This year, analysts expect U.S. notebook sales to exceed desktop sales for the first time, while worldwide cross-over is expected in 2009, with over 125 million portable units sold annually.The 12"-17" inch notebook screens and the 3"-5" inch phone screens are increasingly joining the 42"-65" inch HD TV screens to form the emerging TV playback universe. We call this the New TV Ecosystem (NTE). Of particular note is the fact that all of these screen formats -- mini, mid and large -- are increasingly connected to large amounts of cheap local storage and networked to the Internet.
What happens when a can't-miss, sure-fire, hit-making band releases an album that simply doesn't deliver? As an example, let's use The Rolling Stones, a band with a rich catalog containing over 20+ albums, the majority of which reached platinum or multi-platinum status. Let's just say by some freak accident, The Stones released an album without any resonating quality to it, with resonance being measured by record sales, critical acclaim and fan fervor. If we replace the band with an already established brand, and replace the record release with a campaign launch, what happens when the campaign is off the mark?
Back in the day, video game consoles were hooked up to television sets, or played via floppy disks in school computer lounges (Oregon Trail anyone?). What if Super Mario and Luigi stopped mid-game and let products be schlepped to us en route to finding the princess? If it meant playing for free, of course we would have watched. Think about how addicting it was to make it to the next level. Today, marketers can leverage that engagement by taking their message to the casual gaming space.
There are many companies working feverishly to figure out the best way to monetize online video in its current state and over the long term. Over the past month, there has been an interesting development in the online video space that shows where some think the key lies. I call it "cool by association." Let's look at it more closely.
It was the brand manager of a large package goods company that asked the question: "Why does a second of production cost the same whether anybody watches or not?" The agency producer who was dining with us, slowly put down her glass of wine and looked at me for help. As if somehow I would have a better answer than she.
Viewing habits? Well, we don't need no stinkin' viewing habits, because the chances of us getting any data that's meaningful are getting slimmer each day. What do we know? Well, we know that the percentage of viewers of domestic prime-time programming declined overall in Q1. Pure and simple. Declined.
Digital video comes in many forms today that look and feel different than just one or two years ago, let alone 5+ years ago, or since broadband penetration reached critical mass and allowed consumers to regularly consume video content in online environments; it will likely look even more different in the next 12-18 months and beyond.
There is a famous Tinseltown quote often attributed to comedian Red Skeleton about the well-attended 1958 funeral of Harry Cohn, the tyrant president of Columbia Pictures. Skeleton said "Give the people what they want to see and they'll come out for it." The sentiment is also an axiom for most businesses. When you provide a quality product or service that people truly want, and offer it at the right price, success is a much easier fish to catch. The last pieces of the success puzzle, of course, are that people need to be aware of the product and have warm …
This year's upfront selling season seems to have come with its own wrinkles that haven't exactly continued the pattern of the past few. Instead of the continual devolvement and advertiser mutiny that we've seen in the past couple of years, what seems to have occurred is exactly the opposite -- advertisers returning to spend upfront dollars, despite continued network ratings declines and further ad skippage.
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