Friday, July 11, 2008

US Leads in Mobile Web Adoption

The mobile Web has hit "critical mass" in the U.S., where it is used by 40 million subscribers, who make up at least 15% of the country's mobile users, according to a new study by Nielsen Mobile. The report, "Critical Mass: The Worldwide State of the Mobile Web," identifies the U.K. as having 12% penetration, and Italy as having 11%. Link: BBC News – July 11, 2008 – Mobile Web reaches Critical Mass

Friday, May 30, 2008

NBCU moves to win bid for Weather Channel

NBCU has unofficially won the bid for the Weather Channel at $3.5 billion, according to NewsBlues. That’s well under the $5 billion that Landmark had hoped to earn. NBCU was part of a consortium that included Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. The offer of $3.5 billion, roughly half of which, or $1.8 billion, is equity, according to Reuters. Blackstone’s GSO Capital is also putting in $600 million. The future of WeatherPlus is the big question now

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mobille means Fewer more qualified Ads

Improvements to the mobile Web will continue to cause more people to conduct searches on their cell phones however a new challenge to Web advertising giants like Google, Yahoo and others just may well be the mobile phone's screen size. Traditional thinking might lead you to assume what Ben Kunz did in his article in BusinessWeek - small screen equals - less inventory to sell. It's true that a standard computer screen the Google's Ad Sense can fit about 10 ads, but on a cell phone you get only one or two paid ads.

Says Kunz: "Imagine the horror that would befall your business if a large slice of what you sell suddenly disappeared. A similar fate could befall companies that depend on online advertising, as small screens become the gateway to the Internet."That said, no one believes that mobile phones will replace laptops overnight, but if the adoption of Web usage on Apple's iPhone is any indication, Google and its competitors better get

Isn't Google already working on this? Earlier in the first quarter, when those infamous numbers from comScore were released (not that those were necessarily wrong, by the way), Google came out saying that it was tweaking its algorithm to promote ads that were likely to convert while eliminating those that were not. The end result was fewer ads, but more qualified--and thus more lucrative--leads generated from ads that were clicked on. Perhaps Google decided to tweak its algorithm with a view to the mobile shift in mind? After all, if the future means less space for ads, wouldn't Google be wise to make sure that fewer ads cost more and convert better? Link: BusinessWeek - Apr 28, 2008 - The Real Threat to Google

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nielsen To Report Ratings For Place-Based Video Networks

Joe Mandese with Media Daily News Reports this morning that "in a move that could bring the kind of structure to the burgeoning out-of-home video advertising marketplace that is associated with traditional television, Nielsen plans to introduce TV ratings "pocketpieces" for a variety of place-based television networks. The plan, which was revealed by Senior Vice President-Nielsen Strategic Media Research Paul Lindstrom, came out as part of a panel discussion on Wednesday during MediaPost's Digital Out-of-Home Forum in New York." Link to the whole story

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

YouTube videos accessed by TiVo

Forget about squinting to see those sometimes bazaar videos on you computers screen, you can watch the latest web phenomenon on your big screen. TiVo and YouTube this morning announced an agreement that will offer access to web videos directly on the television via TiVo digital video recorder devices. The service will become available later this year for broadband-connected subscribers with Series3 DVRs or later models. Users will be able to surf through YouTube videos on their TVs and watch and save videos. They will also be able to log into their YouTube accounts in order to access existing favorite videos and channels. TiVo calls the deal one more step in the process of combining all web and television viewing needs into one service. Link: Press Release 3/12/08 - TIVO TO PROVIDE YOUTUBE VIDEOS DIRECTLY TO THE TELEVISION

Monday, March 10, 2008

Project Canoe

We’ve all heard about it but the cable industry is still keeping details about "Project Canoe," the clandestine, cross-MSO, advanced advertising initiative, relatively close to the vest. The venture is an effort by all six major cable companies in the U.S. to deliver targeted TV ads to viewers via set-top boxes. The cable companies may control the set-top boxes, but they only collectively control about $5 billion of the $70 billion spent each year on TV ads. With better ad targeting through Project Canoe the cable operators hope to triple their take to $15 billion.

