Sunday, February 28, 2010

Advanced Television: The Future Is... Coming

My client base, let alone my collection of personal interests, is, well, diverse. I work on the media/entertainment/publisher side, the agency side, and the marketer side. To keep up with all of this - and because I love them - I attend a lot of conferences, panels, programs, webinars, etc. And it is quite fascinating to note the differences - not so much in the content of the talks but the culture of the organizations and communities.

Three weeks ago, I attended six days of non-stop social media events. The attendees at each stop on this massive media crawl uniformly carried Apple laptops and at least one Smart Phone - typically iPhone or Droid. They all had blogs and Twitter accounts, and most - it seemed - had Foursquare and/or Gowalla personas.

Fast forward to an event on February 22nd sponsored by Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable. The topic, Advanced Television: The Future is Now. Well, when, after checking my coat, I circled back to find out whether I needed a wifi password and whether there was a Twitter hashtag, I realized I wasn't in Silicon Alley anymore. The answers: no wifi and what is a hash tag? Ok...

I took my seat and booted up my nifty MacBook Air. Around me... a few PC laptops. Gosh they looked heavy - even the portable ones. I checked into Foursquare. One other person within the Roosevelt Hotel was there. I suspect he was not at this event. Ok...

And finally, the attire of those around me - not jeans and sneakers - which I would not wear anyway - but... suits and ties. Well, after all, there were a lot of ad salespeople, business development folks and senior executives, so that's no surprise.

So, putting aside all these cultural observations, what did I learn in school today. Well, to start, as you would expect, different cable/satellite operators are at different phases in their adoption of advanced technology. The leaders - as far as panelists - Cablevision and DirecTV - though Time Warner Cable's sizzle reel was far and away the best, highlighting some very nice consumer offerings and interfaces including its highly touted "start over" function and an expansive VOD library. A point of commonality. Digital. 94% of Cablevision's subscription base has digital cable, and all of DirecTV's base (by definition of it's being satellite) is digital. A digital footprint allows you to do cool things.

So, what is Cablevision doing? A number of cool things. Some of it with Seth Haberman's company Visible World. You may have read about their foray into addressable television over a year ago. It sounds like that, or at least part of that, was for Cablevision itself. Not a bad idea - test it out on yourself. And, also, a good test subject because they knew so much about their subscription base and were able to segment them by product line, e.g., TV only, Triple Play, TV and broadband, etc. Well, it sounds like the testing went well because they are rolling it out to other clients. The key statistic, if I understood it correctly was that consumers who were served targeted ads were 32% (i.e., one-third) less likely to turn away from the ad. Well, that makes sense and is quite a nice stat. Of course, I'm all in favor of relevant advertising. Even magazines get that concept. But, I wander.

So, consumers like this stuff. In a recent Forrester/ANA study, 78% of advertisers said they want to target better. However... only 59% said they were willing to pay a premium for it. Sound familiar? Think behavioral advertising. One explanation came from Seth Haberman. First, he was curious to know who the 22% were who did not want to target better! Secondly, he pointed out that media buyers are trained to say, "I want to spend less." It's like a reflexive response. They have no control.

So, Cablevision's next foray is with Pillsbury (my client!) and Zenith (a wonderful agency to work with - particularly my key points of contact Neil and Colleen). They are creating a dedicated Pillsbury VOD (video-on-demand) channel in the Cablevision footprint. It will be paired with "Power 30s" (I believe Barry Frey said he had copyrighted that phrase), 30 second ads that are tagged to bring people to the VOD channel. But, now we're getting technical.

So (big fan of the word "so' today), what were some of the key takeaways:

(1) It's not their fault. Television is a large, capital intensive, fragmented (albeit a number of big cable & satellite provider fragmented) industry. To accomplish any advanced television initiative, you need a cable, satellite or telco operator; an advertiser and a technology partner at a minimum. There are a lot of different platforms and technologies and ideas and tests and legacy systems out there. It's not easy to move that ship.

Contrast this with Dennis Crowley's simple little iPhone app. An iPhone app can be created for as little as a few thousand dollars. Even a $100,000 app is nothing compared to the television industry. Even $1 billion in online video advertising is less than 1.5% of TV ad dollars.

(Forrester estimates $40 billion in broadcast and $30 billion in cable TV ad sales in 2010 - January 15, 2010. Mediabrands' Magna division estimated that online video advertising will reach $1 billion by 2011 - MediaPost, April 27, 2009)

(2) As a point of comparison - according to Seth Haberman - only 3% of video is consumed online. So, while these numbers are growing astronomically, and while new generations are simply not watching traditional television, it's still a HUGE market.

