• Reading The TV Leaves
    ABC would have us believe a Geena Davis feminist would be our modern-day president. Fox's 24 had us imagining Dennis Haysbert epitomized the first African-American president. By reading the TV leaves, I think they both got it wrong....
  • The Primitive Screen
    Bearing in mind its overwhelming dominance in our daily media lives, it's kind of ironic that in these days of cross-media, interactive, personalized and socially networked media, the TV remains the most primitive of all screens available to us. While TV continues to take the lion's share of our time with all media (and of all screen-based media); while it continues to take the lion's share of revenues and capital investment; and while it retains a deeply embedded position in our culture as reference point and provider of information and entertainment, the extent of true innovation in the medium over …
  • Nielsen's STB RFP, Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart' & Machiavelli's 'Prince'
    Last week, Nielsen Media Research, as underwriter of the Council for Research Excellence (38 clients of NMR plus two representatives of Nielsen), initiated an RFP (request for proposals): "The Set Top Box and Audience Research: The State of the Art." The 'excerpted' purpose...
  • Why Aren't Advertisers Screaming For Addressable Advertising?
    While the jury is still out on the technology, addressability promises to deliver content where and when advertisers desire. Addressable creative will require more thought, more planning, a robust knowledge of the target audience and arguably larger budgets, but advertisers and their agencies seem intrigued by the gains in efficiency. So, then, why aren't more advertisers calling for trials?
  • Now What?
    Now I say this up front -- this week's article isn't about ad metrics, ad-buys, CPMs, technologies that syndicate in or out, or anything else that occupies our daily professional lives. This is about how television showed us history in the making and how film is now able to remind us of those moments and to shed light on a powerful story that was buried in a video camera.
  • The Continual Forging Of The Fellowship Of The Digital Rings
    National Cable Communications (NCC), the nation's largest spot cable advertising representation firm -- and owned by the country's largest cable systems operators -- has been retained by satcaster DirecTV to take over national spot sales for regional sports networks carried on DTV in nine markets, as well as melding those DTV carried networks into cable interconnects in said markets. Mortal enemies -- just listen to the consumer acquisition campaigns -- uniting in common cause to sell more commercial inventory in a difficult, increasingly fragmented market. Sound familiar.
  • Question: Should You Invest In The Long Tail? Answer: Not Really
    As many of you know, I have never been one to pay heed to the latest and greatest pop-business theories. So when I came across an article in the July/August Harvard Business Review, "Should You Invest in the Long Tail?" by Anita Elberse, I was very intrigued. Elberse's findings indicate that, thankfully, "It would be imprudent for companies to upend traditional practice and focus on the demand for obscure products. The data show that it is difficult to profit from the long tail."
  • Despite Tremendous Progress, Addressable Advertising Hurdles Remain
    Five years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a number of talented researchers in the analysis of data obtained from one of the early addressable television advertising field trials. One thing that became clear early on was that addressability affected channel surfing. By examining how a set-top box typically behaved during non-targeted commercial breaks we could establish a commercial-tuning baseline. We then compared tuning behavior during addressable commercials and saw significant deviations from the baseline.
  • Modern Media Times
    For today's offering I am going to borrow heavily from a colleague who sent an email over the weekend after being struck (forcibly, it seems) by the realization that he was at the epicenter of a volume and variety of media use and exposure that he had not previously appreciated. Working with some of the data collected through our observational research methods has undoubtedly heightened his awareness of media use, but what is remarkable about his account is the sheer array of behaviors on show in the account that follows -- video, audio, portable and time-shifted media, GPS, email, IM, …
  • Ruminating About The Cable Industry
    While attending an industry gathering last week, myself and a few colleagues were asked to muse on the challenging times ahead for the various pay TV platforms. My assignment: cable industry ruminations. In my opinion, the cable industry is facing more competitive threats than ever, challenging its dominion over the pay TV universe.
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