This coalition has been spurred on by Google’s aggressive moves into new spaces, they are already testing their
own TV ads on EchoStar’s Dish Network (no satellite companies are part of Project Canoe). Just last week, some Google TV Ad beta testers were able to start buying TV ads through AdWords as part of their regular advertising campaigns. In other words, they can buy search ads on Google, contextual online ads across the Web, and TV ads on Dish all through the same Google interface.
Clearly the cable companies have a lot of work to do to pull this off, but the prize is huge. Forming a viable coalition where incentives are aligned to encourage continued cooperation in the long term is a major step forward. I’m sure that we will be hearing a lot more about this in the coming months and it will be interesting to see how (and how soon) this plays out. Link:, March 10, 2008 - Cable Firms Join Forces to Attract Focused Ads

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Digital Display Strategy for the LA Times

The Los Angeles Times is teaming with Clear Channel Outdoor to bring news headlines and images to 10 digital billboards throughout LA. The Times is the first newspaper to use the company's digital billboards and web-based interface for news alerts and branding. The partnership is a key strategic move for the newspaper, which desperately wants to increase exposure of its local news reporting. Link: Media Daily News, Mar 5, 2008 - New Digital Displays For 'LA Times

58 million US Mobile Subscribers have seen Ads

Twenty-three percent (One out of four or 58 million) of all US mobile subscribers say they've been exposed to advertising on their phones in the past 30 days, according to a new report from The Nielsen Company. Half of all data users who recall seeing mobile advertising in the previous month say they responded to a mobile ad in some way and are open to receiving ads if it reduces their bill. Link:, Mar. 4 2008 - Nielsen Says Mobile Ads Growing, Consumers Respond

Thursday, February 21, 2008

TV Advertising Falling Short of Expectations

Are your clients complaining that their TV Advertising isn’t as effective as they once were? Well sixty-two percent of marketers say they believe that traditional TV has become a less effective ad medium over the past two years, according to a study by Forrester Research and the Association of National Advertisers. The study also found that about 50% of those surveyed are experimenting with new ad formats on platforms such as DVRs and VOD programs, while 87% see high value in branded entertainment. Link(s): MediaDailyNews, Feb 21, 2008 - TV Advertising Hit By Digital Competition and The Hollywood Reporter, Feb 21, 2008 – TV Ads Losing Steam, marketers say

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Proven Value of Dynamic Digital Signage

In another resounding example of the power of digital signage, Clear Channel Outdoors' digital billboard networks reached more than 12 million motorists and commuters during last week's Super Tuesday voting session. The changeable, LED-equipped billboards posted updates of tallies in 14 out of 17 of the markets where CC Outdoor has networks providing the public with real-time results of the Presidential Election Primaries through live RSS feeds from MSNBC and CNBC. Link: Clear Channel Outdoor – Feb 19, 2008 - Millions Of Voters Looked To Clear Channel Outdoor Digital Displays For “Super Tuesday” Primary Results

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fox Wins with 50th Daytona 500

Sunday's running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Fox scored increased average audience, total audience and household ratings compared to a year ago, according to fast national figures released today by Nielsen Media Research.

The 50th Daytona 500 averaged 17.8 million viewers, a 1 percent improvement over last season (17.5 million). It was also the second highest-rated and second most-watched 500 ever on Fox, trailing the 2005 race in both stats. According to a network news release, 33.5 million Americans watched at least part of the race.

