Posts Tagged ‘cable’


In PR and the Media: April 17, 2012

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

A daily round-up of what’s trending in PR and the Media.

1. Hulu Plus hits 2 Million Subscribers, report says ”Hulu Plus had about 1.5 million subscribers in January, and has been averaging about 1 million new subscribers each year. That figure appears to be on the rise.” (CNET)

 

2. Copyright conundrum in Oracle-Google case: Is a computer language fair game? ”The final outcome of Oracle-Google trial will determine whether computer programming languages are subject to copyright law.” (CNET)

 

3. NYC Pressures Omnicom For Workplace Diversity “The city’s Office of the Comptroller has asked four holding companies — Omnicom, Interpublic Group, WPP and Publicis — to publicly disclose detailed submissions required by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to show just how diverse — or not — their workforces are.” (MediaPost)

 

4. U.S. Consumers Receptive to Social Media Appearing on Their TV Screens, According to Accenture Study ”Social media is showing signs of connecting with TV viewers as nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. consumers surveyed recall seeing social media symbols such as Facebook “Likes” while watching television, according to an Accenture study.” (MarketWatch)

 

5. NAB: Adobe Study Shows High Online Ad Engagement ”Completion rates for mid-roll online ads climb to 87% in second half of 2011.” (Broadcast and Cable)

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Pretty soon you won’t be able to tell the difference between Fox and Hulu, HBO and Netflix, or CNN and YouTube.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

sneetchesThe recent jockeying for position and struggle to find an identity within the crowded and competitive world of network, cable, streaming video, and online television reminds me of one of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories, The Sneetches. The Sneetches were a group of yellow creatures, some with green stars on their bellies (a sign of distinction) and some without, until a character named Sylvester McMonkey McBean offers those without stars a chance to add them by going through his Star-On machine. In order to stay special the Sneetches formerly with stars happily pay the money to have them removed in his Star-Off machine. Ultimately this escalates, with the Sneetches running from one machine to the next, and to quote the good Doctor,

“until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew whether this one was that one… or that one was this one or which one was what one… or what one was who.”

The last few month, the news out of the “television” world has been very Seuss-like to say the least:

At this year’s winter TV press tour Kevin Reilly, entertainment president, Fox Broadcasting Company, revealed that his network plans to use web content as a development tool for the airwaves. “Something that starts in digital could be the next big primetime hit… We have an expertise, and a history, and proficiency, and a primetime audience base,” he confirms in this Atlantic.com article about 5 Ways the Networks Want to Change How You Watch TV. Reilly goes on to use Web Therapy starring Lisa Kudrow (of Friends fame) as one example of a web-only series that has successfully made the switch and is now aired on Showtime.

In an effort to kick start their declining subscription base, Netflix is beginning to act more like a network rather than your average streaming video provider. By jumping into the original programming waters, Netflix plans to release three new series in 2012 – starting with Lilyhammer, a crime comedy set in Norway’s former Winter Olympics headquarters, starring The Soprano’s Steven Van Zandt. Not to be outdone and fresh off a year where they realized 60 percent revenue growth in 2011, the web streaming service Hulu is launching its first ever original scripted series. Battleground, a mockumentary series described as “The Office meets The West Wing, premieres February 14, explains, this opinion brief on TheWeek.com.

And remember when YouTube was just a site where you could watch short clips of people doing funny and unusual things? Well, last week Reuters joined CNN and the BBC by unveiling its own channel to be shown on the popular video sharing site. The channels will show original content from Reuters on YouTube, which will allow them to leverage an army of over 3,000 reporters worldwide.

I doubt all the players involved with getting content to the masses will end up in blissful harmony like our friends the Sneetches, but it should be fun watching them run from one machine to the next having their green stars removed and re-added over again.

What are your thoughts? Please share them with me here on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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Google Reinvents TV: YouTube Ad-Supported ‘Channels’ Bring Internet Television Closer to Reality

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
WordPress Image: SierraAshley
WordPress Image: SierraAshley

How much exposure does one person need? I have my own Facebook page to post personal updates and photos and my own Twitter handle to speak my mind in “real time” — so why not a 24-hour “TV” channel, aka “The Harry Grapenthin Channel,” dedicated to my content (or lack thereof)?

As frightening and ridiculous as this sounds, Google continues to work hard at making this a reality (no pun intended). Rewriting the rules of television, Google has made it vividly clear how it intends to pursue its piece of the TV advertising pie. As a follow up to Google TV, the search engine giant recently announced it will be offering a software package that allows you to search the Internet for interesting things to watch and plans to launch 100 new advertising supported “channels” for its YouTube online video service, confirms The Economist. (Madonna, Shaquille O’Neill, and Jay-Z are some of many celebs already signed up to provide professional content). Just when we thought there were too many channels on cable TV, a channel per person or topic could mean millions more popping up on the Internet.

But what about live sports you ask? Google has that covered too. In fact, last month Google dipped its toes in the “live sports” waters for the first time when it announced the future launch of seven sports channels, including one that will feature programming from Major League Soccer. “What you’re seeing is a bit of a tip of the iceberg, explains Brian Bedol, a cable industry veteran who founded Classic Sports Television in 1995, in this Sports Business Daily article. “This is where the young male demographic gets more and more of its entertainment. If you’re in sports, you need to be looking at how you’re delivering sports over the Internet.”

Whether we get our television from networks, cable providers, satellite providers, online providers or “fill in the blank” – one thing remains the same, television content, as we know it today, continues to be in high demand and still commands huge advertising dollars … whether this continues remains to be seen. However, Google is betting that it does.

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Marketing through Product Placement in Media/Entertainment Offers No Escape for Consumers

Friday, May 20th, 2011
Flickr Image: Laughing Squid

Flickr Image: Laughing Squid

Most of us escape to some form of entertainment as a way to relax from life’s stresses, whether it’s rocking to our favorite songs or losing ourselves in a movie. However, as we are listening or watching we are constantly being exposed to marketing and advertising in subtle and sometimes not so subtle doses, through clever product placement. It’s everywhere, in every form of media and entertainment. Brands are trying desperately to keep up with the newly empowered consumers of 2011. We are cutting our cable chords (canceling cable in favor of Internet access to content), DVR’ing shows to skip commercials, and having manhandled the music industry for the past decade – using peer-to-peer networks to illegally download songs.

The music industry has a few things up their sleeves to make some extra dough. In the last decade, they’ve began experimenting with the idea of product placement in lyrics to the tune of $30 million. We all remember the Busta Rhymes and P Diddys jingle, err song, called “Pass The Courvoisier,” released after Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records cut a deal with the cognac’s marketer to reposition the brand in the hip hop community.

The movie industry has been using product placement since silent films. Last month Warrior Poets, Morgan Spurlock’s production company, and incidentally a BurrellesLuce client (an obvious plug) released a movie on this very subject, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.” Spurlock’s latest work is a documentary that takes a comical view while exploring the world of product placement, marketing and advertising. Incidentally the film was fully financed through product placement from various brands, all of which are integrated transparently into the film.

In my view, the product integration model seems to be marketers only recourse. After all what choice did we, the consumer, leave them – especially with the younger generation turning increasingly to the web for their content and worldwide device?  Gartner Group announced earlier this week that worldwide communication device sales totaled 427.8 million units in the first quarter, an increase of 19 percent from first quarter 2010, with smart phones accounting for 23 percent, an 85 percent increase year-on- year.

 I don’t mind a product placement or two in my content, after all products and brands are a big part of our everyday lives. But I have one request for the marketers and advertisers, and let’s call it “for the sake of preserving escapism through entertainment,” can you please keep your placements subtle to the viewer? At least in the movie Castaway, although the FedEx brand was overly exploited, it was brilliantly woven into the plot, which I found to be less invasive and manipulative. Now I’m not saying that I’ve used FedEx more as a result of watching the Castaway, forget it….. come to think of it I actually have.

Have you been sold on product placement in films and music? How are you using these placements in your own marketing, advertising, and communications activities? Please share your thoughts we me and readers Fresh Ideas.

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FCC approves $30 Billion NBC – Comcast deal…with many strings attached

Friday, January 21st, 2011
Image Source: IWatchStuff.com

Image Source: IWatchStuff.com

The Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department approved a pending $30 billion joint venture which allows Comcast to own 51 percent of NBC Universal. The approval comes 13 months after the two sides announced their plan to merge one of the nation’s largest cable and internet operators with a broadcaster whose assets include NBC and Telemundo, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and Universal Pictures. Comcast controls 24 percent of the nation’s cable subscribers and NBC owns 12 percent of what is viewed on television. A match made in heaven? Not so fast… Over the last year this deal was met with heavy opposition from consumer advocate groups who argued consumers would have less influence over the newly formed company while online distributors worried about the possibility of having to pay a premium for NBC’s content, which would be controlled by one of their largest competitors in the distribution space. (Source: LA Times Blog, Entertainment News Buzz, January 2011.)

On paper this looks like an unstoppable combination in the making, and could potentially open the door for similar deals between content providers and cable and online providers. Although some were successful and some flopped, this is not the first time we’ve seen this type of marriage before – CBS/Viacom, AOL/Time Warner, Time Warner/Turner. With Comcast controlling NBC’s network and cable shows as well as their movies, it would seem their 15 million subscription base would be the perfect captive audience to view their content with competing cable and online providers forced to pay a kings ransom for the rights to their shows and movies. The FCC, however, put conditions on the deal to prevent any funny business with the hopes of maintaining as much “net neutrality” as possible.

One of the conditions requires Comcast to make its content available to all rival cable and satellite distributors as well as online distributors, and has to offer it’s content for the same price to everyone. They are also required to sell their internet service as a standalone service – this is significant since online distributors (Netflix) gives you the ability to access content without a cable subscription but requires internet service. The FCC is also asking Comcast to relinquish its day-to-day control of their online site HULU, allowing them to maintain an ownership stake but stripping them of any voting rights or the ability to suddenly make content unavailable from the site. (Source: Reuters, January, 18, 2011.)

So before everybody bows down to this newly formed Media behemoth, let’s remember… a lot has changed over the last 13 months since their initial announcement, and the conditions put on the new merger by the FCC (if enforced) will help neutralize any abuses of power. The consumer now has more options with the rise of online providers (Netflix, Google, and Apple TV) and will ultimately choose their services based on the quality of the entertainment, not the amount of channels offered or where the channel falls on the dial.

The pressure now falls squarely on the shoulders of NBC Universal. Without quality content from NBC, Comcast will quickly begin to wonder why they paid all of that money and went through all of the trouble of diversifying their business. The competition is sure to be fierce between cable and online providers; content providers will continue to fight for better licensing agreements for their content and in the end consumers will also have to ask themselves… is it all worth it?

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