Thursday, December 28, 2006

Outdoor Advertisings Future holds Promise & Problems

2006 was a big growth year for outdoor advertising industry. In the final quarter of the year we witnessed several big moves for the business, including the awarding of the country's most valuable municipal mass-transit contracts and a new state law to substantially reduce outdoor signage which could become a model for copycat legislation by other states. Outside the United States, however, the second-largest city in the world São Paulo, Brazil passed even more drastic legislation banning outdoor advertising altogether. Link: Media Daily News, Dec 28, 2006 - 2006 Great Year For Outdoor: Future Holds Promise, Problems

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Yahoo's future with 'Panama'

Yahoo hopes to put a weak 2006 behind it with the full release of its 'Panama' advertising platform in early 2007. The company would love to forget a year in which it lost search market share to Google, saw online ad revenues increase at a slower-than-expected pace and watched its share price plummet by 40%. But while Yahoo spent the last two years developing 'Panama,' which is supposed to narrow the gap with online search and advertising leader Google by increasing the accuracy of search-related ads and the accompanying click-throughs, companies like Google have already moved beyond search into 'non-premium' online ad venues, inking deals with social networking sites like MySpace while also encroaching into Yahoo's specialty, online branded advertising. Links: BusinessWeek Dec 26, 2006 - Why Yahoo's Panama Won't Be Enough, Blog - Don Dodge: Why Yahoo's Panama Project won't be enough

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Significant Advance for Mobile Advertising

Verizon announced that early next year it would allow limited banner advertising on news, weather, sports and other Internet sites that appear on their mobile phones. The company's decision is a significant and cautious advance into the world of small screen advertising. Despite confidence that mobile advertising is "poised to take off", Verizon, major ad agencies and national brands are still unsure of the absolute value of the medium. All of the players are walking a fine line between reaching potential customers and annoying or inconveniencing them. Ad agencies maintain that until decent video and ad placement are available on mobile phones, it will not be a limited advertising medium. According to industry analysts, mobile ad spending was $45 million in 2005 and will probably increase to approximately $150 million this year. Mobile advertiser could spend as much as $1.3 billion by 2010. Link: NYTimes Dec 26, 2006 -Verizon to Allow Ads on Its Mobile Phones

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The America Channel Grabs Rights to College Sports

As college sports leagues increasingly operate their own networks, a new contender has entered the field. The yet-to-be-launched America Channel has swooped up broadcast rights for a slew of sports events, albeit for lower-profile conferences. TAC, scheduled to debut next summer, will use telco TV as its distribution backbone. It's picked up the rights to basketball and football competition for eight NCAA Division 1 conferences, involving some 80 universities in 50 markets; most in top 20 markets. Links: MediaDailyNews Dec 21, 2006 - America Channel Debuts in 2007, Grabs Rights To College Sports, The America Channel website.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ad-supported cable viewership up 29%, broadcast falls 17%

The driving force in TV growth is cable, says Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer of Turner Broadcasting. Viewing of ad-supported cable is 29% higher than five years ago, with adults 18-49 now watching 15 hours per week. Broadcast viewing has fallen 17% to 8.5 hours per person per week. Link: Media Daily News, Dec 14, 06 - Ad-supported cable viewership up 29%, broadcast falls 17%

Monday, December 04, 2006

Advertising Trends in the U.S.

An interesting story in todays NY Times compares the advertising trends in the U.S. with the U.K, where online is growing at a remarkable 40 percent a year and is expected to account for 10.5 percent of all advertising at the end of this year verses 5.6 in the U.S. What’s the primary difference? Some say the difference comes down to American media's reliance on television. TV spending is expected to top $72 billion in the U.S. this year; In Britain most advertising is national, there are fewer TV channels and the audience is much smaller, so far less is spent on TV. and local markets in the U.S. have been slow to spend on the web. Link: The New York Times – Dec 4, 2006 – The Future of Web Ads Is in Britian

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tivo Launches "Program Placement"

TiVo's newest initiative, called Program Placement, is giving marketers an option that might partly combat the ad-skipping function. The maker of the most-talked-about DVR will allow advertisers to run an ad on the screen just before viewers delete or save a program. Court TV, The Weather Channel and Burger King are among the first marketers to sign up for the new program which allows advertisers to choose types of programming to advertise across. Link: Washingtonpost.com - Nov 29, 06 – TiVo sets ads on Programs to be deleted

Thursday, November 09, 2006

DVR Makes big Difference to "The Office" & "Earl"

