While Malaysians Are Social Butterflies, Japanese Are Online Loners

The average Malaysian Internet user has 233 friends on social networks, which is the most in the world, according to interviews with nearly 50,000 online users in 46 countries. By contrast, the least social web users appear to be the Japanese, who count only 29 friends.

Vid-Biz: YouTube, Conviva, RollingShutter

Music Videos Back Online on YouTube in the UK; video site reaches agreement with the PRS for Music rights collection society; premium videos to return in the next few days. (YouTube Biz Blog) Speaking of online music videos, Vevo is reportedly in talks with NBC and CBS to develop original programming for its forthcoming music video site. (Reuters)
NBCU CTO Leaves for Conviva; Darren Feher will be CEO of the online video distribution company, which has a multi-year agreement with NBCU. (paidContent)
RollingShutter Removes Video Wiggle; plug-in tool for After Effects straightens objects that get tilted because of the CMOS sensors. (The Foundry)

Livestation and Telestream Pick Wowza for Multiple Screen Streaming; the Wowza Media Server 2 streams live entertainment to devices like the iPhone. (emailed release)
NDS and TNS Team Up for Individual TV Tracking; the opt-in service is able to monitor viewing habits of individual users. (Multichannel News)
Cable Cos Cry Foul Over Franchise Fees; they are lobbying hard to get a law passed in California that would require satellite operators to pay up to provide service. (The LA Times)

Rival Research Firms Form Their Own Supergroup

When you think of famous music supergroups, names like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, or Emerson, Lake & Palmer come to mind. Now research firms have their own supergroup and it counts Nielsen, comScore, Rentrak, TiVo (s tivo), and TNS Media Research among its members, reports MediaPost. Thankfully these firms aren’t cutting an album, but instead are banding together to help better define the value and usefulness of viewer data generated by set-top boxes.

The group met yesterday and agreed to share data, insights and technical support. Pat Liguori, senior vice president of research & electronic measurement for the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, participated in the meeting and told MediaPost:

[i]t was important for the TV research industry to develop a consensus approach, and to precisely define what it hopes to develop from digital set-top data, to avoid, “what happened with Web measurement,” which she said is “all over the place” and has “all these different services doing different things all with mystery algorithms. It would be very unfortunate if we do that wit the set-top box.”

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19% of U.S. Households Watch Online TV

Probably one of the most important benchmarks for online video, in my opinion, was the study conducted by TNS and the Conference Board last year that found 16 percent of American Internet households watch TV broadcasts online. That seemed pretty impressive at the time, especially given that it pre-dated the existence of Hulu along with widespread promotion of other network’s streaming offerings. It signaled that there was a real audience for premium entertainment on the PC screen.

Well, perhaps as expected, but certainly as an important milestone, that number is now larger: “Nearly one-fifth” of American Internet households watch TV broadcasts online, according to a release put out by the two firms today. So assuming the number is something on the order of 19 percent, it’s actually not that dramatic of an increase year-on-year. (We’ve asked if they can send over a more precise percentage. The firms do say this year’s figure is double what they measured two years ago.)

In its study of 10,000 households, TNS and the Conference Board found that of those who watch TV online, 43 percent tune into the news, the most popular category. Thirty-nine percent watch drama shows, 34 percent sitcom/comedy shows, 23 percent reality shows, 16 percent sports, and 15 percent user-generated content.

Almost nine out of ten online TV viewers watch online broadcasts at home, while 15 percent watch from their office. Some 68 percent of online TV watchers stream video, while 38 percent utilize free downloads (Meaning illegitimate downloads, I assume. Most places offering authorized downloads, like iTunes, do it for a fee.) The top streaming destinations are official TV sites, with 65 percent of viewers, and YouTube, with 41 percent.