Thursday, July 31, 2008
If there's a hot new social media trend happening, you can bet that companies are trying to find a way to use it too. It happened of course with blogging, it happened with Twitter, and it is now happening with FriendFeed and other lifestreaming apps.
Indeed RSS vendor Pheedo has coined a neat term for this: brandstreaming [Update: Brian Solis notes in the comments that Pheedo probably didn't coin it]. Pheedo defines a brandstream as "a consistent flow of content created by a brand".
To back up its case for brands using lifestreaming tools, Pheedo points to a recent Universal McCann report stating that content consumption outside of websites has increased 153% in the last 9 months. Overall, 53% of online users are consuming content outside of a publisher's site - through the use of widgets, RSS readers, social networks and mobile devices.
Those are incredible stats, which put into stark focus the need for companies to engage with users outside of their own website. As our own Alex Iskold wrote last week, companies should do this not just by using APIs, but making use of all the major consumer web platforms.
Can Companies Really Use Lifestreaming?
Alex didn't mention FriendFeed in his post, perhaps because FriendFeed and other lifestreaming apps are relatively new to the Internet scene. But Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang, who follows how companies use social media more than most, has been looking into how brands will use FriendFeed. He discusses the concept of the "Social Media Press Release" (SMPR), which he defines as more than just a company announcement - it also "provides links and assets to social media: blogs, images, videos, tags, etc." He cites Ford's Social Media Press Release room called "Digital Snippets" as one example.
But let's step back a moment and look at brandstreaming from the user's point of view. It's fairly obvious why companies want to get their brand out into social media sites like Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and then wrap it up into feeds. It's to get their brand out beyond their website, to engage users and entice them into discussions about their products. But what's the motivation for users to subscribe to those 'brandstreams'?
Realistically, brandstreaming is probably going to work best for consumer brands that have a high lifestyle appeal. Ford would fit into that category, although it's not a beloved consumer brand like say Apple or Sony. I did a search around FriendFeed tonight to see if I could find an official presence from Apple, Sony, Coca-Cola and a few other popular brands. But so far at least, those popular consumer brands aren't doing much brandstreaming.
One early adopter company though is the online music service Pandora. Lucia Willow, the Pandora Community Manager, has nabbed a presence for Pandora on many of the trendy social media places. She left this list in the comments to Jeremiah Owyang's post mentioned above:
http://twitter.com/pandora_radio (which Lucia says has been "a *fantastic* resource for us")
Pandora's FriendFeed site has about 70 people subscribed to it so far. Lucia admitted that Pandora is just testing it, and by the looks of the recent activity it's being used in much the same way that Pandora is successfully using Twitter - to communicate with its user base and encourage them to use Pandora.
Cisco's Advertising BrandStream
Another example of brandstreaming is Cisco. In the post linked above, Pheedo sings the virtues of brandstreaming as a way for companies to get their brands in front of consumers, but also as a new kind of advertising tool.
Pheedo ran an ad campaign for Cisco which, in their words, was "designed as an integrated Social Media ad network campaign with the goals of driving 1) traffic, 2) newsletter sign-ups, and 3) RSS subscriptions." The Cisco brandstream included video, press releases, customer stories and product updates. [disclosure: Pheedo has run some RSS ads for RWW, via FM Publishing. It's possible that the Cisco campaign was one of them, but I am not sure]
Clearly it's early days for this so-called brandstreaming. Whether people will want to subscribe to brands in lifestreaming apps like FriendFeed is a question still to be answered. I can see the attraction for consumer brands with a cult following, like Apple. Other brands, including the likes of Ford and Cisco, will probably struggle to interest consumers in highly social apps like FriendFeed.
Let us know in the comments any examples you've come across of companies 'brandstreaming'. Do you think it will work for most companies, or is it yet another social media trend that you'd prefer companies to keep their fingers out of?
Monday, July 28. 2008 at 10:30 AM EDT Post a comment
Internet video must get to the TV -- it's been predicted as the key requirement for the successful adoption of Internet video almost from the day video began to be distributed online.