In our busy household the DVR has been the best thing to come along in years. The DVR is typically scheduled to record most all of our favorite shows and we watch them when we can however this normally occurs with in a 72 hour period. Obviously many of you are in agreement because new Nielsen data reveals that 78% of viewers who watch recorded broadcast primetime shows play them back within two days, with 84% playing them back within three days. We’ve known for years that DVRs would fundamentally change how people watch TV, and now for the first time it’s beginning to reflect solidly in the ratings. That’s because the data also reveals that when delayed viewing is fully taken into account, ratings actually soar for some shows. Programs that are only modest performers on the nights they air are becoming big hits when that live viewing is supplemented by DVR viewing over the following week. The top ten impacted shows according to Nielsen are: “The Office”, “Earl”, “CSI”, “Ghost Whisperer”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Lost”, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”, “Friday Night Lights”, “Heroes”, “CSI: Miami” and “Survivor”. It’s still remains unclear how many viewers are watching recorded commercials however one thing is for sure, networks continuing to do business on a live-only basis are significantly distorting what true viewing is and are seriously short selling themselves. Link: MediaWeek, 11/09/06 - Nielsen: DVR Playback Viewing Occurs Within 3 Days of Air and Media Life, 11/09/06 - Just why the scuffleover DVR viewing

Monday, November 06, 2006

'07 Will Bring an 89% Increase to Online Video Ads

Research firm eMarketer now projects that ad revenue from online video will reach $775 million next year. This is a revision from its previous estimate of $640 million. By 2010, online video ad spending will soar to $2.9 billion, or 11.5% of all dollars going to online ads, according to a new report, released today. Link: eMarketer.com Nov 06, 2006 - Online Video Ad Spending to Surge 89% in 2007

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

NFL Investment Paying off for ESPN

The Giants’ 36-22 victory over the Cowboys on ESPN’s Monday Night Football was viewed by the largest audience in the history of cable television according to an ESPN spokesperson. The network stated that the NFL contest was seen in an average of 11.807 million homes, based on a 12.8 rating, translating to 16.028 million viewers two-plus. The previous record was CNN’s November 1993 NAFTA debate between then-Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot on Larry King Live, which was seen in 11.174 million homes. The MNF ratings also topped those for four CNN telecasts of the Gulf War in 1991, topped by 11.742 million homes Jan. 17 of that year.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Google & YouTube - What does it Mean

Unless you have spent the last week living in a cave, by now you have heard all the buzz about Google's $1.6 billion purchase of YouTube Inc. This big deal now has some in the TV industry wondering if the search engine is now "the de facto sixth broadcast network." Some executives are "miffed" and "panic stricken," according to Advertising Age, while Broadcasting & Cable lists the five things that may never be the same in TV because of the "new elephant in the control room." Links: Advertising Age Oct 16, 2006 - Say Hello to the Newest TV Powerhouse: Google and, Broadcasting & Cable Oct 16, 2006 - Big Changes Ahead

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The New Video Capabilities used for Breaking News

In the early '90's, video from the Rodney King and Reginald Denny beatings changed the way that news organizations began to gather and disseminate footage. Since that point technology has continued to revolutionize and speed the process. The Blog Lost Remote reported yesterday that Fox News had some of the first live video on the air from the scene of the NYC plane crash live via a Treo phone and CometVision. It may not be pretty (yet) but you get the picture!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Turner South off, SPSO on

The ever-changing TV network horizon is about to sprout another regional sport network as the curtain closes on a southeastern movie and entertainment favorite. Fox Sports Networks announced plans to launch a new regional network exclusive to Southern sports fans. SportsSouth, formerly Turner South will be available to approximately 8 million cable and satellite subscribers across a six-state region comprised of Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and North Carolina. SportsSouth “SPSO” will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, with a matchup between the Atlanta Thrashers versus the Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes.

The network plans to offer 180 live events, including 61 Atlanta Thrashers games and 45 Atlanta Hawks games during the upcoming 2006-07 NHL and National Basketball Association seasons, respectively. SportSouth will telecast 55 Atlanta Braves Major League Baseball games in 2007, increasing to 80 Braves games in 2008. Select games of MLB’s Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals will also be distributed on the network, subject to the league’s territory restrictions, and the service will showcase Southern collegiate sports, including action from the Big South and Southern Conferences. Link: Past SMM Post 02/19/06 – Turner South May be Acquired by Fox

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

ESPN's Ratings Breaker

In ESPN’s third Monday Night Football broadcast the Saints dominated the Falcons 23-3 in front of a record-breaking audience. ESPN pulled an 11.8 rating (14,999,000 viewers two-plus) for the game and it was the highest-rated program in ESPN history. It was also the top program on both broadcast or cable networks Monday night. According to HitBox data, the network also drew big traffic on the Web with its football coverage, generating more than 27 million page views on Monday. In an unusual side note, an article published by ESPN, tooting there own horn, “ESPN Draws Largest Audience for Saints Homecoming” they state…

