Here’s the latest action:

The Steve Jobs saga continues — Talk about the Apple chief executive and his health issues remain everywhere you look. Newsweek columnist Dan Lyons says the media’s coverage of Apple “bites.” As you might expect after their heated exchange the other day, Lyons focuses on CNBC’s Jim Goldman. Meanwhile, the blog which Goldman criticized for its reporting on Jobs’ failing health initially, Gizmodo, featured a profanity-laced post from its editorial director, Brian Lam, today. He’s not angry about Goldman in so much as he’s mad about the whole situation about the media covering Jobs’ health issues.

You know who else seems mad? Jobs himself. “Why don’t you guys leave me alone — why is this important?” Jobs told Bloomberg today. NetworkWorld lays out why Jobs health probably isn’t important from a legal perspective, while Valleywag’s Owen Thomas lays out why he thinks we all care so much about the issue.

Meanwhile, the stories continue. Various reports speculate that Jobs’ cancer may have returned, or that he could be considering a liver transplant. Beet.TV’s Andy Plesser talked with Lyons (the man formerly known as Fake Steve Jobs) about his thoughts on Apple coverage a few months ago, find that video below.

http://blip.tv/play/goRrz8cx1Ek%2Em4v

Circuit City razed — The consumer electronics chain will be liquidating all of its remaining stores. Some 30,000 employees face layoffs, reports Crave’s Erica Ogg. Remember when Blockbuster was trying to buy Circuit City last year? Yeah, that was hilarious.

Hulu apologizes — The online video site says it should have been more communicative before it took down episodes of the show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia at the content owner’s request. Chief executive Jason Kilar wrote a message on Hulu explaining the mix up — well played.

Ballmer and Bostock meet in New York — Wonder what the chief executive of Microsoft and the chairman of Yahoo had to dicuss? Valleywag has more.

Google publishes the 100,000th Knol — The “accountable Wikipedia” has gotten hardly any buzz since it launched, but at least it’s apparently avoiding the new Google dead pool — at least for now. The Google Blog has more.

Samsung does a major reorg — The electronics maker will consolidate business operations into two divisions. Pay cuts will also be involved for execs, according to The New York Times.

Twitter now suggests users to follow — The service has launched the service under its “Find People” tab. It’s not nearly as good as Mr. Tweet’s service. Mashable has more.

iLike builds a new gadget for Friend Connect — Visitors to websites using it will not only be able to listen to songs on the site, but will be able to add their own. iLike’s blog has more.

Brightroll shares some video ad data (it’s not good) — Below find the data as sent by Brightroll:

We are seeing important trends in the following four areas:

  • The Impact of the Q4 Market Downturn
  • Video Ad Inventory Pricing (particularly as it compares to television rates)
  • The Dominance of the Pre-Roll Ad Unit
  • The Increase in Volume of Branded Content & Associated Ad Inventory

The Impact of the Q4 Market Downturn.

There have been numerous reports published about the state of online video advertising, with most focusing on the effects of the economic downturn. Although press worthy, most reports on online video advertising still project growth of 50% or more in 2009. Our internal metrics demonstrate strong Q4 growth and our pipeline suggests continued growth in Q1 across every category we track.   Perhaps these can help paint a more accurate picture of the state of the video ad industry and what 2009 will look like:

  • BrightRoll Revenue Growth: Q408 vs. Q308 – up 12.1%
  • BrightRoll Revenue Growth: Q408 vs. Q407 – up 171.8%
  • BrightRoll Revenue Growth: 2008 vs. 2007 – up 327.2%

Video Ad Inventory Pricing (particularly as it compares to television rates).

Fundamentally, online video ad inventory has been (and continues to be) overpriced. As agencies’ video ad budgets have grown to millions of dollars, there has been significant pressure (and success) in pushing online video CPMs to converge with rates paid on television. As inventory volumes and ad budgets have increased, we saw continued CPM reduction in Q4, even for branded / broadcast quality video inventory, and expect this trend to continue throughout 2009.  We believe this is good for the category, as it will bring significantly more total dollars into the medium.

  • BrightRoll Avg. Pre-roll CPM: Q408 vs. Q308 – down 12.5%
  • BrightRoll Avg. Pre-roll CPM:  Q408 vs. Q407 – down 25.0%
  • BrightRoll Avg. Pre-roll CPM:  2008 vs. 2007 – down 14.2%

The Growth and Overall Dominance of the Pre-Roll Ad Unit.

In Q4, we observed a continued trend of ad dollars being either initially allocated to the pre-roll ad unit or optimized to the pre-roll ad unit during the lifecycle of the campaign. The optimization to pre-roll is occurring because pre-roll tends to outperform on nearly every metric tracked by advertisers – duration viewed, click through rate, cost per view, brand lift and change in purchase intent.

  • % of Campaign as Pre-roll:  Q408 – 83%
  • % of Campaign as Pre-roll:  Q407 – 63%

The Increase in Volume of Broadcast Content & Associated Ad Inventory.

In contrast to industry lore, there is a plethora of unsold broadcast quality inventory in online video and the influx of additional content is occurring at an ever increasing rate. Since broadcast quality video inventory is most sought after inventory by media buyers today, and that broadcast inventory is over 50% unsold, we just announced a new product called BrightRoll Broadcast to allows brand-sensitive advertisers to capitalize on BrightRoll’s unparalleled network of branded content providers.

  • Number of Broadcast Publishers in BrightRoll Network:  27
  • Number of New Broadcast Publishers in Q4:  7
  • BrightRoll Broadcast Announcement – http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Brightroll-937109.html