The vast majority of consumers view video on the TV, and for Internet video to target traditional pay and broadcast TV revenue, it must be able to get there.
One could argue that Internet video is growing dramatically even without the TV. YouTube Inc. streams and page views are growing steadily and there has been an explosion of video distribution sites.
In addition, 20-inch PC monitors are common now, and that used to be a TV-sized screen for those of us who grew up before 60-inch plasmas took over living rooms. So the viewing experience isn't being compromised by screen size, and what is a TV but a monitor?
However, revenues have proven hard to find, with Google finding it difficult to monetize YouTube's massive traffic. In order to drive significant advertising or pay revenue, online video must either change consumer behavior dramatically or cater to it.
The former is certainly possible, but risky, difficult, and slow. Consumers like the lean-back TV viewing experience. Plus, TV viewing is still largely a communal/social experience, though it is becoming less so. For now, however, getting to the TV is an important requirement to drive mass market revenues, if not mass market adoption.
A couple of announcements last week demonstrated progress in that direction, but also presented new, emerging challenges for PC-TV connectivity. The first came from a newly formed CE manufacturers consortium consisting of Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Sharp Electronics Corp. , and Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT; Paris: PHA), which was created to develop an industry standard called WHDI, for Wireless Home Digital Interface. The standard will be based on technology from Israel-based Amimon Ltd.
Using this technology, any TV in the home will be able to access any video source in the home, including set-top boxes, gaming consoles, and DVD players, from anywhere in the home. TVs with Amimon's chips are expected to cost $100 more than equivalent, non-wireless TVs, and should reach the market next year. While the company is more focused on linking set tops to TVs without cables, this technology could have its greatest impact on PC-TV connectivity -- and as a result, on Internet video.
WHDI is not by any means the first technology to address this need. In fact, it's not even the first wireless approach. There are a number of others using various flavors of WiFi and ultra-wideband wireless in the home. However, none of them have as yet been sufficiently easy to set up, inexpensive, while offering a high-quality viewing experience. Still, this is a step to make high-definition video deliverable to the TV in a widely available, relatively inexpensive manner.
Unfortunately, video technology refuses to stand still in the meantime. Just as HD raised the bar for video quality and created a whole new set of bandwidth requirements, there appears to be another step up in video experiences coming down the pipe.
There are predictions that 3D video will become a mass market phenomenon within the next few years. Movie theaters, looking for a way to differentiate their experience from home theaters, have been exploring 3D movies actively for the last few years, and initial 3D releases have performed well. The 3-D Home Display Formats Task Force of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) is already developing standards for 3D video transmission across video distribution channels like cable, broadcast, DVDs, and the Internet. Some TV manufacturers have 3D TVs in the market today, and it might be only a matter of time before 3D becomes the next HD.
If it is successful on the TV, online video providers will also have to offer 3D video eventually. It's not clear what kind of bandwidth challenges and other quality of service (QOS) requirements will result from 3D video transmission, but it's likely that it will reset the bar for service providers, online video distributors, and home networking technologies all over again.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
While the truth is, I use this all the time when searching for stuff, it is however a very dangerous double edged sword.
The thing I really think most web evangelists miss today is that sure "Internet Telephone Books"- that's what google really is let's face it- work but we're losing out on 150 years of marketing expertise here...
THE BRAND, where is the brand? what is the brand?
How can you take anyone seriously today who rants and raves about Web 2.0 and not once stops to think about how an Ad Agency functions. Why are millions of dollars thrown at these agencies??? What is and Ad Agency providing that is very powerful?
Take a good listen to the Age of Persuasion on CBC and you'll get an interesting history of the marketing world...
Just take a look at your favorite records. Pop music is one of the best examples of brand marketing available to us. Were the Beatles or the Stones, U2 or REM, Public Enemy or Rage Against the Machine just a few songs? Pop is all about symbolism and the significance of this symbolism. This really is what branding is. Associating an idea with an image or sound that on it's own is insignificant. The object becomes a representation- a physical manifestation of an idea - a concept.