“It was the third time in three weeks that Monday Night Football set such a high-water mark and the second time the network won the night in primetime.”
Considering the game was the first played and broadcast from the New Orleans Superdome since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city and region I think that they might have been more sensitive with their choice of words.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

PlaceBased Television to Generate Revenues of $1.2B in 2006

Digital out-of-home networks are popping up everywhere from high-rise elevators to gas station pumps to public rest rooms, creating new places and states of mind for marketers to reach their consumer and business prospects. The new networks, a subset of the outdoor media industry is sometimes referred to as place-based television. The growth is being spurred by a combination of entrepreneurial zeal from venue operators looking to tap the fast-growing advertising sector, as well as from increasing demand form advertisers and agencies seeking alternatives to traditional media. Marketers are gravitating to the new medium because of it’s ability to deliver conventional sight, sound and motion advertising that big TV advertisers have grown accustomed to, as well as their ability to deliver an extremely relevant message to consumers at a decisive moment in their purchase cycle. According to a new report released by marketing consultants Profitable Channels, approximately 700 digital out-of-home networks have launched since 2002 and they are estimated to account for $1.2 billion in national ad spending this year. Links: MediaDailyNews.com 09/12/06 – Digital Ad Boom shifting from Online to Out-Of-Home

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Monetizing the Smallest Screen

I’m a big supporter of the emerging mobile advertising industry. London-based Informa Telecoms & Media said in its recently released report that the proliferation of cheap, high quality multimedia mobile handsets together with the growth in high-speed networks would trigger a sharp upturn in mobile advertising. For 2006, Informa has forecast mobile advertising spending of $871 million, rising to $1.5 billion by the end of 2007. I have seen a few varied reports predicting Mobile Ad Spend growth. The Shosteck Group Study released last month estimates Mobile Advertising will be worth $10 Billion by 2010. Informa estimates $11 Billion within 5 years. Either number still suggests that Mobile is currently the fastest growing advertising medium. Link: Reuters 09/07/06 - Mobile Ad Spending set to Jump

Friday, September 01, 2006

First Half - Ad Spending Increases

Advertising spending has increased by 5.1% during the first half of this year verse the same period a year ago, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Many media categories saw a bump, however the largest gains were led by internet advertising (+49%), Spanish-Language TV (+21.8%) and Local Magazines (+10.4%). Network TV increase 6.3%, while National Cable TV saw only a 0.4% rise. Spot TV in the top 100 markets was up 3.5%; however, the smaller DMAs were down -0.6%. Network Radio continued in its slump at a -3.5%, while Spot Radio saw a modest increase of +1.4%. The largest increases came in the telecommunications field, with AT&T leading the pack with a 51 percent jump to $964 million while half of the top ten advertisers reduced spending including overall No. 1 GM, down 3% to $1.7 billion. Link: MediaDailyNews 09/01/06 - Nielsen: First Half Ad Market Grows 5.1%

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cables Political Ad Growth

As campaign season ratchets up, television ad spend is on track to possibly break the 2002 record. But unlike previous midterm election years, candidates are devoting more money than ever to cable TV in an effort to target voters more precisely. Though most political ad dollars traditionally are spent after Labor Day, tight primaries and early spending on House, Senate and gubernatorial races have pushed local TV-ad spending above 311 million as of mid-August, up 45% from the same point in 2004 and more than three times as much as in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence. All political ad buys by mid-year, including issue ads, ballot initiatives and other issues, have pushed spending above 700 million nationally, according to the WSJ. National Cable Communications (NCC), the spot cable-ad rep firm estimates about 200 million will be spent on local and national cable spots this cycle. Link: WSJ.com 08/28/06 - As TV Campaign Spending Soars,Cable Outlets Attract More Dollars

Monday, August 28, 2006

Are Five-Second Video Ads the Right Format?

