Friday, June 29, 2007

Mobile TV Is Like Sushi: Report

The Vienna-based Institut der WU has issued a report which claims that consumers will not be able to resist mobile TV, and compared it to sushi. “According to the study, mobile TV is a trend, which - like sushi - is first met with resistance and sceptism, but once accepted very addictive. “One must have experienced mobile TV in your own hands to realise you can’t live without it” reports Broadband TV News. The study spoke to 52 experts and 232 consumers in Austria, Germany and Italy, and more than 53 percent of the respondents said they could imagine watching TV on their mobile up to 30 minutes a day.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nielsen Follows Viewers with Purchase of Telephia

The Nielsen Company announced the purchase of Telephia, for an undisclosed sum, this greatly expands the media measurement giant's wireless capabilities. The San Francisco-based Telephia Inc. provides syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile media markets. The acquisition provides Nielsen with a much needed entry into measurement services for the estimated 350 billion bucks mobile sector, where telecom and media are quickly converging. Nielsen said adding Telephia expands its ability to measure the rapidly expanding mobile content delivery industry, where today there are more than 232 million wireless subscribers in the US. "As media content increasingly moves from television to the personal computer to the 'third screen' of the mobile device, it is essential that we measure all platforms," said Susan Whiting Executive Vice President of The Nielsen Company.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

National CineMedia Take big Position in IdeaCast

National CineMedia invests in IdeaCast, a provider of advertising to fitness centers and health clubs. NCM is investing up to 7.0 million in 6% preferred stock and will have an option to acquire additional common stock such that NCM's overall investment (including the convertible preferred stock) represents 50.1% of IdeaCast's fully diluted common stock. Through a series of multi-year agreements with CNN, CNBC and MSNBC, IdeaCast exclusively re-distributes network programming to and manages program ad sales for health clubs. The network currently includes nearly 600 locations and has secured agreements with an additional 500 to join its network over the next several months. At that time, the IdeaCast health club network will cover 116 markets including all top 25 markets and 45 of the top 50 markets, representing over 200 million club visits per year. The network includes Lifestyle Family Fitness, Club One, Fitness Formula, Spectrum and Town Sports International (NY Sports Clubs, Boston Sports Clubs, Washington Sports Clubs and Philadelphia Sports Clubs). National advertisers currently on the network include American Airlines, AT&T, Dunkin' Donuts and Quaker. Link: Yahoo! Finance June 26, 2007 - National CineMedia Invests in Health Club Digital Media Network Operator IdeaCast

Saturday, June 23, 2007

LSN Inks Deal With Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless customers in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and nearly 50 markets across the country with V CAST-enabled phones now have access to local news, weather and sports video following a partnership with Local Solutions Network. The V CAST enabled handsets can receive live weather and sports video stories from local television station affiliates and have full access to video content on-demand, including news, weather and sports updates, clips from popular TV programs, music videos, movie trailers, 3D games and more. It is a great product however will consumers be willing to spend an additional $3 for one time use (24hrs) or part with an extra $15 per month for the subscription? This business model will have to change to an ad revenue supported/no cost to the viewer before we see any significant viewer base. Link: New Release and 50 market launch list

Friday, June 22, 2007

Clients Creative Changes with the Temperature on Digital Signage Network

It may not be changing water into wine but it a ingenious way to utilize common technology to deliver a very creative approach to timely copy changes. This summer when temperatures in southern Ontario exceed 20 degrees Celcius and people are primed to want a cool beverage, a digital video board ad campaign for California’s Leaping Horse wines is programmed to display an ad for their cool, white Chardonnay wine.

Outdoor Broadcasting Network ’s (OBN), is a Canadian media company that markets the largest network of LED video boards in Country. They have come up with this cleaver idea and have developed and deployed a new technology which programs weather triggers into a video board campaign so that creative will change from Leaping Horse’s Merlot red wine (when the temperature is under 20C) to Chardonnay when it gets above 20C. This provides Lifford Wine Agency (the wine agent for Leaping Horse in the province of Ontario) with a terrific way to target consumers when they may be more receptive to one wine choice over another.

