I accidentally earned a degree in mechanical engineering while studying lacrosse and building websites at the University of California at San Diego. After a brief attempt to justify the cost of my degree by designing pool cleaners (no joke) I returned to web development with InstantantEncore and eventually Interactive Fitness Holdings. I believe technology should enhance and redefine markets and I enjoy building products with the potential to shift the perception of what is standard. I am always up for a conversation about music, lacrosse, digital fitness, CSS, jQuery, ASP.NET Webforms or MVC, Adobe Photoshop or Premiere. Please do not contact me about pool cleaners.
Jason Wilson, who has spearheaded our latest venture, Gallus Golf, has written an eloquent description of Real Social Marketing. Most companies these days think of Social Marketing as having a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Real Social Marketing is much more than that. It’s about getting your fans and your customers to talk about you. Jason’s article is about Gallus Golf, but the concept of Real Social Marketing applies across the board.
Posted in Uncategorized on February 6, 2011
Just in time for SuperBowl Sunday, the NFL has enlisted the help of the ICE Homeland Security to seize and shut down a number of websites that host links to live sporting events. Among the victims were two of my favorites: atdhe.net and ChannelSurfing.net.
I rely heavily on these sites as an Internet-only TV viewer and I’m happy to report that all services have been restored and can now be found on atdhenet.tv and ChannelSurf.eu. Come Sunday you will also be able to watch the game on Veetle.com, uStream.com, Justin.tv or simply by following my good buddy @Greg_Punzo on Twitter.
My point is this:
THE NFL CAN NOT WIN!!
Even with the help of the government, whack-a-mole enforcement of copyright infringement has proven to be ineffective, from Napster (1999) to WikiLeaks (2010). A new approach is needed!
THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
Why are people illegally streaming NFL games over the internet? The answer is because they have no alternative. TV subscriptions are declining in favor of internet only connections. In Q3 of 2010 Comcast lost over 275,000 subscribers, Time Warner dropped 155,000, and satellite viewership declined by 119,000.
These numbers are going to continue to grow and these people are going to want to watch football. Until the NFL offers a legal and reasonable alternative, atdhenet.tv will continue to exist and the piracy of football games will continue to increase.
THE NBA & NHL MODEL – CONTROLLED SERVICE
Both the NBA and the NHL offer an online streaming package. The pricing varies depending on when you sign up, but a full season of NBA League Pass will run you about $180 while NHL GameCenter costs upwards of $160.
Both League Pass and GameCenter are “controlled services” meaning that they are entirely created and managed by their respective leagues. The league sets the price, chooses what features to add, remove, enhance and ultimately defines the user experience.
League Pass and GameCenter have some cool features you won’t get through your local cable provider, including: live stats, pause, rewind, archived games, chat, and with League Pass you can watch up to 3 games at once.
Admittedly, these service are designed for die-hard fans. They cost a lot of money and do nothing to combat piracy as evidenced by the fact that every NBA and NHL game can still be found on atdhenet.tv.
The NBA and NHL have half of the equation right. They are offering a legal online alternative. The problem is that it isn’t reasonable for the casual fan to subscribe.
A RADICAL NEW APPROACH – CONTROLLED DISTRIBUTION
SuperBowl XLV is projected to net the NFL $213 million in advertising revenue with 95 million viewers. This means that come Sunday your eyeballs will earn the NFL $2.25. If the game lasts 3.5 hours you are worth $0.01 per minute. However, the hundreds of thousands of online viewers, like me, will be worth nothing.
Now imagine that the NFL licensed their content to various online services for $0.02 per viewer minute. Instead of atdhenet.tv you would get hundreds of websites competing for your eyeballs legally! The quality and reliability of the broadcasts would go up, advertisers would leap at the opportunity to bring you to their site for the game, and the NFL would double what you are worth to them. Win! Win! Win!
This is “controlled distribution.” Under this model, instead of controlling the user experience, the NFL simply controls who can broadcast their games online and charges them appropriately.
Technologically speaking, this is not far-fetched. Internet steaming platforms have reached the point where live broadcasters now know exactly how many people are watching, from where, and for how long. Politically speaking it may be a different story. In the mean time, I’ll see you Sunday on atdhenet.tv.
Posted in Interactive Fitness Holdings (IFH) on December 20, 2010
Interactive Fitness is not just about bikes – it’s about helping you build your business. The Expresso product line has revolutionized the indoor exercise industry by blending eye popping virtual reality with a classic cardio workout.
The result is a truly unique and compelling experience that captures the interests of clubs and members alike.
This is a different kind of fitness product, created through the fusion of different disciplines. Mechanical engineers innovating alongside game developers. Seasoned commercial managers working with gifted artists. Together the Expresso team is delivering and unprecedented experience that completely redefines the conventional approach to fitness.
Our team is passionate about helping club owners/operators and their members achieve their goals. Built to the highest standards of commercial durability. The rider experience is constantly evolving and improving. New courses and games are automatically installed over the internet. Workouts stay fresh for your members. Upgrades are painless for your staff.
Interactive Fitness bikes provide a combination of precisely engineered biometrics and compelling psychological motivators. We bring the excitement of outdoor riding indoors. We make the workouts fun and engaging. Your members will keep coming back for more.