Are five-second ads is coming into their own. Consumers with DVRs are used to zipping by a series of commercials in way less than 30 seconds. Research shows that DVR users usually fast-forward too far into the show they're watching. Then they have to rewind again, and usually scale it back just enough to see--you guessed it--the last five seconds of the last ad. So what are marketers doing? Placing a lengthy brand image at the end of their TV spot. Some networks are actually selling that last five seconds of a pod as an actual spot. On the Web, media companies are asking that we sit through one 30-second spot before viewing content. This is far too long according to Eric Picard, a senior product planner at MSN, he states that internal research shows that consumer tolerance for ads lasts between five and seven seconds. After that, tolerance turns to annoyance. Given that many broadband video clips last a short time, five-second ads are a good fit, and they don't exceed consumers' limit. What about longer-form streaming video? Well, even a series of five-second ads would be far more palatable (and lucrative) than fewer, longer sponsorship-type ad packages like those offered earlier by ABC. Link: ClickZ Network 08/28/06 – The Importance of the :05 Second Video Ad Past SMM Post: 04/25/06 – Five Second Video Ads

Friday, August 25, 2006

Outdoor Advertising and Wireless Technology

Kudos to CBS for its willingness to try something radically new. They are about to introduce a new marketing campaign that combines outdoor advertising and wireless distribution. I think that you'll agree that they have stepped out of the box by developing video clips to preview their fall primetime lineup and are streaming them to anyone with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile device that passes within 36 feet of a technologically enhanced billboard. Located in Grand Central Station in New York City, the billboards will enable a person to watch a clip from a number of the new season upcoming programs including Shark, Smith, Jericho, The Class and CSI. Once a viewer activates their cell phone or PDA, the clip is downloaded via Bluetooth connectivity and then played on their wireless screen almost instantly. The content then can be saved or passed on to someone else. Link: WSJ 08/24/06 - CBS Touts New Shows in Video Clips, News.com 08/24/06 - CBS to Use Bluetooth wireless to Market new Shows

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nielsen Reports 1.1% increase in U.S. TV Households

According to Nielsen Media Research the total number of television households within the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii) is now estimated at 111.4 million, an increase of 1.1 percent since last year. They also reported many shifts in local market rankings. Notable changes are: New Orleans dropped 11 markets from 43 to 54 on a loss of 105,190 TV households, Las Vegas moves up 5 markets to 43, San Francisco climbs one to 5. Dallas up one to 6, Boston slides down to 7. Phoenix (now 13) and Seattle 14 change positions as does Miami (now 16) and Cleveland 17 and Orlando (now 19) and Sacramento 20. Link: Nielsen Press release and 2006-2007 Market Ranking

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

YouTube Eye's Revenue with Ads In Ads

Despite YouTube's status as an emblem of online media, it's never been easy for the company to claim much of this years predicted $17 billion online advertising market. Starting today, the video-sharing site plans to let advertisers create "channels" filled with clips they produce themselves and then in turn sell sponsorships to other advertisers. A "channel" from Warner Bros. Records dedicated to Paris Hilton's new album, which features ads for Fox Broadcasting Co.'s "Prison Break," is among the first such marketing vehicle to launch on the site. Placing ads within ads further blurs the traditional lines between entertainment and its sponsors and YouTube’s management hopes the trend develops into a lucrative source of revenue. Link: laTimes.com 08/22/06 – Video Site to Add to Ads. Past SMM Post: 07/28/06 - New "Clip Culture" Causes Advertisers to Panic and 07/17/06 - Monetizing YouTube and MySpace's monster Traffic

Thursday, August 17, 2006

DVR Household and User Profile

According to the latest data from Mediamark Research, 8.6% of U.S. adults reported having a DVR in their household. That percentage rose to 11.2% of adult households in the Spring 2006 release. The spring data shows that more than a third of adults with DVRs have a college degree, 17.1% live in households where average income surpasses $150,000 and 15.7% live in homes worth more than $500,000, according to new data from Mediamark Research. The report also found adults with DVRs are 81% more likely to be heavy Internet users, but 23% less likely to be heavy TV viewers. In addition, new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group found that sixty percent of all digital cable subscribers have used VOD and about 12% of households in the United States now have a DVR, up from 3% just two years ago. Links: MediaPost – Research Brief 08/17/06 – Adults in DVR Households Read More, Surf More and Watch TV More also Leichtman Research Group 07/27/06 – DVR and VOD User and Usage Continue to Grow

Friday, August 11, 2006

Goodbye ABC Sports

Time's are changing and apparently so is the guard. Gone is the long running ABC Monday Night Football (see past SMM Post - 12/26/06 The End of an Era for ABC). To the television history books goes ABC's Wide World of Sports. As of September 2, 2006 the ABC Sports brand will be put to rest. The Walt Disney Company will start a major branding campaign, "ESPN on ABC," will extend ESPN, the large cable sports network, as the umbrella TV sports programming brand on the ABC Television Network. Now when viewers tune in on ABC, all sports programming will have the exact on-air graphics look of ESPN. The last sporting event televised by ABC Sports will be the Little League World Series on Sunday, August 27. Links: MediaDailyNews.com 08/11/06 - ESPN Takes Over ABC Sports, Drop Kicks ABC Brand, MediaWeek.com 08/11/06 - ESPN Brand to Be Tagged on All ABC Sports Content