The campaign starts in mid June and will run in Toronto, Hamilton and Cambridge. Production was handled in-house by OBN who took static OOH ads and created full motion video spots. Digital signage networks are turning up everywhere these days and leveraging technology to create
unique advertising solutions that engage viewers will help the emerging industry win many future loyal clients.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"The Fair Elections Now Act" - Political Pickpockets

Congress is looking at forcing stations to cut their lowest unit political rates by an additional 20%. According to the NAB, candidates already get an average 30% discount through the current use of the existing lowest unit rates (LUR). The proposed government backed campaign-funding program that the Senate is considering, is a bill that would cut LUR to even lower levels. It's known as The Fair Elections Now Act (S. 1285) and I certainly don't think it's fair to everybody. The bill not only reduces rates, kill scheduling options, expands the pool of advertisers receiving discounts and directly taxes broadcasters. The new bill would force stations to offer a fixed rate 20% below LUR (it's monpreemptable as it is currently as well), and would apply during the 45-day period prior to a primary election and 60 days before a general election. In addition, it would extend these rights to the federal party committees. Finally, adding to the pain, it would impose a 2% tax on gross broadcast advertising revenues to give politicians and committees a "Political Advertising Voucher Account." They say that history repeats itself and it this case it appear to be true. In 1980 Congress tried to put a similar system in place with little success do to the powerful broadcast lobby. NAB Chief David Refr is running point for the industry on this and insiders say its prospects appear dim.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mobile Advertising

Even though some can claim that mobile advertising has been around for years the industry is truly a new kid on the block. Only recently has it begun to deliver on some of its promises and the ROI desired by marketers. Don’t get me wrong, the emerging Mobile business is posed to be gargantuan and it has come on fast. Consider that just a few short years ago we were dealing with the new world of "all connected" which in short order became "always connected" morphing into today’s "Always with you" culture. Mobile devices are highly personal, increasingly sophisticated and obviously have growing importance for connecting with consumers.

The industry is still very much in the nail biting “Wild West” phase and currently network and content providers and advertisers alike all have more questions than answers. Advertisers are asking; “Where does mobile fit in our overall strategy”? Will it follow consumers who are fleeing other platforms? Will it address and engage them in ways other media cannot? Is it just another extension of online? Given its out of home mobility and ability to activate billboards and packaging, is it more a part of the outdoor strategy? These are some of the questions that need to be addressed. Part II - next week I will begin to shed some light on these and other concerns. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Politicians Scrutinize Pharmaceutical Advertising

Advertising of pharmaceutical drugs to the public is a peculiar U.S. phenomenon, which has allowed great expansion of the pharmaceutical business by pushing demand. Hedonistically I've always enjoyed the windfall that the Ad business has enjoyed as well over the past decade however I have wondered about downside of going to our own doctor and announcing our own prescription.

Apparently I’m not alone in this thought process and the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health is looking over a multi-pronged bill concerning health in the US. Some of the items being considered are an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act "to improve drug safety." Advertising Policy is one of the primary concerns. Here are some of the proposed changes: an ad may need government approval: "the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy for a drug may require that the applicant submit...advertisement of the drug for pre-clearance." The appropriate authorities would have 45 days for review. Second, if there have been any "significant adverse events" or other risk associated with the drug, this must be part of an advertisement, and "advertisements lacking such disclosure would be false or misleading." Finally, the bill states that "the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy for a drug may require that for a fixed period after initial approval, not to exceed three years, the applicant not issue or cause to be issued direct-to-consumer advertisements..."

I’m all for putting a few controls into place however this sounds like bureaucratic BS at it’s finest. One thing we know for sure is nothing will change fast. There are far to many companies involved with very large vested interests.

Monday, June 11, 2007

TV is on Top for News, but Change is in Sight

A new Harris Poll survey shows that television is the top source for news among US citizens, beating out #2 online 26%-18%, but the group participants also expect that this order will flip within five years, when online will be on top with 25% to television's 22%. Cable is expected to show a modest 14%-15% increase over the same period, with a slight 12%-11% drop-off for radio and 12%-10% drop-off for major daily newspapers.

There is nothing surprising here with the results. Technology is changing the future of news delivery as much as Media consumption habits are changing with the generations. In the 2002 movie Minority Report, a passenger on a subway train gets constantly updated news on a flexible, translucent, portable flat-panel device that he carries with him. This is not very far fetched and it is just 5 years later. Now would this be TV or Online, newspaper or some new variations of all of them? I Believe that no matter what the platform is, integrated media systems will revolutionize the methods for acquiring, packaging, organizing and delivering the news in the not-too-distant future and our current definitions of television, online, newspapers will be noted in history.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

eBay, Bid4Spots launch Online Bid for Radio Advertising

eBay began taking bids for radio spots today as the online auction leader expands into offline ads. The company is auctioning advertising airtime on 2,300 participating U.S. radio stations, expanding on an existing plan to sell cable television ads. EBay is partnering with Bid4Spots (Encino,Ca.) to power the eBay Media Marketplace for Radio. The new U.S. auction market for radio advertising will go live today and include both conventional terrestrial radio and Internet radio advertising. Stations in all of the 300 top-ranked radio markets are covered. Available inventory is determined by participating radio stations and what they choose to sell for the next week. Available advertising inventory includes primetime spots. Some 90 percent are in morning “drive time,” midday or evening commute hours from Monday through Friday. EBay’s own radio auctions target last-minute ad buyers. This flexibility enables stations to be extremely aggressive in their pricing,

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Charlotte Climbs the Chart

Ok, this is hedonistic but what the heck since I made Charlotte, NC my home base in 2001 I feel it only right to comment on good advertising news about my fair city. Shoot, I know my friends at the local radio stations are pleased. Charlotte has been a growth market since before my family arrived it has moved on up the Nielsen DMA list from #29 in '01 to bumping out San Diego CA this year for the number 26 position. Arbitron has measured the market very differently however that is all set to change this Fall when their new market rankings come out. According to the Charlotte Observer, the market is getting credit for the population in four fringe North Carolina counties and two more in South Carolina, an infusion of almost 400K fresh bodies which will take the market's 12+ count all the way to 1.8M. More importantly, it will allow the city to leap all the way from #33 to #25 on the market ranking chart (ADI). This change is very significant and could result in an additional $3M in national advertising revenue coming into the market (now will be included in buys for the top 25 mkts). Obviously this change on the radio side will make the Arbitron configuration more congruent with the Nielsen DMA definition. Based on current population grow estimates Nielsen is expected to move Charlotte up a notch to #25 by next year. On a side note, the radio market currently occupying #25 and expected to be elbowed aside is Riverside-San Bernardino CA LA is my past stomping grounds).

Friday, June 01, 2007

TV viewing on Mobile Devices will Skyrocket

In Europe in August 2005, Nokia sponsored a survey asking people who had experience a mobile TV trial what they thought of it. It turned out that those people were quite simple amazed. They had found a cure for boredom. Effectively, that is the biggest drive they have identified for mobile TV and its usage pattern which shows in the four or five trails that have surveyed their customers. None the less the number of people watching TV shows like “The Simpsons” on their bus ride to work is about to explode. A new report by independent market analyst for London based Datamonitor predicts that by 2012, the number of people worldwide using cell phones and other handheld devices to watch broadcast TV will have grown from 4.4 million to 155.6 million. The Asia Pacific region will account for nearly half of subscribers with 76.3 million; Europe is forecast to have 42.7 million and the U.S. 35.6 million. The report says 2007 is a critical year for the technology but warned that broadcast video content will have to adapt to both user consumption habits and handset functionality. It also says providers must ensure their systems are flexible so they can adapt to multiple formats and technical differences with others. Otherwise, these differences may contribute to slow uptake in the service. Link: TV June 1, 2007 – 155 Million Mobile TV Users by 2012