We shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that "Downton Abbey," which this season dramatizes the effect of World War I on the aristocratic Crawley family and its retainers, is as good as "Breaking Bad," "Mad Men," "The Wire" or other recent great television series. It's not even in the same league as "Upstairs Downstairs," to which it is frequently compared. "Downton Abbey" is to "Upstairs Downstairs" as "Dallas" is to "Friday Night Lights." One is a serious drama and the other is a romp.
"Average is over," Thomas Friedman wrote last Wednesday in the New York Times, and it may well have been the headline of the week. In sports, politics, business, and the movies, we learned this week -- in case we didn't already know -- that there is no longer room in our world for mediocrity.
Super Bowl weekend is just seven days away -- and with it the true beginning of broadcast's midseason, heralding the arrival of a number of new scripted series that many critics believe to be collectively superior to last fall's freshman class. Specifically, I'm talking about two on NBC -- "Smash" and "Awake" -- and two on ABC -- "The River" and "GCB."
Retention of content is one aspect of engagement. But what exactly is engagement? Good question. The term has been a discussion point in the media industry for at least a decade. But even today it is not easily defined. Nonetheless that has not dissuaded us at CIMM from creating what we believe is an excellent generic definition of engagement -- whether for programming content or ads.
Michael Finn, president of Brightline, has extensive ad sales experience across platforms -- from cable to satellite to iTV. Along the way he developed an expertise in set-top-box data and its value in the sales process. In my interview with him, Michael talks about iTV, addressable advertising and the use of data to make informed advertising decisions. Michael also demonstrates the Brightline platform.
Is Andy Cohen the smartest man working in television? You may not think so, but it's hard to argue otherwise. How many other television executives can you name who host their own nightly talk show on the network that employs them -- a show on which they unapologetically promote their work, their product, and, by extension, their own careers?
CIMM is taking a pro-active role in advancing new media nomenclature and processes with both its Lexicon(terms and definitions associated with Set-Top-Box data measurement) and Asset Identification Primer (glossary of asset terms). These documents form the basis of this column, which offers a common language for Set-Top-Box nomenclature that can expedite the rollout of the data for its many industry applications.
While viewer exposure to a commercial is vital to an advertiser, the recognition, remembrance and resonance of the message is arguably even more important. Here are terms associated with viewer retention and ad retention measurement.
One of the most important media trends of the past 40 years has been the fragmentation of the television audience into niches and sub-categories, to the point where a top-rated show today would barely crack the top ten programs of the 1970s. Pro football has been the one great exception. Year after year, the majority of the most-watched shows are football games, with the Super Bowl the most-watched broadcast of the year.
Today, for the second time in four months, a highly distinctive broadcast television institution that has entertained tens of millions of people for more than four decades will come to an end, cancelled to make room for a cheaper-to-produce reality program, the likes of which can be accessed on a number of basic cable and digital channels at any time.
The ability to accurately measure usage from STB data rests not just on the data but also the content and line-up logs to which the data is matched. There are generally two categories of logs: As Scheduled logs and As Run logs. Scheduling logs are created before the fact and are often used to determine which string of data correctly corresponds to a specific program or advertisement. But changes to the line-up leading up to air are sometimes not reflected in these pre-to-air logs. Did a program actually run at its anticipated scheduled? Was anything pre-empted or moved? That is ...