Monday, August 07, 2006

Google and MTV Networks team for video AdSense

Google announced earlier today that it had entered into a syndication deal with Viacom's MTV Networks. The plan is to syndicate a host of video clips, both professionally produced and user-generated, to publisher sites in the AdSense network. Google originally broke the news that it was integrating video into it’s successful AdSense product this past May however now that the first big name has signed on with clips from such popular MTV Networks shows as "Laguna Beach" and "SpongeBob SquarePants", it should draw a lot more interest. The deal will split ad revenue between the hosting site, Viacom and Google. If the test, which will begin later this month, proves promising, it could help change the business model for distributing video online and improve on AdSense's revenues, which last year totaled $2.7 billion.

Friday, August 04, 2006

eMedia Exchange

e-Media Exchange could put the ad-buying/selling world on its ear. eBay is bringing its auction format to the ad world by connecting buyers and sellers of TV advertising in an online exchange. They are testing the new service, called the E-Media Exchange, with leading marketers, agencies and cable networks, including Toyota Motor, Wal-Mart Stores, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Home Depot, as well as a handful of media buyers including Interpublic Group's Magna Global. These companies are set to spend around $50 million combined to purchase ads on the exchange, which is supplied and managed by eBay. The test is located at www.admarketpilot.com. This move is intended as a first step in establishing a market value for TV spots, based on true demand. Links: AdWeek 08/04/06 - EBay Powers Online TV Ad Exchange, AdAge 08/04/06 - Marketers Release Details of Online TV Trading System

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

AOLvideo.com Beta

AOL will launch a beta test preview of its new AOL Video portal later this week, available at www.aolvideo.com. This free portal service will include more than 45 new VOD channels containing thousands of hours of programming from various content partners such as A&E Network, MTV Networks, Warner Bros. Entertainment and the WNBA among others. It will also include a sophisticated video search engine with interactive programming guide; free streaming content and other full-length content available for purchase, as well as a multitude of videos, news clips, movie trailers, TV shows and more. Link: NYTimes.com 07/31/06 - AOL Plans Expansion of Videos on Portal

Friday, July 28, 2006

New "Clip Culture" Causes Advertisers to Panic

Why you ask? Because they're not involved and the online video craze that's taken the Web by storm has trickled into the mainstream. 20 million visitors per month is now the traffic that YouTube is attracting with the average visitor spending two and a half minutes viewing each video. Unfortunately (as reported in the 07/17 Post – Monetizing YouTube and MySpace’s Monster Traffic), YouTube, has yet devised a way to make much revenue from this massive traffic. If the viral video site (and its 240 followers) could attract ad dollars, online video would be the business to be involved in right now. But where and when do you place advertisements? YouTube CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley points out, Google created advertising that helped the user experience--and he intends to do the same with YouTube. Michael Robertson, the founder of MP3.com, says it's inevitable there will be ads on YouTube. I agree and believe that their best option is to sell sponsorships to each of the 40 user-generated channels. Link: MarketWatch 07/27/06 – You Tube’s ‘Clip Culture’

Thursday, July 27, 2006

MRI: DVR User's Watching Less

How has the DVR impacted your households’ television viewing habits? In mine, it has turned it on its head. The biggest surprise for me was seeing how quickly my 11 and 7 year old embraced the technology. Are we consuming more television because of it? I doubt it and new research has emerged that agrees with my feeling. A highly regarded media researcher's findings contradict the networks' insistence that DVR users watch more television. Although households with DVRs tend to watch fewer hours of TV than those without the devices, they also tend to be heavy users of the Internet and readers of magazines and newspapers, according to the spring 2006 report from Mediamark Research Inc. Links: MediaWeek 07/26/06 – MRI: DVR Owners Bulk up on Print, Web or Media Daily News 07/27/06 – New Data that suggests DVR users watch less, not more

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mobile TV Show lines Up the Advertisers

Projections of how many Americans are likely to adopt mobile video vary wildly however I believe that it will soon be the place to be. Market analysis firm Jupiter Research recently estimated that the number of regular users of mobile video will grow to about 12 million by 2010. Currently mobile television programmer GoTV Networks has about 100,000 subscribers for its stable of 12 premium channels. Today they announced plans to premiere a made-for-mobile reality show that will be one of the first significant programming experiments for the emerging cellular video business. “Primped”, a 30-episode unscripted series in the makeover genre that runs for six weeks. The show has more than 12 advertisers (including Conair, Dollhouse, Divina, Biatta Intimates and Union Bay) with branded integration in the show. Each episode of “Primped” runs for two to four minutes, and new editions debut every weekday. Sprint customers with access to mobile TV content can get all 30 episodes for $6.99. The series will be available for purchase for the rest of the year. Link: TVWeek.com 07/17/06 - Tiny Time Slot, Big Plan