If I show you a flag with red and white stripes a blue square and white stars what pops into your mind? Ah it's a windy day??? No you think of the USA and all that it stands for, perhaps a recent headline- George Bush,Barack Obama, American foreign policy. Really that's a lot of ideas being projected by a piece of material on a flag pole.
Take a look at Nike, what is Nike, shoes? clothes? No Nike is the swoosh, it's the idea of getting up and going for a run, it's about being better than we are now...
The emotional link that is created between these ideas surrounding the simple product and the consumer is what drives purchase decisions and brand FIDELITY!!!
You can never never never never forget that-NEVER!!
This is branding, now how can pay-per click contextual advertising beat that?
It can't and sure it's great to help support an impulse buy, but if Google really wants to be clever about this in some way - advertisers will be able maintain their brand visibility in this environment.
Then of course, we get to noise, when is information to much information- when it's unsolicited. So I'd have to say Google has to come up with something soon if they are to maintain their edge. They'll have to figure out how branding and search engines can work together.
Amazon Video on Demand will eliminate the need for users to wait for downloads to complete before they begin watching, something that was not possible with the company’s initial foray into Web sales and distribution of entertainment.
According to the article, with the exception of Disney and ABC, which have a close distribution relationship with Apple, most studios and networks are onboard to distribute their content via Amazon Video on Demand.
Amazon has reached a deal with Sony to build access to the on-demand Internet video service into its Bravia line of HDTVs, the paper said. However, initially a stand-alone $300 Internet box from Sony that connects to existing Bravia HDTVs will be required, it reported. Amazon has expressed interest in striking similar deals with other HDTV makers.
The Amazon announcement follows an announcement in May that Netflix is making its online library available for streaming to television sets connected to the Netflix Player by Roku.
Amazon Video on Demand will be come available to a broader audience later in the summer, the paper reported.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Daily Video Entertainment in 2013 Will Be Less Than 50% Traditional TV
According to the Multiplatform Video Report released by Solutions Research Group, an average American consumer aged 12 and older with Internet access now spends 6.1 hour daily with video-based entertainment, up from 4.6 in 1996. Of this 6.1 hours, 63.9% (nearly 4 hours per day) currently comes from traditional Television, including live, DVR and video-on-demand viewing. Video games, web and PC video, DVDs and video on mobile devices account for the balance.
TV accounted for a lower share of video-based entertainment among younger Americans, coming in at 42.4% among those 12-24 (vs. 63.9% total population average).
There was also a significant difference between men and women, with TV accounting for 70.4% of women's daily video-based entertainment diet, versus 57.7% for men. PC or online video use was similar, accounting for 10.1% of daily video time for men and 10.5% for women.
PC and web video achieved its highest share mid-day during the week (12.3% share) and it was lowest after 6 pm weekdays and weekends. Prime time for video gaming was Saturday mornings while mobile video peaked during weekday mornings.
Per capita time spent with PC, web and mobile video will increase from just under 1 hour per day currently to nearly 2.9 hours by early 2013, based on factors that include greater access to and use of web video, significantly increased penetration for laptops, mobile video devices and Internet-enabled devices such as the iPhone.
Total hours with video-based entertainment on all platforms is forecasted to expand nearly 35% to about 8 hours on average, as consumers use more screens in more places and video becomes ubiquitous on every screen at home and work and on-the-go. For context, this is close to the time spent sleeping nightly by an average American.
The report predicts that time spent with traditional TV will remain close to 4 hours per day, based on factors such as increasing DVR penetration, availability of more on-demand content, more live and event programming and changing demographics. The ratio of "linear" to "time-shifted" programming will continue to change in favor of time-shifting, however.
