At last June's D8 Conference, Steve Jobs made some astute remarks about the TV industry's seemingly insurmountable roadblocks to innovation. Critics and fans alike posited that Jobs was posing as a decoy, while Apple geared up for a sneak attack into the TV space.
I've always been fascinated by the principle of inertia. The word sounds passive -- but inertia is actually very elegant. In 1687 Sir Isaac Newton defined it as "a power of resisting, by which every body endeavors to preserve its present state, whether it be of rest or of moving forward in a straight line." From Galileo we learned that we really couldn't tell the difference between a body at rest and one in motion without an outside reference to compare it against. So from several really smart guys we learned that one of the principal laws of the universe ...
The television advertising measurement system has been broken for a long time. Television remains the biggest ad bucket around, at more than $70 billion, yet there's never been a way for advertisers to measure the effectiveness of their ads outside of survey work and econometric modeling. TUntil fairly recently, all any marketer had to go on was a hope and a prayer, tied to an age- and sex-driven demographic segment. We've suspected those demos to be obsolete for a while now. But it wasn't until this week that CBS Research head David Poltrack confirmed the industry's worst fears.
But since I can't totally ignore March Madness, due to its ever-present availability -- with every game to be seen on CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV -- I decided that I needed to embrace the platform and see how it could be adapted to other regular broadcasting. Outside of perhaps Butler, truTV has had the most upside from the tournament than anyone. Its shared coverage of games has been the biggest ratings draw in the network's history. That got me thinking: What other networks could benefit from a similar content partnership?
Jo Holz is one of the leading researchers in the industry today. In addition to her work at NBC, Children's Television Workshop, iN DEMAND, and Oxygen, she is currently SVP, Client Research Initiatives at Nielsen. In her 30+ years in media research, Jo has experienced firsthand the great shift in the television landscape, from broadcast to cable to VOD.
As the Advertising Research Foundation opens its 75th Anniversary Annual Convention this week, it is fitting to take another look at the discipline of research and measurement in the context of today's vastly changed MediaTech environment. And guess what? It's sexy. It's hot, it's where creative thinking is required and is being applied to address the issues vexing CMOs and their agencies all over town. Really?
Last week I attended a Roundtable Breakfast at the Paley Center with Google's Marissa Mayer. She mentioned a content-recommendation study at Carnegie Mellon that piqued my interest. The project, dubbed Elvis, had found that collaborative filtering -- aka recommendations -- is most effective and most interesting when it relies not on a largest-possible sample of participants, but on a midsize sample that allows for serendipity.
Rob Frydlewicz is best known as a veteran agency researcher at agencies such as NWAyer, FCB and Carat. And now he has expanded his skill base to include social media and blogging. Rob is part of a blog network that consists of several media executives who write on a variety of pop culture subjects. In this interview, Rob talks about his blogging experiences, what he sees as trends in the social media landscape and the future of blogging as a media communications form.
We could fill up several columns with definitions that apply to the concept of digital media, technology and platforms. Continuing on the Digital theme of last week, this week we focus more on the digital transmission platforms that contribute to Set-Top Box data origination.
The virtual pages of the TV Board blog are used, from time to time, to define some of the phrases and terms unique or germane to the TV industry. Rarely, however, are these brief tutorials potentially lifesaving. Today might be different, as we discuss a phenomenon known as the "normalcy bias."