Video and Live Streaming (if only!)

Before I begin to analyze the use of multimedia in Al Jazeera America (AJAM from now on), I would like to add a few more thing to my last post. I wish to integrate my Google Trends analysis with some other sites that show web traffic to a specific site. On the COMPETE  at compete.com I was able to find another graph that shows the  number actual visitors to the Al Jazeera’s Home page.

Image

As you can see the graph provides quick glance of the audience that visits the site, with the two variables of time and number of visitors. From another website, ALEXA, at alexa.com, I gathered an enormous amount of information, not only on the number of visitors, but also on their country of origin, their gender, age and education. This information is gathered by the website, through surveys issued by Alexa. The two most interesting pieces of information I gathered from the web site are that:

  1. The Al Jazeera America website is considered slow, taking an average of 2.95 Seconds to open, 22% slower than other sites.
  2. Bounce Rate ( that is the percentage of visits to the site that consist of a single pageview) :52.20%.
  3. Daily Pageviews per Visitor2.22
  4. Daily Time on Site3:56

From this data we learn that many viewers spend very little time on the site, possibly just to scan through the Home page and get a sense of what is going on. Otherwise they might be directed there by inbound links. Also, and this might be useful for the next part of my analysis, the average time a viewer spends on the site, is just abut enough to watch a video or news broadcast.

Video. You cannot live stream news on AJAM. According to a New York Times article:

Since distributors discourage their partners from giving programming away on the Internet, Al Jazeera will have to block American users from the live streams of its programming…

This means that the only videos available are the ones that have been uploaded on the site. For example, today AJAM is offering footage on cattle theft rates ( of all things!! ). If you wish to try out the video quality yourself, here it is, check out what Sheriff Alfred has to say on cattle thieves:

Higher Cattle Prices mean Higher Theft Rates

The reasoning behind this choice is puzzling. When I first looked at the website, I admit the articles and the written word occupied a position of dominance. The company claims to aim at an audience of young educated people:

“There is so much interest in […] young demographic, and our core competitive advantage is appealing to them. They are global thinkers interested in international news”

Yet that seems hard to believe when placing TV ahead of the Web. (Interested in this subject? check out this article on Fast Company). Probably these young techies would prefer to have access to news on the web, as it was on the Al Jazeera England site. When the latter abruptly interrupted the possibility of live streaming, AJ was flooded with complaints. Still, AJAM decided to bring one thing across the Atlantic, that is the Monday trough Friday show THE STREAM. It provides an online community and television show that includes social media and citizen journalism. I have not had the opportunity to check it out but it sounds interesting, and will make sure to give you some feed back next time.

An overview; the videos are quick and in high definition but it seems odd that AJAM would not insist on providing live streaming on its website.

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8 responses to “Video and Live Streaming (if only!)

  1. This is very interesting that Al Jazeera America doesn’t really have live streaming, in this day and age. I think it would be good to mention that the site is relatively new, which may explain some of their strange choices on their website. Definitely an interesting subject to track over time and see if they can improve upon this.

  2. The disparity you highlight between their claimed target demographic (young web-going people) and their lack of streaming video is an interesting point. The message seems incredibly conflicting, I agree. Nice analysis

  3. Great points. I totally agree—the ability to stream content online is worth way more to me than the ability to buy it on some cable package. I wonder how their rationale would change if Congress forced the industry to switch to a la carte pricing, like McCain et al. are pushing for.

  4. I like all the data you collected on the site. The graph is a little vague, maybe you could have discussed its implications a little more, like you did for the other data categories like bounce rate and daily time on site. I also really like that you isolated and bolded the quotes. They support your arguments and make them really easy to follow.

  5. I like how you juxtapose media coverage about what AJ is supposedly trying to do with what AJ is actually doing. Your point about AJ missing the mark by actually NOT catering to younger audiences (though they are reportedly making a concerted effort to do this) is well made.

    In light of that, I think your comparison between the length of a posted video and the amount of time spend on the site strengthens your observations. Nice post!

  6. Interesting to see the data on how people use the site. I’m a little bit confused about the streaming issue, though – Al Jazeera allows streaming in other countries, but not in the U.S? Why is there a different standard here?

  7. Good use of data analysis. Before you picked it, I had no idea that Al Jazeera had an american section. And it didn’t actually surprise me that Al Jazeera America has been functioning inefficiently. I would kind of have expected this…considering the title ‘Al Jazeera’. First impressions are everything on the web, and the name is sure to turn a lot of Americans off. Lol.

  8. I agree with your analysis that it is puzzling why they wouldn’t stream on the web. Maybe your data can shed some light on this issue–slow loading does not lend itself to streaming. I liked your use of quantifiable data to examine Al Jazeera’s page.

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