Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stickam -- Different Things to Worry About than MySpace

Another note from the Nielsen Online report yesterday...and another thing to worry about: Stickam.

About six months ago, one parent of a 14 year old approached me with her "answer" to MySpace. "I just won't let my daughter go on it," she said proudly. I told her "that's fine -- where did she go instead?" "What?" "Your daughter," I continued, "is doing one of two things. She is going onto Myspace anyway with some other means, like a friend's house or some other web access. That's the better answer, but means you need to figure out how to communicate with her better."

"More likely, she is going somewhere else that is probably even less attractive."

The mother saw me a couple of days later and said she had found out her daughter went to Stickam instead. I blanched. And according to the recent Nielsen Online report, for 12 to 17 year olds, Stickam is now the #1 online video source.

Table 3: Top 10 Online Video Destinations: Age 12-17 (U.S., Home)
Unique Viewer 12-17 Unique
Brand/Channel Composition % Viewers (000)
Stickam 44.3 106
Buzznet.com 42.9 310
Atlantic Records 42.7 273
Epic Records 41.5 180
bebo 40.2 114
Funnyjunk.com 40.1 123
NABBR 37.4 1,336
GamesRadar 34.6 180
Paramount Films 33.8 198
Photobucket 30.7 767
Source: Nielsen Online, VideoCensus
100,000 Unique Viewer Minimum

Not surprised at most of the above, but parents probably don't know what a bunch of these are. Buzznet.com is a rapidly growing social network around music. bebo is a social network, largely focused around music. NABBR is a social widget company that aggregates music and teen media sites and helps promote them.

But Stickam? Live unmoderated webstreaming. I haven't looked in a few months...and looked again to find it worse. Live radio shows, young teen girls talking to their webcams, chat rooms that look more like places to hook up.

It is owned by Advanced Video Communications and runs out of downtown Los Angeles, but according to a July 2007 NYT Article, it is owned by Wataru Takahashi, "a Japanese businessman who also owns and operates DTI Services, a vast network of Web sites offering live sex shows over Web cameras." According to the article he owns over 40 pornography sites.

As a parent, this gives me the jitters. MySpace, with all its challenges, as tools to protect kids from their own behaviors as they are learning to be real people online.

This site instead brings out the voyeur in everyone and encourages behavior that I'm not sure these parents are aware of...


Do any parents have good experiences with this? Or suggestions on where they should encourage their 12-17 year olds to go instead?

Related Article: July 2007 NYT link regarding porn and the parent company

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