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NBCOlympics.com Scores Sliver of Ad Revenue

Aug 22, 2008  •  Post A Comment

NBCOlympics.com earned only $5.75 million in online video advertising revenue, according to estimates released today by eMarketer.
The new-media research firm issued the projection based on video streams delivered on the site during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. eMarketer said the figure represents only 1.1% of this year’s projected $505 million in online video ad spending.
Although NBCOlympics.com drew record traffic, most of the visitors were not viewing videos, eMarketer said. That’s because visitors had to download Microsoft Silverlight technology to view videos, an additional step that turned off many visitors, the firm said.
NBC said its site had delivered nearly 65 million video streams and 1.3 billion page views by August 21 and that the Games are on track to be the most viewed Olympics ever. NBC also sold more than $1 billion in ads for the Games and an additional $25 million since the competition began.
Updated with NBC comment at 5 p.m.

40 Comments

  1. I refuse to acknowledge that a “download” is the real issue here. First, the site is very obtuse and does not highlight the video experience. Upon landing the user is overwhelmed with options; video would have been used more had the design been streamlined.
    Everyone seems to forget that while Flash is widely adopted, it *is* a plug in to the browser. If the content had been presented in the proper format, and enough demand generated, most users will download a plug in to have a positive user experience. The other issue here is that even AFTER the download the user experience is not great; the player is difficult to navigate, however video does look good once you find it.
    Next time NBCOlympics.com should focus more on the experience…

  2. >Everyone seems to forget that while Flash is widely adopted, it *is* a plug in to the browser.
    I think that in this case though, the key differential is that the Flash Player already has ubiquity across browsers (over 95% worldwide).
    http://www.adobe.com/products/player_census/flashplayer/version_penetration.html
    So while it is true that the Flash Player is a plugin, it can effectively be seen as a part of the browser, as the vast majority (95% ++) of viewers already have it, and thus don’t have to download anything additional.
    mike chambers
    mesh@adobe.com

  3. Mike,
    Appreciate the comment but still disagree… each time Adobe pushes an upgrade they are “refreshing” the install base. The golden rule of any plug in product is that it must rest in front of content and/or an experience that creates enough demand that users commit to the install. Therefore, if we believe Olympics digital content is valuable, people should accept Silverlight. It is a small hurdle to an experience… as I argued, the issue is that even AFTER the install the experience is poor… thereby turning off return viewers.

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