The Power of Online Video

A-Squared Communications

The power of video in today’s noisy online environment is of great importance. Capturing your audience’s attention can be a battle. You need to have content that engages them – fast! So if you have something to say, there’s no better way to tell it than using the power of VIDEO.

As you can see in the videographic, a video can hold your viewers’ attention better and can make them stay on your website longer. Your story will be much more engaging. And it’s more likely that they will buy your product. People just love video!

Video is the best way to invest your money. So give us a call today and we’ll be happy to discuss your video production requirements.

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TV is the “Second Screen” now.


Second screen

People are using their iPads and mobile phones as the first screen while the TV is running in the background, so stop trying to make those silly second-screen apps.

Recently I had a great discussion with a friend of mine from Germany, who told me that TV networks over there are slow to embrace the future of television. Some of that has to do with local regulations and the difficulty to secure content rights, but a lot is also based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how people watch TV.

“They all talk about second screen apps,” he said, only to take out his cell phone and add: “But this is my first screen.”

The idea of the second screen apps has long been embraced in the U.S. as well, with networks building companion apps for their favorite shows, social TV startups offering chats and check-ins on the second screen, and others trying to reinvent the programming guide. Some of these ideas are actually pretty good, others don’t work at all — but the second screen buzzword itself is not just wrong, but dangerous. It lets us to believe that the giant TV screen in the living room is the center of the television universe. That wasn’t true in the past, and it’s much less so today.

Let’s back up a little bit first. Americans watch a lot of TV. The typical American watches anywhere between 2.8 and 4.8 hours of TV a day, depending on whether you believe Nielsen or the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But a lot of that TV viewing has long been low-attention background consumption, and programmers know this very well. The morning show, music television and the continuously looping headline news are all made for running in the background while people eat their breakfast, clean the house or do any of the other things you can do while the TV is on.

And with technology becoming more of a part of our daily lives, this development has only accelerated. Nowadays, people regularly check their emails, browse their Facebook feeds, chat and do all kinds of other stuff while the TV is running in the background. The TV has become the second screen, meant to provide some additional entertainment while important interactions are happening on our mobile devices.

old TV

Sure, there still is must-see TV. The shows we really love and that are good enough to capture our imagination and keep us from checking our smart phone notifications for 25 or 50 minutes. The movie we watch with our loved ones during family movie night. The big games played by our favorite teams.

But there is plenty of TV as well that just isn’t that important, while there is plenty of social interaction that is. And depending on our mood and the posts in our Facebook feed, we may even fluctuate and switch back and forth easily. We’re pretty good at multitasking at this point, after all.

So what does that mean for the producers of all of these second-screen apps? First of all, lose the buzzword, because it prevents you from understanding how people really interact with TV. You’re not building apps for the second screen, but for a multiscreen world.

Secondly, that means that apps should — carefully — embrace all screens. Not to annoy viewers everywhere, but to give them options on what to consume where, and in which context. Microsoft’s Xbox One and its idea of the app sidebar seems promising in that context. Opera is working on similar things for its TV SDK.

But finally, and that may be the most important point: Get out of the way. It doesn’t make sense to reinvent Twitter and Facebook for the second screen, or any screen for that matter, because people are just fine using Twitter and Facebook, and only more so while watching TV. The best new apps will be the ones that provide additional utility without trying to monopolize a screen that TV viewers already use for something else.

Image courtesy of (CC-BY-SA) Flickr user joe.ross.

Want to Advertise to Investors? New SEC rules including TV.




The JOBS Act, passed in 2012, is intended to lift regulation and make it easier for firms to raise money. A new part of the law just went into effect.


The JOBS Act, a 2012 law intended to promote start-up and small business activity, is chugging forward. The latest piece to go into effect makes it possible for entrepreneurs to use advertising  – anything from tweets to t-shirts to TV — to seek investors for their company. Some start-ups are already exploring creative ideas, like putting T-shirts on window washers.

Here’s what you need to know:

In the 1930′s, the federal government banned private companies from advertising shares to prevent scams. The SEC has now lifted that ban, meaning entrepreneurs — anyone from start-ups to hedge funds — can use billboards and other types of ads to seek capital.

But only “accredited investors” — people worth more than $1 million (not counting their home)  or who make more than $200K a year — can buy shares. Companies have to take reasonable steps to ensure investors meet this criteria.

There are still some formal SEC requirements

Companies seeking money must file a Form D with the SEC 15 days before seeking investment. They must then file an amended form 30 days after the offering is terminated. The SEC will use these forms as data to evaluate the system. (The SEC’s full list of rules is here.)