Monday, July 17, 2006

Monetizing YouTube and MySpace's monster Traffic

While YouTube is continuing to break it’s own traffic records, this week announcing that they have hit a milestone of 100 million videos served every day and MySpace has hundreds of millions of users, and ridiculously high monthly traffic. They both provide proof that traffic just isn't enough anymore. Can these companies find a way to monetize these millions of mouse clicks or are these highly talked about start-ups just more Silicon Valley one million-click wonders?

In recent months, YouTube has experimented with Yahoo and Google text-based ads, and last week it launched a banner ad campaign for Disney's “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,’’ (financial details have not been released). News Corp. has only been able to sell a few banner ads for MySpace and that problem is further compounded by the fact that they don't even get the lucrative blue-chip brand advertisers to buy those banner ads despite the fact that its member demographic is the young and malleable crowd after which marketers lust. Links:
USAToday.com 07/16/06 - YouTube serves up 100 million video per day, MercuryNews.com 07/12/06 – How will YouTube make Money, internetnews.com 07/14/06 – Is there Money in MySpace

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Broadcast TV Ratings - A New Low

The summer has never been a high point for TV ratings for the big four broadcast networks however the first week in July 2006 represents a new low of lows. Fewer people watched the Big Four networks last week than at any time in recorded history. CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox averaged 20.8 million viewers during the average prime-time minute last week, according to Nielsen Media Research. That sunk below the previous record of 21.5 million, set during the last week of July in 2005. Link: Yahoo News, July 11, 2006 – A low watermark for broadcast TV viewing

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rentrak to Measure VOD Ads

MultiChannel News reports that in beta testing from Rentrak Corp. is a new video-on-demand measurement application that will deliver details about viewing durations and overall impressions delivered by TV advertisements embedded into on-demand viewing sessions. The “AdEssentials” product is aimed at providing more context around viewing behavior associated with the nascent on-demand advertising category, which poses challenges because viewers can usually fast-forward through commercials.

Senior VP Cathy Hetzel says the new tools also will divulge commercial views by time of day and will display ZIP-code level demographics. She sees some creativity emerging in the on-demand advertising space as sponsors figure out ways to integrate with the medium. One finding: placing 15-second “bumper” spots preceding on-demand programs seems to ward off fast-forwarding, presumably because viewers figure skipping the abbreviated messages isn’t worth the bother. Rentrak already tracks on-demand viewing metrics for cable programmers and MSOs including Comcast Corp., but the new product will focus on advertising instead of program viewing.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Go Mobile - Get Food Faster

Mobile phone applications and internet access are improving consumers ability to seach out information and save time from daily routines today more than ever. Mobo, launched in May 2006, lets NYC (beta test) customers order from restaurants and pay for meals using sms.

How it works? Customers create an account, which includes their credit card details. After signing up for the service, they can order online via www.gomobo.com, or by text message/sms. The order appears on the restaurant's in-store Mobo system, and is automatically billed to the customer's credit card. The restaurant confirms the order, and the customer receives a text message stating when the order will be ready for pick up. Each affiliated restaurant has a separate Mobo Pick Up counter, so Mobo users can walk straight to the counter, state their name and last four digits of their phone number, and pick up their food.


According to Mobo, the benefits for partnering restaurants are increased profits from new Mobo customers, higher average order amounts, increased customer loyalty and improved operating efficiency. Customers save time (which IS the new currency), get a bit of that oh so coveted VIP treatment with their takeaways, and vendors increase profits. I see this as being a viable platform to add sponsorship elements to! UPDATE: September 20, 2006 I ran across this in the Wall Street Journal - Text Messaging Speeds Up Fast-Food Orders

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

VOD User Profile

Scarborough Research released a report on VOD Users. The analysis found that today's VOD Users hail from upscale, young families and that across the US 7% of consumers live in a household that used VOD during the past month. Here a general profile of the current VOD user:

27% more likely than all consumers to be ages 18-24
20% more likely to have two or more children in the household
27% more likely than all consumers to be African-American
Two times as likely to have an annual household income of 150k+
50% more likely to spend 20 or more hours online weekly
27% more likely to cite reality programs as a TV genre that they typically watch
24% more likely to tune in to music
22% more likely to watch News magazines
21% more likely to watch science fiction
18% more likely to watch dramas

