Monday, August 18, 2008

Unlimited Viewing Choices, Lousy Maps

The 2008 Summer Olympics are really exciting this year. For those capable of watching many hours of TV, plenty of coverage. For those more discerning in which sports they watch, finding the content is harder than it looks. NBC is reporting huge ratings for its linear coverage and claiming strong broadband and mobile views.

Some of the stats through August 15:
—31.2 million video streams delivered totaling 4.7 million hours.
-31 million unique visitors; 6.5 million daily uniques.
-Users spend approximately 13 minutes per visit.

And yet for all this success, VOD usage is not as strong. Why? Are the better events being held back to promote the DVD packaging? Last night, I saw ads for both Michael Phelps on DVD as well as the opening ceremony. Unfortunately I missed some of the opening coverage but could only find limited web coverage of highlights and nothing else. In fact, that best web coverage of the ceremony was from a non NBC site.

With so much choice being offered to us - linear, vod, broadband, mobile - we need better navigation and experts to recommend for us some things we might enjoy. Whether its buying something or simply viewing thousands of hours of Olympic coverage on many different screens, we want service, we want speed, and we want value. Putting us in a giant store and left to our own curiosity, we may or may not find what we are looking for. Perhaps that is what the numbers are really telling us.