Thursday, April 27, 2006

Podcast Advertising

Since the end of last year there has been a lot of talk about podcast advertising. Podtrac and Rocketboom auctioned off commercial time and Podbridge and others launched businesses to support the new future medium. Despite all the buzz, Ad Age reports the Web's newest industry lacks direction and established players. Varying reports say anywhere between 5 and 10 million people have downloaded podcasts; eMarketer claims regular listeners--those who download at least one podcast per week--number about 3 million per week and for the future, projections vary widely. So you ask, how many are actually listening and who are they? For the time being those questions and many others remain unanswered and the big money mainstream marketers are on the sidelines waiting this one out. Link: 04/27/06 – Few Compete to Settle Podcasting’s Wild West and 04/27/06 – Podcast ads: Silence is not golden

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Five Second Video Ads?

There is no doubt that the Internet as a medium has arrived as marketers increasingly utilize it as a way to reach and communicate to their current & future customers. Now with improving bandwidth and faster download speeds videos are catching the consumers attention. Sites like YouTube, Google Video, and others are witnessing record traffic growth because of the popularity of videos. It is this background Metacafe has arrived with a new business model.

Metacafe is looking to carve out its own niche by going for the middle ground. Metacafe wants to play in the space between user-generated content at one end (YouTube and Google Video) and exclusive or edited video selections at the other (iFilm and Metacafe manages uploaded content with “collaborative filtering” by its own viewers to enable the best videos, posted by users or professional video-content providers, to bubble up. In addition, Metacafe draws an older audience than the teen popular YouTube.

Arik Czerniak, chief executive of Metacafe wants marketers and ad agencies to tailor messages to the preferences of viewers of short-form videos online. He feels 5 second video advertisementnt before videos would be more meaningful than the 30 second videos. His business model is simple:150 million monthly video impressions with five-second ads at a $10 cost per thousand delivered randomly could bring in some $2.5 million a month. In his estimation, that’s more than enough to qualify as successful. Link: AdAge 04/24/06 - Are Five-Second Ads the Future of Web Marketing?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Local Broadcasters Real Threat

Terry Heaton is widely regarded as an innovator and a keen observer of life. He is a self-professed student of the media, postmodernism, and people. You will find his approach to today's industry challenges separates his work from other New Media specialists. He has written another of his must-read (for broadcasters) essays, this one a follow-up to Investing in a Local Future. He writes that it ...
... examines the battle for the soul of the "local" franchise for media companies. As broadcasters gather in Las Vegas for the National Association of Broadcasters annual meeting, they do so with what I believe is a false sense of understanding about what's tearing their business model apart. The disruption isn't multiple platforms from which to sell their wares; it's the Personal Media Revolution -- as Glenn Reynolds so beautifully puts it, "The triumph of personal technology over mass technology" -- and beneath it, the increasing drain on local advertising money by outsiders...
The POMO Blog.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

TV Networks Distribution Model Adapts

Over the past year we have followed the movement of video content from the Major Network and other providers to the Internet. Kenneth Musante writes for the interactive advertising blog Here is an excerpt from a recent post: "... It’s obvious to anyone that the future of video is distribution via some form of the Internet. It’s not just traditional TV advertising that’s dying; it’s TV itself. It‘s not just about ratings and statistics. Video distributed over the Internet is interactive, engaging, and on-demand. While the Internet pipes aren’t yet big enough to warrant direct streaming of HD-quality TV shows, TV networks should at least be preparing for the day when their primary business of broadcasting content over the airwaves becomes pushed aside by the distribution of content over IP. With today’s online advertising technology, it should be possible to serve appropriate video ad segments according to a person’s viewing habits, how they found the video in the first place, where they are located, and what content is contained in the show. Advertising over the air, or even via cable is too static. All you can do with them is estimate the number of viewers by a score determined by a third-party rating service. In other words, a targeted video advertisement delivered via IP is worth more per second than a 30-second spot delivered to a broad, un-targeted audience via TV. ..." Link: - Watching the Nervous Little TV Networks

Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Ad Models for TiVo

Tivo is developing new ad models different from the banner that pops up during the fast-forward mode. According to BusinessWeek, next month we can expect to see the new systems which will include interactive ads and ads on demand. Sony will be one of the new featured advertisiers showcasing their Bravia. The TiVo ads will allow viewers to choose from multiple endings and some are targeted at men while others at women (the concept was developed by McKinney & Silver). "Sony is even hoping that by offering 12 possible endings for its ad, viewers will be curious enough to watch them all." They can't be that lucky!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

YouTube Develops Revenue Plan

YouTube, an online viral video outpost that already streams some 40 million videos per day, has completed agreements with several Advertisiers. Nike, Warner Bros., MTV2 and Dimension Films are among the first set of marketers littering the site with commercial clips. For those unfamiliar with YouTube, it's a huge destination for any kind of video content. Users can stream any video uploaded to the site and made available to the public. The most popular clips get shared virally and the number of plays can increase exponentially in a short period of time, which makes it particularly compelling for advertisers. USA Today spoke with a number of marketers, agencies and media buying firms, who highlighted the viral nature of the site and the low cost of entry (No Cost!!). For example, Nike recently uploaded a gritty clip of Brazil's FIFA World Football (soccer) Player of the Year Ronaldinho performing various moves with the ball. Since then, the clip has been watched 3 million times, as consumers e-mailed it to each other and posted it on their social networking profiles. Link: USA 04/17/06 - Marketers are into YouTube

Monday, April 17, 2006

Researchers analyze point and click behavior

According to iProspect's "Search Engine User Behavior Study," search marketers should strive to get their natural results as high as possible on search return pages; 62% of search engine users use links returned within the first page of search hits. A full 90% of users use links within the first three pages of search results. Searchers seldom wander deep into results. "The message to marketers should be clear, and the implications obvious," said Robert Murray, President, iProspect. "If your site is not found on the first page - or within the first three pages of search results - you might as well be putting up a billboard in the woods." Search placement not only affects click-through behavior, it seems to have an affect on attitudes as well. Among search engine users, 36% believe that the companies whose websites are listed at the top of the search results are also the leading brands, reported eMarketer. "[Many] search engine users ascribe industry leadership to those brands within top results, and believe them to be leaders in their fields," said Murray. "Cleary, this brand lift is a critical element for brand marketers. It not only reinforces the importance of being found in the top results, but also underscores the need for collaboration between online marketers and their colleagues in brand management, as search is clearly no longer just for direct marketers." The study also found out what happens when users don't find what they are searching for: 41% change search engines or search terms if they do not find what they seek on the first page of search results. 88% change engines or search terms if they do not find what they seek on the first three pages of search results. 82% re-launch an unsuccessful search using the same search engine but with more keywords. Link: 04/11/06 - Searcher Behavior Research

The Ads are morphing into Shows

As a new strategy to shore up for eroding viewership and commercial skipping many advertisers are moving beyond their traditional role as sponsors of TV programming and are becoming producers -- creating content that showcases their brands. The goal is "to gain the attention of busy, distracted consumers who often ignore or avoid traditional commercials," according to The New York Times. But BusinessWeek warns that "not only are companies creating entertainment to flog their stuff to viewers, they are getting increasingly cagey about it." Links: BusinessWeek 04/17/06 – Bet You Can’t Tivo Past This, NYT 04/17/06 – A Sponsor and It’s Show Interwined

Friday, April 14, 2006

Feds Crack Down on Web Publishers for Casino Ads

A much-discussed topic (especially when you want to pull in the end of the quarter billing is) with broadcasters, cablecasters and publishers is Internet gambling. As the Feds continue to educate us that it is illegal in this country, even with offshore betting companies and so is placing an ad on your station or publication. The only advertising placement outside of the “gray area” dot net ads that you will see now and again is found on the web. No more says U.S. authorities and they recently started clamping down on those Web publishers who display casino ads, forcing them to divulge revenues from online casinos and rethink their advertising strategies. Of course publishers think this is unfair, especially when you consider the fact that individual gamblers have very low odds of being prosecuted for betting on these sites. As Wired points out, it's a "largely toothless" law, because so many consumers continually violate it without being prosecuted; in fact, according to one capital investment firm, roughly half of the $12 billion earned by the online gambling industry last year came from the U.S. And so businesses who sell online casino ads come out the only losers. The Sporting News, founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is one of the biggest, having agreed to surrender $7.2 million to avoid prosecution for advertising gambling sites between 2000 and 2003 on its properties. The other half of that settlement you can hear on Sporting News Radio: a stream of anti-gambling public service ads worth $3 million. Nevertheless, some publishers continue to accept ads from off-shore gambling sites--and those who aren't familiar with the law have no idea they're breaking it. Link: Wired News 04/14/06 – All Bets are off, Online Anyway Past SMM Post: 01/23/06 - $7.2 Million Fine for Gambling Ads