Obviously Ryan Newman Penske Racing and Dodge are not alone in Sunday’s winners circle. Fox had previously announced that it had sold out its inventory for the telecast with 30-second spots selling for $550,000 each, up from $475,000 last year.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

DVR Playback makes Significant Increase to Viewing Levels

Playback from DVRs is increasing the amount of time people spend watching television, according to new data from The Nielsen Company. In comparing total television usage (Live viewing plus DVR playback) for persons 18-49 in 11/07 to total television usage in 11/05 (before Nielsen measured DVR homes and penetration was very low) Nielsen found that viewing had increased slightly throughout the day, and was 3% higher at 9:00 p.m. and 5% higher between 11:00 p.m.-midnight. Links: Investor's Business Daily, Feb 14, 2008 - Nielsen Reports DVR Playback is Adding to TV Viewing Levels and Nielsen - Press Release

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Big Win for Fox with Super Bowl XLII

Sunday's Super Bowl XLII on FOX was the most-watched Super Bowl game in 42 years of Super Bowls and also ranks as the second most-watched program in TV history with 97.5 million viewers, surpassing the 1996 Super Bowl game which drew in 94.1 million viewers. It follows the final episode of M*A*S*H which aired February 28, 1983 and drew in 106 million viewers. As for the advertising, well Marketers are getting extra bang for their Super Bowl ad bucks through views of their spots on dozens of general and niche Web sites, as well as via playbacks on DVRs, according to this New York Times article. Link:, 02/05/08 - For Marketing, the Most Valuable Player Might Be YouTube

Monday, January 21, 2008

IdeaCast and Transit TV do deal

IdeaCast (which we covered in my post on 06/27/07 - National Cinemedia take big Position in IdeaCast), a private provider of custom television content and advertising to health clubs announced that it has entered into a strategic sales relationship with Transit TV and will represent digital OOH networks advertising inventory to IdeaCast's list of ad clients. In addition, IdeaCast has also entered into a letter of intent with an option to acquire Transit TV in Q2. Transit TV is a major transit-based digital out-of-home adverting network operator with systems installed and operational in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Orlando, Transit TV communicates with over 500 million riders per year on nearly 4,000 vehicles. IdeaCast's plans for Transit TV include expanding the Transit TV network to the top 10 U.S. markets, as well as contracting with Nielsen Media Research to establish metrics and a process for audience measurement for the transit network.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Designing for Mobility

Some 40% of web site operators have launched mobile sites and another 22% plan to do so in the next year, according to a new JupiterResearch study (appropriately named - "Designing for Mobility"). This is helping to fuel the growing base of mobile phone users in the US that browse the Internet from their cell phones. Current stats reflect that 25% of cell phone owners go online, with 16 percent doing so frequently. As adoption and use grows, the importance of Web sites suitable for small screens will grow in importance for media companies. Link: OnlineMedia Daily Jan 17, 2008 - Mobile Web Sites' Growth Spurt To Continue

Monday, January 07, 2008


I must admit I was jealous when one of my client's IT guys showed me his Motorola Q connected to his Slingbox several months ago. The picture quality and smoothness of the connection was amazing. He could playback any channel or DVR recording available on his home cable box and he could not only view them but could setup programs to record. For us road warriors with a crackberry habit, this wasn't something available however today all that changed as Sling Media announced that it is extending the mobile version of its service to Blackberry smartphones. The new version which will be released later this year, will cost Slingbox customers a one-time charge of $29.99. In my perspective this is how I would utilize mobile TV while getting better value out of my monthly investment with my cable provider. Although the viewership of mobile TV is on the rise, I firmly believe most consumers will not adapt to it if it requires yet another monthly subscription and higher phone bill. For now the gatekeepers are the telecommunication providers however with companies like Sling Media I think the business model is about to change and will be monetized finally by advertising and not subscriptions.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

DVR penetration to rise to 35% by 2012

Happy New Year readers! Online video may be a hot topic and increasing in popularity as are VOD services however DVR penetration in U.S. television households will continue to expand, nearly doubling over the next five years, according to a new report from market-analysis firm JupiterResearch. Read more in this article from