video services serve as some of the best examples that the Old Media-Web 2.0 battle is still a fight between men and boys. Why? Because without the same level of stolen content which has been a major contributor to the success of traditional Web 2.0 video sharing services like YouTube, live online video services like Justin.tv and Ustream.tv better allow us to put the appeal of user-generated content to the test.
Right now, it’s flunking that test along with Web 2.0 as a whole.
Print This Post