"Consumer usage of VOD services is gaining momentum across the country and marketers are seeking ways to use it to their advantage," said Carol Edwards, vice president, cable services, Scarborough Research and Arbitron. "As VOD providers seek to broaden their distribution of services and present this as a new advertising platform, understanding VOD users' lifestyles, demographics, television viewing habits, and spending patterns, will enable them to enhance their offering for the consumer and for the advertiser."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

TiVo's Interactive Ad Capabilities

Auto manufacturer, BMW, has become the first advertiser to use the TiVo DVR platform's interactive advertising capabilities in the context of a regular television program rather than a commercial or promotion. The company embedded interactive tags in the premiere of an episode of the SPEED Channel show, "Test Drive" (also appearing in re-runs), that featured BMW automobiles, and in promotional spots leading up to the episode: the tags allowed TiVo subscribers to press a button on their remote, in order to access more information, schedule a recording of the program, and view an exclusive video on BMW's M-series cars. TiVo and BMW have a long-standing relationship: the auto manufacturer has previously promoted its 5 Series and 3 Series automobiles through TiVo Showcases (note: TiVo Showcases are on-demand, long-format ads that are automatically downloaded to a special section of the TiVo box's hard drive).

Friday, June 23, 2006

More Sports Viewing Moves Online

The success of online viewing of Sporting event are paving the road for the growth of Web companies like MediaZone.com and WCSN.com. They have focused on the small, but passionate fan base of so-called second-tier sports like tennis, cycling, beach volleyball and track and field and have built their business models around the online pay-per-view screenings of their events. This coming Monday MediaZone.com will begin showing the first of some 250 Wimbledon matches however since 2004, sporting events have generated more than 500,000 paid subscriptions. While MediaZone and WCSN charge viewers, CBS and ESPN opt for free programming with advertising. CBS had a huge success with their innovative move to webcast this years NCAA finals and ESPN is currently streaming World Cup games online. Pay-per-view or ad supported model aside we have definitely turned the corner for sports viewing on the net. Links: USAToday 06/23/06 – More Sports go online for a fee Past SMM Post: SportsLine.com Breaks Records 04/12/06 and Online Demand for CBS’s NCAA Tournament Surpasses Capacity 03/27/06

Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Cup Internet Traffic Spike

Online viewership for Sporting events are breaking all the records this year, as broadband penetration continues to climb and viewer's become more comfortable with watching video on their computers. Today Broadcasting & Cable reports that ESPN's live streaming coverage of the World Cup game between the US and Ghana led to the largest spike in internet traffic so far. It's Net Usage Index found a noontime average of 7.2 million visitors per minute. That crushes the previous record spike of 5.4 million viewers per minute, set during March Madness this year. Link: BroadcastingCable.com 06/22/06 - World Cup "Nets Traffic Record

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

CBS Local News Goes Mobile

National content is great but many consumers are waiting to sample video on their portable video devices when they can get local news, weather and sports. A new service is about to offer local news video and it is coming to mobile phones for the first time. Twenty-five TV stations, including 16 owned-and-operated CBS stations in top markets, and WRAL, Capitol Broadcasting Corp.'s CBS affiliate in Raleigh, N.C., have begun to offer video newscasts called My Local TV. It will be available on Sprint’s “Power Vision” broadband-data service for a premium $4.95 monthly subscription. Link: Adweek 06/19/06 – Local CBS News Streamed to Cells

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Can Political Spending help bring in the Budget this Year?

According to a recent Kagan Research report, local cable advertising revenues grew just 3% in the first quarter (trailing the 11% revenue gains estimated for national ad-supported cable networks). Most broadcast groups are feeling a similar pain however they have more experience in handling slowing revenue growth. If your pacing behind its getting late so don’t miss one of this years greatest opportunities – Political - particularly if you're located in a political jurisdiction which is considered to be in play - - a number which seems to be increasing on almost a daily basis.

Even without a presidential race, the 2006 political advertising market is roaring. Candidates and issue-oriented groups have spent $440 million on advertising through early June. That’s $110 million more than political advertisers spent in 2004 through the same date. Overall, U.S. political ad spending is projected to top $1 billion overall, most of it flowing over broadcast and cable TV outlets. What is the catalysis driving 2006’s growth: 36 races for state governor.

Television will account for close to 85% of all political spending, helping the industry make up for the defection of some other ad categories to new-media outlets and Spot cable should get a strong share of spending from U.S. House and Senate races believed to be “in play”. In these markets it is very important to do all of your ground work on these accounts now because TNS Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group projects that more than 90% of the dollars will flow over the final 60 days of campaigning.