Finally, while daily time with TV will remain close to 4 hours, traditional TV's share of the total video entertainment pie is projected to shrink from 63.9% today to 47.1% by 2013, given the overall increase consumers' in total video-based entertainment consumption.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Written by Ryan Lawler
Monday, July 14. 2008 at 05:45 PM EDT 3 comments
With the DVD rental business expected to decline, Netflix Inc. is finding new ways to remain relevant as a digital distribution channel. By announcing a partnership with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the company now has a whole new vehicle for delivering video to customer living rooms.
The companies announced today that they had entered a digital distribution agreement whereby Netflix subscribers will be able to stream movies and TV shows from Netflix on the Xbox 360 gaming console.
The deal expands on Netflix's digital streaming video service and will open up a whole new path into customer living rooms.
In May, the video rental site announced it would stream videos over a digital set-top box produced by Roku, which could be purchased for $99. But while Roku users will have to buy a new set-top box, with the Microsoft partnership, Netflix will have an installed base to stream movies.
In addition to the Netflix streaming news, Microsoft said it would be adding downloadable content from NBC Universal to its Xbox Live marketplace. With the deal, NBC joins ABC Inc. and Walt Disney Co. , which already offer content through the online marketplace.
Jul 14, 2008 9:11 AM
Lehman Brothers cut the stock ratings of Walt Disney, Time Warner, CBS, News Corp. and Viacom last week over fear that “structural changes appear destined to impact the core revenue and profits of the entertainment business.”
Lehman Brothers thinks the television and film industry could suffer the same fate as the music business. “To be clear, our fear is that the damage that digital distribution inflicted on the music industry will replicate itself in the movie industry, and our fears are too great to justify keeping neutral or positive ratings on the creators and distributors of movie and TV content,” wrote Anthony DiClemente, an entertainment industry analyst, in a research note.
Lehman lowered its overall view of the industry to “negative” from “neutral.” Shares of all five companies were down in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
“In reality, while there are many obvious differences between music/audio and movie/video media forms, the core properties of video distribution and consumption are not different enough from music content to continue to justify why movie/TV content will be spared fragmentation,” DiClemente wrote.
He argued that as consumers shift to new types of media — movie downloads or TV video recorders that make it possible to skip commercials — the big entertainment companies will struggle to replace traditional sources of revenue.
“We believe fragmentation of media as a result of technological change is highly likely to disrupt the economics of traditional forms of movie and TV distribution,” he said. “Content may no longer be king in the entertainment business.”
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Seth Godin points out in this awesome presentation that marketing to the masses today is not only risky- but really pointless.
He tends toward pushing a kind of evangelistic marketing that gets early adopters to speak out about new products and make them cool.
His ideas are rooted- sure in marketing and advertising- but in social science as well- more specifically British Social Studies from the early eighties.
What researchers discovered mostly by studying pop music is that music, culture and technology are adopted by marginalized groups who then re-appropriate the content and create they're own unique blend or uses.
This marginalized new content is then sucked into the main stream as culturally innovative.
There are so many examples: Rap and Hip Hop to Punk- Internet- finally new media platforms.
Should marketers try to get the main stream to download feature films????????
Complete waste of time - the idea is to convince early adopters that this technology speaks directly to them and ONLY them- then you have something.
The early adopters are the trend setters - the brand makers!!!!!!!!!!!!! Forget your high paid agency....
I really enjoy Seth Godin, please check out his books.
Finally, notice the super clean powerpoint and how effective it was???!!!???
To learn how to make powerpoints like that please check out one of my favorites: http://www.presentationzen.com
While you're at it... check out my favorite radio/podcast:
http://www.cbc.ca/ageofpersuasion with Terry O'Reilly
Friday, July 11, 2008
Welcome to my NüMediaNow blog. This space will be filled with rants, comments, observations, and other stuff regarding creation, distribution, and commercialization of new media products and on marketing in this "new environment".My point of view will differ from many so called media gurus in that I actually have 15 years experience working in post-production for so-called old media. As well, I have a M.A. in Communications with a specialization in semiotics.
