I was having a discussion about ad-supported video-on-demand with a group of interactive television enthusiasts last week. We all agreed to come up with a list of what we thought were the key reasons or impediments to advertiser engagement of video on demand and interactive TV applications in general. The creator of the least insightful list would have to foot the bill when next we lunched. I figured, though admittedly unfairly, that I would use my perch on TV Board, to ask those of you who read my stuff to please share your thoughts so that my list will be ...
Katie Couric is the anchor of the CBS Evening News. Most Americans don't even know who the anchors are of the other major network newscasts. CNN is becoming an also-ran to Fox News. The Wall Street Journal is about to be acquired by Rupert Murdoch. And some not-so-insane people feel The New York Times ultimately may not make the transition to digital from print. This is the state of the Fourth Estate. The powers that have been are all on the verge of becoming has-beens. But for now, we interrupt this rant for some breaking news, on, well, television news: ...
If you love television, you owe a debt of gratitude to America's advertisers, their media agencies and most of all, to the broadcast and cable networks. Against all odds, these groups agreed during the past weeks to sustain the multi-billion dollar investment that is required to keep the television engine running.
Imagine a world where a large portion of households -- say 25 million -- realized that their every remote-control click counted. Supplemented by the connectivity of the Internet, blogs and chat rooms, we would quickly see home-grown, effective campaigns led by TV viewers who will unite to orchestrate "synchronized surfing." Dont like Barry Bonds or Paris Hilton -- the remote-control "click" can deliver a louder message, overnight, without the cost of shipping!
I am struck by how the rich data sets generated by digital set-top boxes will take us to new levels of understanding with regard to how people actually view TV. And also, how many questions are left unanswered by such an admittedly huge leap in our knowledge. For openers, there is the bewildering number of ways in which TV content can potentially be consumed.
In my opinion, present-day media pundits have no idea of how people view TV in our evolving world of digital acronymed television platforms, services and advertising applications i.e., DVRs, IPG (interactive program guide), VOD, RFI (request for interactions), to name the most recognizable. If the media community understood how viewers utilized the aforementioned TV viewing services, and in which combinations, we would be in better shape to evolve more meaningful advertising applications.
NBC's push into retail media is smart and forward-thinking, and shows the Peacock network wisely recognizes that the future of television isn't just about broadcast, cable, satellite or even broadband TV. It's about anyplace a viewer -- or an advertiser -- find TV content relevant, even if that happens to be inside a local store. The question is whether it will learn from its past. That's right, NBC's deal with Premiere Retail Networks isn't the first time it's ruffled its feathers in the retail media space.
What is the news during a week when there is no major news? What occupies the TV tabloids, the late-night talk hosts, and the major news programs? Do you ever feel like we all sit on the edge of our lounge chairs just waiting for the next news shoe to drop? When the East Side of Manhattan implodes, is there a collective sigh of relief in newsrooms? "Thank God! There's a story!" When it turns out to be a steam pipe explosion, can you almost sense shoulders slumping as news producers realize the story has no legs?
You know how it goes. "Old media just doesn't GET IT." You probably heard it in your last meeting, or last industry "bloviation" conference extravaganza. This chorus has been repeating itself more than an arpeggio in a Philip Glass opera. It has become so redundant and been around for so long that the media landscape around the argument itself has changed dramatically. The only people who still seem to be chanting this chorus are dogmatic new-media types who may not have noticed that someone has moved their "it."
When the subject of news is featured on the TV Board, it is almost inevitably in the context of a negative commentary -- generally referencing obsessions with trivia, lapses in judgment and so on. This piece goes against the trend, inasmuch as I want to focus on something that I think is innovative, a little bit brave and that just might even go so far as to benefit society (after that last bit I'm sure some of you will think I'm off the medication). Alarmingly, the subject of my interest is one of the news majors -- namely, CNN.