I recently received a customer service call from a local retailer advising me that my order was available for pick-up. It was an automated call. After a few mandatory responses from me ("press 1 now"), the robot -like voice signed off with "thank you for being a valued customer." As I hung up the phone I thought, did that experience make me feel better about my relationship with the store, or did the very nature of it have a different and unintended effect? (Note: it had a different and unintended effect.)
  • TV Audience Ratings: Less And Less Relevant for Advertisers
    With the National Television Upfront presentations for the 2011/2012 season completed, it's a good time to ask what TV audience ratings really mean for advertisers today.
  • Farewell, Oprah. R.I.P., Daytime TV
    n terms of regularly scheduled daily broadcast programming, Oprah Winfrey's prolonged swan song this week was the biggest event in daytime television since the wedding of Luke and Laura on "General Hospital" way back in 1981. Sadly, given the forces currently at work to marginalize this once robust and highly profitable day-part, it is the last such event we are ever likely to see.
  • Set-Top-Box Lexicon: More on Content Forensics - Fingerprints and Signatures
    Continuing with last week's column on Watermarks (Set-Top-Box Lexicon: Watermarking) we now focus on other forms of content identification - Fingerprinting and Signatures. According to the CIMM Asset Identification Primer, Fingerprinting differs from a watermark in that fingerprinting does not add any new information to the content. It merely uses the asset's current features and characterisitcs to create a prototype identification that can then be compared to other content fingerprints on file in a reference database to see if there is a match. Here are the terms associated with content identification in its many forms:
  • Media Insights Q&A With Bill Harvey
    Bill Harvey, Co-Founder, Vice Chairman and CRO of TRA, has helped that company create a new type of buying measurement using STB data and custom databases. Bill has had an illustrious career in some of the biggest ad agencies in the industry and has written extensively about advertising, privacy and research policy. In my interview with him, Bill talks about his background, the ad agency world and TRA and how it uses Set Top Box data.
  • On Leadership
    I have the privilege to teach graduate students at one of New York's fine educational institutions. I say privilege because one of our fundamental classroom principles is that the students and "teacher" have a responsibility to each other over the course of the semester. Each of us has to learn from the experience. Over the semester we cover finance and marketing, ethics and management. There is one topic however, that brings engagement and the phrase "lean forward" to real life. The topic is leadershi
  • Coaching, Courage & TV Advertising
    As you may know by now, readers, I am a lifelong hoops player and fan. So you won't be surprised to learn how much I enjoyed the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Court of Honor Foundation gala last week, which honored Nike Chairman and Co-Founder Phil Knight. At the risk of sounding like a little kid, it was one heck of an enchanted evening, blending my passions for basketball, media, and accountability.
  • Two Cheers For 'Glee'
    Has there ever been a more exasperating TV show than "Glee"? This is a program with the potential to be one of the most memorable TV series of all time, one that reaches powerful, throat-tightening heights, yet it keeps undermining itself with dumb plotting and inconsistent character motivation.
  • NBC And Fox Maximize The Value Of Traditional Upfront Events
    Last Sunday, as I was thinking about the week to come, I found myself wondering if there was still any point to traditional broadcast upfront presentations. I felt this way because of the unprecedented amount of information about the networks' new series and scheduling plans that had gushed forth online last week, some of it put into play by the networks themselves, the rest by involved parties interested in stirring the pot.
  • Set-Top-Box Lexicon: Watermarking
    Unique identifying code is vitally important in a variety of fields, whether to prevent theft or, in the case of media, for example, copyright infringement. The watermark that is embedded into content after its point of creation has to be permanent, imperceptible, standardize-able and constant -- capable of withstanding changes or modifications in that content over time.
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