With today's rapidly-changing and ever-evolving digital landscape, buyers and planners have their work cut out for them probably more than at anytime in the history of electronic media. DVR penetration today is at 18% nationally and Jupiter Research says that by 2010, 50 million American households will be ruled by TiVo and other DVR devices. To their client's growing ad-zapping fears, many agencies have compensated by shifting some of their buys away from so-called "traditional" media and instead putting a heavy focus on alternative platforms such as broadband and video-on-demand. However, from a ROI standpoint, these buys are leaving significant ...
I know I'm not the first to point out the sometimes amazing similarities between politics and reality TV, but as the election season (pre-election season?) drags on, that similarity becomes even more marked. For example, look at the multitude of candidates for each party's nomination -- so many that the whole affair currently feels like the audition rounds of "American Idol" or maybe the opening rounds of "Survivor" or "Big Brother," with the obligatory "like-me" positioning of all involved; and the caution against too much back-biting that slips away as territory becomes marked out and threats emerge.
At the close of September, The Wall Street Journal published an article about the cable systems operators' best-kept secret, Project Canoe. The article stated that the industry effort led by Comcast and Time Warner reflected the operators' recognition that they're all in the same boat -- a canoe per chance -- and must standardize the interactive technology in the thousands of cable systems throughout the country -- the paddle metaphor, we imagine -- in order to garner a greater share of the national ad dollars, the current(cy) "that flows almost exclusively to TV networks."
What's most fascinating about the Writers Guild of America strike is that most in the industry who are not closely aligned with one side or the other don't have strong opinions on who's right and who's wrong. Most strikes that I recall - and there aren't any in recent memory - polarized huge segments of society. Auto workers. Flight controllers. Baseball players. If you recall these strikes, you can probably recall whose side you were on.
As the industry focuses on commercial ratings, a series of research initiatives have been done that shed light on viewer behaviors in and out of pods. Some of the preliminary conclusions are eye-opening and challenge commonly held industry beliefs.
The game changed on Oct. 16. And Madison Ave -- you've lost. Before it was even particularly clear there was an arms race going on, the consumer won. Democratized Media has surpassed Mass Media.
Last week I attended a meeting with Shari Anne Brill (Carat senior vice president, research) hosted by Anne Drake, (vice president, TNS Media Research). The purpose of the gathering was to discuss TNS's InfoSys media applications. But for those of us in the industry who know Shari Anne, the topic quickly channeled to her most pressing issue: the impending writers' strike.
Sorry I have to make this very short, but I will try and at least make it sweet. And while I won't directly comment on the strike that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. today, Nov. 5, I will say this: This move does not translate into open season on the Internet.
Hulu launches. Radiohead sales soar. Google stock passes $700 as the foundations of the economy slowly crumble. The Philo Farnsworth (inventor of television) story is memorialized in a must-see Broadway play, "The Farnsworth Invention," written by Aaron Sorkin. It's just the tip of the news iceberg for the media industry, but it's what stands out to me. It's been a good week.
Typically, we discuss the future of television on these pages. Today, I'd like to recognize an important part of its past. Or, I should say, a part of its passing. The death notice came quietly the other day, and it took the form of a Nielsen communiqué that nonchalantly informed clients it would cease collecting and reporting data on television remote controls at the end of this year.