Meet Verizon Wireless Spokesperson John Johnson, A Viral Video Sensation with 500K Views

By on 06/06/2010 10:34 PM @beet_tv

With half a million views in four days, John H. Johnson, a communications exec. for Verizon Wireless has become a Web video celeb for uttering these 10 words on camera: Verizon has "no plans to carry the iPhone in the immediate future."

By chance, I ran into John on Tuesday afternoon at the opening of the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital conference at the Terranea resort near LA.

I had interviewed him at last year's D and figured we should sit down for a follow-up. 

I asked him about the much speculated support of Apple devices by Verizon, and he offered a definitive response, the first time the company had commented on the record on the subject.  

Later that night on stage, Apple CEO Steve Jobs declined to comment on potential new carriers for the Apple iPad or iPhone in the U.S., beyond AT&T. 

For weeks, many industry observers have speculated that Apple would announce Verizon support for a new generation iPhone at tomorrow's big developer conference.

The timing of my little scoop was perfect.

I published the four-minute video on Beet.TV on Wednesday at about 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.  Almost immediately it went up on Techmeme and it took off in viewership from there.

Many sites and blogs linked to the story and used the embed code, including the Huffington Post, CNET, Silicon Alley Insider, the Examiner, Gizmodo, MacRumors, 9-5 Mac, Venture Beat, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and hundreds of mentions on Facebook and Twitter. 

For little Beet.TV, this is by far our biggest hit 

As of  Sunday night at 10:00 pm, we have had over 500,000 video views served by Blip.tv, our primary service provider.  Most of our 1,900 videos get under 1,000 views.  We've had a few hits, but nothing of this magnitude.  It's been thrilling watching the numbers continue to rise.

We are proud of this scoop.  It was good luck to connect with John by chance.  And, I was extremely fortunate to be on the scene and to have press credentials to cover this extraordinary event.  So many great interviews from the the conference published, and many more to come.

Production Note: I shot the interview on my $650 Canon Vixia and sent the tape via UPS overnight to my editor Joe Bonacci in our New York newsroom.  He edited on FinalCut and put the video up on Blip.tv.  Nice bonus for our current sponsor YuMe whose in-stream ads travel with the embedded video.

Please see the tally of views on the Blip.tv dashboard pasted below.  This from 6/6 at 10:00 ET:

Verizon.blip

Andy Plesser, Managing Editor 

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