I don’t want to smell the Chocolate Rain guy

10 billion viewers watched online videos in December. 10 BILLION. That’s a lot of cyber-slacking. InformationWeek says that of those 10 billion views, YouTube captured 77.6 million viewers at an average of 41.6 videos each. MySpace attracted 40.5 million viewers. They also found that the average viewer watched 3.4 hours of content in December (about 72 videos @ 2.8 minutes).

While its wide appeal has reached new heights, the underground, revolutionary element is nearly gone. The top of the crest was hit long ago, in my opinion. I mean, we now have an entire wrap-up show on VH1 which ranks the best videos of the week (talk about lazy programming!). Corporate sponsorship of viral mini-shows like “LonelyGirl” have exposed the medium as a money-maker, only further pushing away the early adopter types. And it’s made “stars” of the dorks who make the videos (I actually saw the Chocolate Rain guy on tv a month ago…).

So while we’ve got super-high hit rates for stupid people tricks of every sort right now, it’s also become the terrain of “been there, streamed that” for the technorati. Aside from video, virtual worlds have been conquered, subservient chickens have been tamed, and “see you-see me” has been seen to death.

We’re all looking for that one little niche, the one new way to grab hearts & minds before our competitors can. So where do we go next with online media? — Personalized content delivery? subliminal message triggers? hypersense technologies (see-hear-touch-smell)? —  How close do you really want to be to the Treadmill dancing guys? — The technologies exist to do very cool things, now we need to come up with the right media to package it all. 

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