Yeah so what I hear your you say, well, often in development meetings the new VP of Interactive Media has less than zero experience with traditional media creation or distribution and is given the responsability to handle a new form of media (simply a vessel of content) and is called to commercialize this product as new within new consumer habits.
Well the truth is people have a few basic needs and you would probably be suprised that most new media or web 2.0 offerings simply fill the same void that consumers filled in different ways....
OH PLEASE.... Time shifting! Video on Demand? This has been around ever since you could slap in your VHS into your deck and watch the game after your in-laws have left.
I remember one meeting with a VP where he was suprised to find that he had after all been consuming media within so-called "new media paradigms": he rented the series of 24 and watched it at home at his convenience....
So I guess you can say this blog will be a reality check and influential in your business or daily decisions regarding new media...
Internet TV passes cable in France
ADSL viewers reach 8.5 million
In its latest MediaCabSat Gallic pay TV report, which includes IPTV data for the first time, Mediametrie estimates French ADSL TV viewers at 8.5 million for June 15.
Cable TV viewership dropped from 6.1 million Feb. 17 to 6 million June 15.
Stats do not include sub-cable feeds with fewer than 10-12 channels.
"ADSL TV is free for broadband subscribers, and it will continue to grow. Cable will most probably stagnate," said Francois Godard, an analyst at London-based Enders Analysis.
Mediametrie’s report also highlights the continued erosion of broadcasters market share, even in a multi-channel universe. TF1 took a 23.4% share Jan. 1-June 15, down from 25.3% first half 2007.
“The decrease of the share of historical broadcasters is not only a result of the launch of cable, satellite and Internet TV. It’s happening within the multi-channel universe as well,” Godard said.
Fragmentation is beginning to hurt some of the original fragmenters: Weekly viewership at a clutch of star pay TV channels is leveling off or even declining as more pay TV rivals with a similar focus launch.
Eurosport has held out another four months as France’s premier niche pay TV channel, but weekly viewers stood at 6.7 million, down on February’s 6.8 million and way down on 7.5 million a year ago.
And, in another recent report, “TV in the World: Continuity and Rupture,” Mediametrie claims that
Read the full article at:
Tech Players Push TV-Web Convergence
Role of Networks, Studios Evolving Slowly
By Daisy Whitney
Some of the biggest technology companies are placing their bets on convergence between the TV and the Web, providing the best indication yet as to how the TV business will work when flatscreens and laptops traffic in the same content.
Last month, both Sony and Google introduced new services that will send content to the television set via the Internet. Apple, Microsoft and Netflix also are in the game, investing early to develop technologies that will challenge traditional programming distribution businesses.
The question remains when will content zip between devices seamlessly. At stake is $64 billion in annual advertising revenue.
The business of serving up movies, television shows and Web programs will shift dramatically in the next five years, said Alex Lindsay, a technology expert and the chief architect at PixelCorps, a San Francisco-based consortium of new-media producers.
“It was one thing when it was CinemaNow and these little startups saying, ‘We can deliver movies,’” he said. “Now you have the biggest guys in the game going head-to-head and they know this is the new battlefield.”
Certainly, Sony and Google are a long way off from piping everything consumers want to watch to the TV. But for starters, Sony will begin offering a video download service later this summer through the Sony PlayStation 3 gaming console. Sony also plans to stream movies to the TV, starting with Sony Pictures’ Will Smith vehicle “Hancock.” The movie, released in theaters Wednesday, will be available on Sony Bravia TVs equipped with integrated Internet connections this fall, prior to its DVD release.
Google launched a software application that lets users stream videos from YouTube to a TV set. The caveat is the consumer needs a Sony PlayStation 3 and other gadgets to make the service work, limiting its reach for now to all but the very tech-savvy.
But Google’s efforts are significant because they follow other industry moves. Netflix makes its movies available immediately to consumers via a Roku set-top box. Apple introduced a new version of the AppleTV in January that includes TV shows and movies from all major studios. Microsoft already offers movies, in standard definition and hi-def, on its Xbox.
