Some Suggestions To Improve The Zune

On TWIT's Windows Weekly #17, Leo and Paul have a Q&A with David Caulton of the Microsoft Zune Team. It is a good podcast and after listening I came up with three things that Microsoft can do to promote the 'social' part of the Zune:

  1. Integrated and rich support for audio and video podcasts on the Zune, but also in Vista and Windows XP operating systems.
  2. Pick a partner like Star Bucks or Best Buy and create Zune media sharing outlets with Zune devices available from major content providers including citizen media to share from these outlets.
  3. Release a toolkit like their Robots Studio 1.0 toolkit that lets people share to Zune devices via PCs.  Even with the crummy DRM, there might be a way to setup a non-expiring DRM public key infrastructure so you could share even podcasts or other citizen generated content via this method.

Just some ideas ...

Recent New Media Business Deals

Over the last couple of weeks there have been some interesting new media related business news.

Two of the major video podcasts have announced ad revenue details: AskANinja = $300,000 and Rocketboom = $247,000. 

Related to this is that Techcrunch is reporting that the podcasting advertising network Kiptronic has recently "closed a $4 million round of financing ... [from] ... investors include Blueprint Ventures and Prism VentureWorks."

Additionally, eMediaWire has news that TNC New Media (producer of the Podcast and Portable Media Expo) has sold their podcast and library of content to USA Triathlon.

More coverage from Paul Colligan on Ask A Ninja and Rocketboom.

New Technologies for New Media

This has been a busy technology news week for 'new media' devices, platforms, and services. 

Here are several that are worth mentioning:

I listened to the Engadget Podcast listed above.  There is good info in it about future products from SanDisk and iRiver.

MP3 Market Survey (#001) - Continued

I am still updating my Google spreadsheet that tracks advertised MP3 player prices especially in the U.S. Sunday newspaper advertising inserts. 

My main reason for doing this is that I'm curious if there could be trend related to MB/price ratios and the possibility of more podcast listeners because prices get down into the commodity level.

This past weekend (one week before Christmas) didn't seem to hold any major price changes that could be considered a trend. Some things I did note:

  • Best Buy had some $10-30 gift cards available for some player purchases, but no major price breaks on Apple iPods, Zune, SanDisk, or Insignia players.
  • Staples had a pretty good price for the SanDisk Sansa e280 and Creative Zen Vision:M 30GB

2007 Podcast and New Media Expo Announcement

Online registration for the 2007 Podcast and New Media Expo is now available.  The announced tracks include:

  • Track 1: Audio & Video Podcasting 101 - A to Z for Beginners - Get Up To Speed Fast
  • Track 2: Attracting & Growing Your Audience - Low Cost & Guerrilla Marketing Techniques
  • Track 3: The Business of Podcasting & New Media - Monetization & Business Podcasting
  • Track 4: Advanced Audio & Video Production - Advanced "How To" Techniques
  • Track 5: New Media for Educators & Musicians - specific sessions for each

Dropping HD TV Costs

Interesting article in the San Diego Union-Tribune today (Sat., 12/2/06) about the falling prices of High-Definition (HD) TVs.  A Panasonic 42-inch plasma HD TV was selling for $1762 in September 2006 at Circuit City.  By October 2006, the price was down to $1687, and then the day after Thanksgiving the same unit was on sale for $1199.

But as of yesterday, the same unit at Best Buy was $999, and Circuit City has announced that they would now beat every advertised price on TVs.

Definitely good for consumers ...

GoFish Not Playing Around In The Video Marketplace

Online user-generated video provider GoFish Technologies has announced a new consolidated business operating naming strategy, finalized leadership appointments, a stock-for-stock merger, and $12 million in private placement stock and warrants financing.

GoFish reports having hundreds of millions of videos watched over the last two years, and is also producing and distributing their own original series called "America's Dream Date" (which after watching for a few minutes you might want to hurl like I did).

There is definitely some value in these online video sites ... or Google would not have purchased YouTube.  But at some point, there can only be so many because frankly if the Internet has shown us anything is that we have a low attention span, and attention (ie. via ad revenue) is all that matters for those trying to make revenue.