The Competition Just Got Hotter — On the Field and Off

Breaking News!

I received a comment this morning from a reader named Blaine that raises a very good question and this is what it said:

Blaine

Hi justopia, i was wondering what you think will happen to JTV now Youtube have said they will be offering live video from this year? Do you think JTV will be around and make much money once this happens? I’m not so sure what will happen, in 5 years time we might be thinking Justin who?

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/02/29/confirmed-live-video-on-youtube-this-year/

Well Blaine, you raise a question that will have those of us that pontificate, speculate or attempt to measure the depreciation rate of JTV scratching our heads in an attempt to figure this out.

My immediate response? JTV and the other live streaming media sites will be up against a force to be reckoned with and it’s time, right now, for all of them to make a full court press and market the hell out of their product offerings if they want to be on the scene once YouTube/Google makes their move.

Remember to continue reading after the break!

I do have a theory however, that may be off in left field, but I thought I would write about it. The other day, as I wrote in a blog post, the JTV team was broadcasting and giddy about the number of viewers they had managed to score that day. They were still at it late into the night when I found Justin’s channel on the bar, which is an unusual occurrence anymore. They were thrilled with the fact that they were seeing the largest viewer numbers in JTV history and as I noted, we are not privvy to the details of how the stats are calculated, so I was just going to go with it.

This is a long one, but as you can see and hear, futbol in Argentina is not taken lightly. I just wish I understood Castellano well enough to understand what they were singing. I am told that most of these chants are not so, ummm, polite?

Michael did follow up in mail a few days later to clarify as best as he could without disclosing company confidential info. Understandable. He communicated that they knocked USTREAM’s numbers out of the park that day. Apparently, JTV uses Google Analytics and Statcounter to measure their viewer count rather than Alexa, which is where I pulled the screen shots for my blog post from and according to Michael, the numbers are not always accurate on Alexa.

So, that said … I wonder if they are trying to do something with Google and that in an effort to make it happen — what IT is, I haven’t a clue — they were trying hard to get an all time high viewer count that day. It’s funny, but a few days after this event, futbol came into all of our lives and the viewer counts have spiked wildly. It seems like sports is the name of the game (pun intended) on JTV now. At the top of the channel bar you can find soccer matches with thousands of people watching and this afternoon I was watching an NBA basketball game.

excitement-after-the-game.jpg

Team Argentina the night before they left for the 2006 World Cup in Germany

Ok, so I wasn’t exactly watching the game. I popped into the room to take a look at the numbers however. At one point this afternoon, or was it morning, the top 7 channels were rebroadcasting soccer matches. I’d love to see the numbers if Cricket was on the bar! Imagine? 1.1 billion people in India and they are as passionate about cricket as other countries are about futbol. I imagine supreme craziness once we see guys in their shorts and knit vests wielding a cricket bat around the field. Of course, a 5 day test match could be a little tough to handle — but I suppose it could truly be called lifecasting in that case!

riverplatefutbol.jpg

We got settled in our seats and I said; “Why do people bring flares to the game?” Our guide replies in one of those you’re so silly voices; “Those aren’t flares, they are bottle rockets and Roman candles,” and at that moment I realized the value in our very expensive “safe seat” tickets!

Now, as long time readers of The Justopian Life know, I enjoyed attending futbol matches when I lived in Buenos Aires. I mean, how could you not, right? But watching it online is not my idea of fun. I feel no danger. No thrill of excitement as I walk with the pack back to the waiting bus to scurry us back to safety after a heated match. No crazy team hats or cages for the visiting team to sit in. No guards in SWAT gear with intimidating dogs tethered to their wrists.

I know they actually play soccer, but most of the time I am busy watching what’s going all around me and not on the field. And they’re not kidding with the dogs and SWAT garb — we saw a minor riot break out while waiting for the bus to take us back to the city.

But … if I were a passionate soccer fan and could not get the game on TV while at work, or just in general, then watching on a site like JTV would be a great thing. I did not take the time to go out and see if they are doing the same thing on USTREAM or Yahoo! or any other streaming video sites, but I am curious. I am even more curious about how ESPN or the NBA feel about this? As someone pointed out to me today, it’s not like Pay Per View. In that case if someone watches a free rebroadcast rather than the Pay Per View broadcast, PPV stands to lose a lot of money. It’s just one of those scratch your head kinda things.

I bet the advertisers are happy to get any kind of free time. I wonder if they will start marketing to the JTV demographic. Ok, so that’s not likely.

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