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 and 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 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: 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: 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


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: