Despite trends to the contrary, some media futurists believe media hardware and software might be free to consumers down the road -- as long as key marketers can hit them with a few messages from time to time. Make that a lot of the time.
Katie Couric is leaving ABC News in what is seemingly a groundbreaking decision to become Yahoo's "global anchor." Sounds like a big job. But will that be enough to make Yahoo more top of mind? I give you four words: Dan Rather and HDNet.
Tell local TV viewers that your content is more valuable than they knew, and they'll believe they have to pay for it. WCPO, an E.W. Scripps station in Cincinnati, making an unprecedented move to start a digital website paywall, is kind of rebelling against what I had assumed was the universal stance of TV stations: to provide website content for free. Don't worry, local Cincinnati viewers-- you'll still be able to get crucial news, weather and information free. But "premium" content? That's another story.
You take the good with the bad when it comes to branded entertainment and sponsorship. When the bad comes, it doesn't hurt if there's comedy involved. Will Ferrell, playing his Ron Burgundy character on TBS' "Conan," was asked about a 59% rise in sales for the Dodge Durango SUV. "Pretty incredible, pretty amazing," he said. "What's so amazing about it is it's a terrible car." Big studio laughter followed. Then he said, "I'm kidding, they are great." But he next shook his head "no" for the camera. More laughter all around.
Marketers now spend so much effort looking for any kernel of somewhat personal information --on the slight off chance of grabbing some possible return on consumer investment. That makes digital media run better. But it doesn't work for everyone. For example, what happens when unsold inventory from a popular music site goes to a mobile ad network, which then grabs calendar information from users?
Big sports gain a lot from TV networks -- mostly from broadcast networks. In 2011, the NFL signed deals with NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN amounting to $42 billion in revenue. But Aereo -- the company that delivers over-the-air signals to consumers without paying the broadcast networks -- could throw a massive wrench into the works. Aereo has been perceived as a threat to broadcast networks and stations. Now sports franchises recognize that Aereo could jeopardize their financial business model as well. Thus both the NFL and Major League Baseball have recently filed friend of the court briefs in support …
Well, now we know why Comcast was in no rush to put Netflix on its set-top boxes -- because Comcast was thinking about starting its own streaming movie service. Of course, this wouldn't preclude Comcast from also including Netflix on its boxes down the line so that it could be all-inclusive.
Networks have no problem connecting with viewers emotionally and otherwise when it comes to their programming. But what do consumers think of the individual retail prices for Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC and CW? I'll help you out: Except for perhaps a small number of astute viewers with inside business connections, they think about it very little.
Forced to watch some commercials, but allowed to fast-forward through others? That could be the future for all things video.
Digital video advertising still takes its key from traditional media players. This is especially true for digital independent advertising video players. Bill Day, president/chief executive officer of Tremor Video, took great pains to offer an explanation about why his company's sales projections were so much off that Tremor's stock price, and that of other related companies, took a major hit on Monday.