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 Break Records

"From Madness into Masters," reads the company’s news release. As they touted early on and promised advertisers, CBS has had a crazy few weeks. Their efforts and risk has been rewarded handsomely with record-breaking traffic to the site. During the month of March, the brought in 8 million unique visitors, up 50% over 2005. Link: 04/12/06 - From Madness into Masters New Release Past SMM Posts: 04/05/06 – The 2006 Masters Tournament, 03/31/06 – NCAA Web Action wins big, 03/08/06 – March Madness Live on the Web

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Time Warner considers Google’s AdSense Model for VOD ad sales

Many cable operators are experimenting with a variety of advertising pricing models for VOD however one thing that they all agree on is that taking the traditional CPM path for long-form VOD is absolutely the wrong way to go. According to a story on Reuters, Time Warner Cable is considering a plan to create an ad-auctioning system for its VOD services. The program, which would mimic Google's AdSense system for Web sites, would let advertisers bid online to targeted ads at viewers with specific viewing habits. The move is another sign of how the TV industry is borrowing and improving upon some of the most lucrative practices of the Internet. Link: 04/10/06 - Time Warner Cable mulls TV ad auctions Past SMM Postings: 02/09/06 – VOD Viewership, 02/06/06 – Advertising Upfront for VOD, 12/22/05 – Will VOD Kill the DVR, 10/14/05 – VOD News

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Curbing Clutter

NBC Universal is testing whether cutting the "clutter" improves the value of the ads that run. Over the five-night test, which started this past Monday, one program airing on the USA Network will feature one-sixty second commercial verse the industries typical, which run between two to four minutes. Two 30-second ads will air in the shorter break. Insurer Allstate and drugstore chain Walgreen are participating in the test. Link: WSJ 04/05/06 – Teasing out the Effects of Clutter

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The 2006 Masters Tournament Coverage

Coming off of their highly successful coverage of the NCAA Tournament, CBS has assembled video-on-demand agreements with eight different cable, satellite and telecom operators and beginning 4/10 viewers can order up an on-demand tournament highlight reel. Additionally, at-work employees can wile away hours of productivity watching a live, online stream of the Masters as and broadcast play on holes 12, 13 and 14 -- coined “The Amen Corner” -- at Augusta National.

In previous years, has provided live coverage of holes 6 and 12, during the practice rounds only. This year there will be about 22 hours of online streaming during the actual tournament. Unlike the recent March Madness online streaming event, the Masters deal is clouded with nuances.

The Masters is a closely held property that renews its media partnerships year-by-year. CBS Sports and CBS Sportsline are producing the online coverage, but part of the deal was to allow the coverage to be shown on has a promotional deal with, which allows ESPN to link to the online stream. While the stream on is free to consumers, it won’t be ad supported, which fits with The Masters tradition of having limited advertising in its TV broadcast (only four minutes an hour). IBM, Exxon Mobile and AT&T sponsor the Broadcast this year and CBS Sportsline’s streaming Masters coverage will be presented courtesy of computer retailer CDW. Link: 04/05/06 – Masters Tournament Offers On-Demand Coverage

Monday, April 03, 2006

Cable Ratings - Winners and Losers for Q1

The ratings are in and first quarters double-digit ratings gains for viewers aged 18-to-49 were achieved by FX, HGTV, E!, VH1, TV Land, BET and USA Network. Other smaller cable networks making gains included Biography, WE: Women’s Entertainment, Style Channel and Speed Channel. On the flip side, Sci-Fi Channel, TNT, Lifetime, Spike TV, AMC and Comedy Central were all down double digits in that key demo. Link: AdAge 04/03/06 – First-Quarter Cable Winners and Losers