They’re all after the same payoff: the chance to extract more revenue through the digital delivery of content. But cable operators have their own plans for Web-to-TV migration. Comcast offers CBS, Hulu, Viacom, cable networks and other content for free on its Web video portal Fancast.com.
Later this summer, Comcast will offer download-to-own and download-to-rent movies and TV shows on Fancast, a la iTunes. Down the road, Fancast will add features for consumers to bookmark content online to watch later via VOD on the TV.
With both technology companies and traditional TV cable operators competing, innovation is likely to come quickly.
“There is a huge amount of energy being expended to connect broadband to the TV, and there are lots of players interested in making this happen,” said Will Richmond, an industry analyst with VideoNuze.com.
The big unknown is if consumers are interested in these new services and devices. In a study last year, 20% of consumers in homes with advanced services said they thought it was important to watch Web video on the TV, according to Paul Rule, president of Marquest Media & Entertainment Research, which conducted the study.
The number remained the same this year.
“It just seems like the home electronics industry is firing broadsides at the sweet spot in this market and missing it completely,” Mr. Rule said.
They’re missing because the user experience in Web-to-TV devices is lagging.
“It takes a little bit of engineering on the part of the consumer to get the computer near the TV, to find the plug-and-play devices that work,” said Bill Tancer, head of research at online audience measurement firm Hitwise. “It’s not a matter of flipping a switch.”
Other hurdles include how to find programming, formatting content for multiple media, ownership rights disputes, business models and device compatibility, Mr. Richmond said.
“There are a lot of moving pieces to replicate the TV experience,” he said.
Experts agree there won’t be one winning device. In fact, consumers are likely to still choose the device that is best for each task. That means if you want to write, you’ll still use a laptop. If you want to listen to music, you’ll still favor the iPod. If you want to watch TV, you’ll still turn on the TV set, even if that content is coming from Sony or Google or Microsoft, rather than Comcast, Time Warner or DirecTV.
Besides, Web video still needs its “iPhone moment,” said Kaan Yigit, analyst with Solutions Research Group. “[That means] a deal or a very large investment, a new service or a new technology introduction that will capture our imaginations and erase all doubt that the digital future for TV 3.0 is here. We don’t have that yet. What we have are a number of significant initiatives that are pointing in that general direction.”
Written by Ryan Lawler
Monday, July 7. 2008 at 05:45 PM EDT 1 comment
Lehman Brothers analyst Anthony DiClemente issued a downright bearish and depressing report today saying that the advent of digital distribution could crush TV and movie companies.
DiClemente posits that "content may no longer be king," in the face of technological changes that are driving media distribution online. He writes that film and TV businesses are "on the verge of structural changes that appear destined to impact the core revenue and profits of Entertainment business models."
Due to these technological shifts, DiClemente lowered the sector rating to 3-Negative from 2-Neutral. At the same time, the analyst lowered ratings at Walt Disney Co. , News Corp. , Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), and CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS), and lowered the price target of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA).
DiClemente notes that so far, the effect of digital distribution has been relatively small, with DVD sales and rentals falling "only" about 5 percent year-over-year from 2007. But the analyst believes that in the coming years, an accelerated decline for DVD sales is "more likely than not."
What's more, the digital business is nascent enough that it is unlikely to make up for lost packaged media sales in the short term. DiClemente writes:
When we analyze the movie business, we simply have not seen enough evidence that suggests that monetization of digital media can be profitable enough quickly enough to outpace the speed of decline in revenue/profits from traditional forms of media delivery such as ad-supported TV/radio broadcasting and packaged media (i.e., DVD sales).
That's bad news for content owners, particularly large content owners. There's even worse news, though. DiClemente posits that audio and video content is becoming commoditized, and that the entertainment landscape may be flattening or "fragmenting."
As a result, DiClemente writes that "being a mainstream Entertainment content creator and producer may not be as profitable in the long term as it once was for the six largest players in the traditional