Other important parts of the JOBS Act have yet to go into effect

The Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups law also contains a provision to let companies raise up to $1 million through crowd-funding — this would open up the door to all investors, no matter how small. Regulators, however, have yet to grant formal approval. But, for now, companies can still crowd-fund through sites like Kickstarter so long as they don’t grant equity in the company.

The advertising provisions are also likely to benefit companies like FundersClub, which lists companies seeking funding; in March, the SEC confirmed its business model was legal.

More useful reads

The Wall Street Journal profiles a popcorn start-up and others that describe how they plan to advertise — including T-shirts on window washers.

The New York Times has an overview of how the rules will affect the capital markets as well as quotes from critics.

Fortune has a detailed explanation of the rules and an argument of why a rush of scams is unlikely.


Apple Sued for Renting HD Videos to Older iphones


Apple encouraged consumers to pay more for HD versions of movies and TV shows for their mobile devices — even if those devices did not support HD, says a new lawsuit.


A Florida lawyer who rented “Big Daddy” from iTunes has filed a class acton suit against Apple, claiming the company deceived him into paying $1 more for a high-definition version of the film — even though his phone did not support the HD format.


In a complaint filed in June in San Francisco federal court, Scott Weiselberg says Apple violated consumer protection laws and should compensate him and everyone else who paid $4.99 to download HD versions of movies and TV shows to older Apple devices.


According to the complaint, the first three versions of the iPhone and the iPod touch do not support HD video but Apple nonetheless made HD the default option for these devices when it released iTunes 8.0 in 2010. As a result, consumers like Weiselberg paid extra for an HD version even though, the complaint says, they only received a Standard Definition version of the show since that is all their device was capable of playing. The filing adds that iTunes was able to recognize that a device was SD-only but sold the HD version anyways to make more money.


The complaint says that Apple sold over 49 million of the older devices. It does not seek a specific dollar amount but says that “millions” of consumers downloaded HD videos to SD devices, and accuses Apple of fraud, unjust enrichment and violating consumer protection laws.


Here’s a copy of the lawsuit which was spotted by Courthouse News:

3D TV stumbles again as BBC presses pause


Summary:Like ESPN before it, the BBC will no longer broadcast programs in three dimensions. The media giant’s 3D chief claims that TV viewers “concentrate in a different way” from those in cinemas.

The BBC has indefinitely suspended its 3D TV efforts. The British broadcaster said on Friday that audiences found the format “hassly” and simply weren’t taking it up.

This is quite a serious blow for 3D TV, particularly after U.S. sports broadcaster ESPN scrapped its own efforts less than a month ago. Both outfits cited a lack of enthusiasm among the viewing public and, given the emphasis on 4K rather than 3D at this year’s CES, it looks as if the set industry had already picked up on this.

It’s not as if the BBC didn’t give it a good shot. Last year’s Olympics coverage was broadcast in 3D — half of the 1.5 million U.K. households with capable sets watched that in 3D, but far fewer tuned into the rest of the BBC’s 3D content.

BBC 3D chief Kim Shillinglaw made quite an insightful comment about the scene, noting that people might be keener to watch 3D content in the cinema than at home. “I think when people watch TV they concentrate in a different way,” she said. “When people go to the cinema they go and are used to doing one thing — I think that’s one of the reasons that take up of 3D TV has been disappointing.”

Personally, I’m minded to go with Cracked on this one – “There was never a time in human history when 3D didn’t feel like getting your eyes punched by a swarm of hateful invisible pixies” – but at the same time I did feel there was value in watching The Hobbit in three dimensions. At the cinema, of course.

Shillinglaw did note that the BBC isn’t giving up entirely on 3D TV, and suggested that the recession might be having an impact on new set purchases. “I think the BBC will be having a wait-and-see,” she said. “I am not sure our job is to call the whole 3D race.”

The BBC doesn’t need to call it – its decision says it all, really.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, HIRE! 9 Great Job Recruiting Videos

Before you shoot...


Job recruitment videos aren’t new, but what is changing is the ever-growing amount of time people spend watching video online. YouTube users spend an average of 1-3 hours a day browsing videos and content – and that doesn’t include time viewing video on other sites. Now videos are becoming an increasingly important tool in the human resources arsenal. Larger companies use them because they work: according to internal data released within a CareerBuilder article “Job postings with video icons are viewed 12% more than postings without video. On average, CareerBuilder customers receive a 34% greater application rate when they add video to their job postings.”

Video can do something a printed job posting can’t: it can be immersive. A cleverly crafted video will show potential employees what it looks like, sounds like and feels like to work at your company. With job seekers able to visualize…

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