Given the uproar over that overly aggressive Comcast customer service representative phone call a couple of weeks ago, you may wonder whether other media companies will look for a bit of an overhaul in their consumer service. ou may wonder whether there should be a new wave of customer service staffers at perhaps ABC, CBS, Fox, Facebook, your favorite TV station or your favorite TV show -- who would offer kinder words to media consumers. "How do you like our new fall TV shows, our new social media areas?" one might ask. "Do you have any suggestions?"
More good news for TV distributors: Theatrical movies released in theaters on or about the same time as on video-on-demand are doing decent business in both arenas. But to really work, the movies need to be small-ish independents running under the radar.
Broadcast stations can't complain about the political process in one key regard: Political advertising has been way up and continues to climb. But what is its effectiveness -- "ROI" -- in the long term? Maybe not that much.
Over-the-air networks in Russia just got what would seem to be an even playing field with new-fangled pay networks like Discovery and Disney. That's because Russia has banned advertising on pay channels. If ad dollars now go into the coffers of the traditional networks, Russian marketers can expect higher ad unit prices and CPMs.
Native advertising is good news for digital ad brands, not so much for publishers. What can TV learn from this? To tread even more lightly.
User price increases for digital video? No problem -- for Netflix. The content provider reached 50 million worldwide subscribers in the second quarter, including 36.2 million in the U.S -- despite a price increase some months ago to $9 a month for new customers (its $8 monthly price tag sticks for existing users).
For all the efforts of the digital media companies during the Newfront presentations, what was the ultimate result? Listening to the traditional TV media executives, the upfront market was still a hard road to travel. In Comcast's earning call, Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal, said concerning the recently concluded upfront activities: "Ad agencies decided to be less aggressive... They will show up in scatter. We may be wrong. But that's our analysis....If scatter is strong, this could be a good year for advertising."
Maybe networks need a little more cross-training: more "spartan" racing thinking. Obstacle course racing, in general, is on the rise. Why? Because runners and other athletes can get bored. Some 3 million people participated last year -- up from 50,000 in 2010. If only networks and programs could get the same results. NBCSN, the NBC Sports Network, will show six races of the Reebok Spartan Race series starting July 22. Dirt, grime, sweat, warrior-paint -- and thinking out of the box -- is optional.
Virtually all pre-upfront TV advertising market estimates pointed to lower advertising dollars for the broadcast networks. That was almost a given. But now The Wall Street Journal is reporting what no had one predicted: cable networks' total upfront ad dollars might drop as well, partly due to pullbacks from Procter & Gamble and General Motors.
Action, scene... and cut! Microsoft now realizes that participating in the TV game isn't its thing. In the middle of some 18,000 worth of layoffs for the company comes the news that Xbox Entertainment Studios, headed by long-time CBS president Nancy Tellem, will be dissolved. T