All indications are that the final total on political in 2006 will blow away that spent in any other mid-term in history, and will probably blow away most of the presidential years. The balls in your court!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

World Cup TV Viewing Double '02

Univision’s Spanish language viewership for the 2006 FIFA World Cup soccer competition is 53% higher than the 2002 event with most of the month-long tournament left to go. According to Nielsen's NTI Fast National Ratings, Univision says the first eight games have averaged 2.6 million Persons 2+, which is 1.7 million more than the average of the first eight games of the 2002 World Cup tournament in Korea/Japan. Even more dramatic growth was seen among Teens 12-17 and Kids 2-11 with nearly five times and more than three times the audience in these demographics respectively. Sunday's match-up between Mexico and Iran has been the biggest draw thus far. The game, which resulted in a Mexican victory, drew an average audience of 5.4 million Persons 2+, making it the most-watched sporting event in Spanish-language television history, beating even previous World Cup final matches, Univision said of the Nielsen results. Over the course of the World cup competition, Univision will carry live coverage of 56 games, including the final championship match, and sister network TeleFutura will broadcast eight live games. All games will be rebroadcast during primetime on either TeleFutura or the Galavision cable network. ABC’s English-language telecast are showing even bigger gains, up 65% in ratings from two games versus four years ago. Links: MediaDaily News, 06/13/06 – U.S. TV World Cup Ratings More Than 50% Higher

Monday, June 12, 2006

Internet Gains Eyeballs from Local TV Stations

This morning the Wall Street Journal reports that a broad shift of eyeballs and advertising dollars to the Internet is putting the pinch on profits at local TV stations. If that wasn’t bad enough for the broadcasters, there are few hit shows flowing in from parent networks, a trend that's driving viewers to other media. There is almost the prefect storm forming around the business as viewership declines and major ad categories, like automotive, are cutting back schedules. The buzz from industry exec’s is that a lot of the budgets that currently are moving online are strictly experimental, and the hope is that when the experiment is over, those companies that tried it will come running back to broadcast.

Wake UP!! The fact is, the number of consumers doesn't seem to be increasing at anywhere near the rate that each consumer's personal entertainment and information options are. This means further fragmentation, more competition and the need for new strategies to grab an audience and maintain/increase profits. Many stations are following the cash to the Internet themselves and are moving their website components away from the common “value-added”. Unfortunately in the race for stations to reinvent themselves many are proving that they just don’t know how.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

TiVocast

If you had asked me 18 months ago about TiVo, I would have said that they would probably soon be out of business. That would have been very unfortunate because I was more than impressed with their product and the incredible brand recognition that they had created. Time has past and their management team has achieved a few wins. The business is on track and you have read here on numerous occasions about the new technologies and products that they have launched. Today is no different as TiVo is launching a new service that will let subscribers watch Web-based video on their TV sets. The content will come from a variety of new sources: NBA, NY Times, CNET, ivillage, Heavy and others. The new service is called TiVocast and it adds to the deal announced last month to provide web video from Brighcove clients. Most of the content is Ad-Supported and it is the latest attempt by the DVR pioneer to stand out amid an onslaught of generic DVRs offered by cable and some satellite providers. Link: WJS 06/07/06 – TiVo Will Offer Web Video Service to TV Subscribers

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Speed Revs Up Broadband & VOD

Speed Channel revs up its web site this week with its launch of “Speed on Demand” broadband video-on-demand portal. It offers archived original streamed videos or replays from events including the American Motorcycle Association Supercross and Superbike championships; FIA World Superbike; the Isle of Man TT races; the International Race of Champions; Federation International de l'Automobile Grand Touring; Le Mans Endurance Series; SPEED GT; Touring Car; and the recently added Grand Prix Masters.

Vice President of business development Kevin Annison stated that “With broadband access hitting critical mass, Speed is now able to offer a unique multiplatform-access portal to create an 'online motor-sports hub' offering races on demand. As we continue to secure broader rights to all of our programs, we will rapidly expand the Speed on Demand online offerings to feature hundreds of original race-series videos and linear-network race repeats.” Link:
SpeedTV.com

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Video AdSence - Google's version of Online Video Ads

Google had entered the lucrative online video ad market by distributing commercials for movie studios and other marketers to its AdSense network of online publishers, which will share in the revenues. "A certain segment of advertisers have told us that they want richer and more engaging messaging capability," said Gokul Rajaram, product management director of Google's AdSense program. This new addition to their product offerings is part of an initiative by Google’s management to diversify revenue and position the company better for the future. The pricing will be base on an auction system similar to the model they utilize for text ads. Links: San Francisco Chronicle May 23, ’06 –Google will offer video ads, AdAge.com May 23, ’06 – Google Adds Video Capability to AdSense