Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

You’re Spending More Time Than Ever Watching Web Video. But You’re Not Watching For Long.

Brightcove, the company that helps Web publishers put video online, has a new report out on Web video usage.

Spoiler: It’s up!

That’s good news for a Web video company that’s trying to go public, and also not surprising. But the survey is a fun skim (PDF), with interesting nuggets about consumption on different kinds of platforms — Apple versus Android, etc. — and from different kind of publishers — TV-based sites like Hulu versus pure-play sites like YouTube, etc.

And buried in there is a good reminder of exactly what it is we do when we watch video on the Web: We don’t stick around.

We’re most likely to watch longest if we’re watching on a “broadcast” site like Hulu or, but even then we’re not parked very long: The average session for one of those sites clocks in around 3:30, Brightcove says. It’s much less for anyone else.

So here’s a clip that’s just a tad over the broadcast average, and which should be on a broadcast site. Alas, NBC’s unlamented “Studio 60&#8221 isn’t available anymore on Hulu, so to track it down online you’ve got to hunt and peck on YouTube. This excellent “Network” homage is how the show’s pilot kicked off in 2006.

And while we’re on the topic — weird that this failed Aaron Sorkin show doesn’t get more love, especially in a post-“Social Network” world. Yes, it’s overwrought, over-the-top stuff, which treats a “Saturday Night Live&#8221-like show as if it’s every bit as important as “The West Wing” — there’s even an Afghanistan kidnap plot late in the show’s single season. But whatever! I’d rather watch hours of flawed Sorkin stuff than almost anything else on TV. Surely there have to be more people like me out there. Right?

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik