February 8, 2007
Comcast/Facebook Pair for TV Show Featuring User-Generated Content, While Leichtman Finds Online Video Viewing Growing Slowly

Viewing online video growth may be growing at a slower rate than some visionaries would like to see, but it isn't slowing the variety of new business models designed to facilitate online videos or to launch new media properties through Web programming. One key that seems to be driving the growth in online video viewing and new models, however, is the pervasiveness of user-generated content.

A partnership has been announced between cable provider Comcast and social networking site Facebook to create a television series featuring user-generated content through Ziddio, Comcast's user-generated Internet video platform. This fulfills one of Ziddio's major goals. As I wrote back in November, "The plan is to bridge this user-generated content cross-platform into video-on-demand for Comcast users as well, picking the best content for VOD."

The plan is for Facebook to encourage its users to post videos online through Ziddio or Facebook, with representatives from both companies choosing some of the user-generated clips for a new show called Facebook Diaries, which would air on VOD for Comcast as well as on Facebook's site and Ziddio's site.

Daisy Whitney with TelevisionWeek writes, "The partnership aims to give both parties a bigger berth in areas where they lag. Comcast is eager to play in the user-generated video business. By integrating its video-sharing site ziddio.com into the Facebook deal, Comcast can potentially expand its presence in consumer-created content. Facebook -- whose 16 million users puts it a distant second to MySpace among social networks -- wants to delve deeper into video to compete with MySpace."

Topics include "Who am I?," "heartbreak," and "life during wartime."

I've previously written about Ziddio's Ten Day Take contest and Comcast's positioning itself in the cable market through VOD.

Meanwhile, a study released this week from the Leichtman Research group focuses on the adult usage of online video viewing, which of course explains one of the reasons why the numbers remained so low, given that most people identify these new forms of media consumption as being most popular with the youngest of audiences.

The study found that 4 percent of adults watch online video on a daily basis, while 93 percent of adults watch at least an hour of traditional television per day.

And those numbers are driven by a small demographic who drives the majority of video usage, with the studying finding that men 18-to-34 make up more 41 percent of the daily online video views. Again, by only focusing on adults, the study is skewed, but it's no surprise that younger viewers would drive that video usage.

The study also finds that this 18-34 male demographic drives more than 2/3 of the views for user-generated content for sites like YouTube.

If the results are accepted, it indicates that the young adult male demographic is a major source to target for new online projects and advertising, which is probably not really a revelation, since a variety of online video models seem to target that demographic, from Super Deluxe to the WWE.