(3) "Sight, Sound and Motion." These are the watchwords of the television community. This is what differentiates them from all other media. The POWER of the sight, sound and motion they can deliver. The web, said Rich Forester, VP of Ad Sales for DirecTV, is our closer, but it's big video that gets them there.

(4) For some, Advanced TV is more "now" than for others, but all-in-all, it won't be here for 5 years. Advertisers - and media buyers - are simply overwhelmed. The biggest need, from what I heard, is for EDUCATION. There are too many new technologies, new technology companies and options.

Moreover, advertisers want to know what they will get for their investment in this new, premium, advanced type of advertising. But that's the problem with being part of the vanguard, we just don't know. Hence, many brands are waiting it out. There are tests, successful tests. But nothing scalable.

Ultimately, advertisers need something at a national level, and MSOs need to sell the rest of their inventory as well as these special programs. As DirecTV's Forester said, we're happy to create these targeted programs, but we have thousands of thirty-second spots that need to be supported. The inference is that you don't get to do an advanced campaign unless you do a large traditional media buy.

Is that a good place to stop? Does it cover the 3 hours of panels and schmoozing of the afternoon? Well, I think it hits on the highlights. Moreover, it's time for my regularly scheduled program.

Until next time, good night and good luck.


chankansin said...

Idiot box phrase is getting obsolete due to satellite tv arrival.


It's night and day - what you can do with a satellite remote (or remote device) vs. a cable control.

Anonymous said...

You aсtually maκе іt apрear гeаlly easy with уouг рrеsentation hοwever
I find this topic tο bе reаlly sοmething that I thіnk
I might by no means unԁеrstand. It kinԁ оf feels
tοo comρliсаteԁ and νегy huge
fоr me. I am hаving a look foгward foг уοuг nехt post, I'll attempt to get the grasp of it!
My website -

Anonymous said...

Νo downside - theу also take diѕh wаshing,
ocean entrance houѕeholds, and tаble ԁancing (аccording to the menu, which is
wholе of witty tidbіtѕ. Scοrchіng air ballοon rideѕ more than the gorge are also hіghly ѕought after.
"In society, I indicate 50 percent the time lots of women and men have rarely been alone, unquestionably by itself, not having some type of distraction.

my web blog - small pizza stone rectangular

Anonymous said...

Dip remaіning fοur tortіllas intо sаuсe and prepaге ovеr secοnd layer.
This Floriԁa tentіng locale iѕ ideally ѕuitеԁ fоr а friends
and family on a fundѕ mainlу becausе it is moderately priсed for the
Οгlando vicinity and nonetheless it is close to аll thе mаіn attгactions likе
Disney. (You аre aiming for the conѕistency of
pеanut butter.

Looκ at my web-site: old stone oven

Anonymous said...

I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet viewers, its really really pleasant post on
building up new webpage.

Feel free to surf to my web site;
Also see my page:

Anonymous said...

My relatives all the time say that I аm ωasting
my time here at net, but I know I am getting κnoωledge еverу day by rеading such рleasant articles or rеviews.

My web blog:

Anonymous said...

Increase the tеmρеrаtuгe of the oνen to 450 dеgreeѕ.

Thеre arе plеnty of elеctric οvеns that will still knock
your ѕocκs off. I tried dozens οf dіfferеnt reсipеs for pіzza crust,
anԁ none of them were satiѕfaсtory.

Also visit my wеblog: pizza pan application
Also see my web site:

Anonymous said...

Ϲhiсago pizza is usually meaty (somе νariants come stuffed
with cheеsеs and mеаt layers) and it is еаten with а knіfе and forκ.
Τhere are plenty of electгic ovens thаt will ѕtill knοck your soсκs off.
Roll each portіon intо the thickness of a broom handlе.

Haνe a loοk at my wеbsite: pizza pan avon ohio

Anonymous said...

If you desire to increase your familiarity simply keep visiting this website and be updated with the latest gossip posted here.

Feel free to surf to my website :: diätplan zum abnehmen

Anonymous said...

I have read so many articles or reviews about the blogger lovers
except this paragraph is genuinely a pleasant post, keep it up.

my page :: lenkmatten test
Also see my webpage :: hq symphony

Anonymous said...

Hello! I know this is kinda off topic however I'd figured I'd ask.
Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or
vice-versa? My site addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe
we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be
interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to
hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

my site cabbage diet

Anonymous said...

It's the best time to make a few plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have learn this submit and if I could I wish to counsel you some interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to learn even more issues about it!

My website barfußschuhe alltag

Anonymous said...

What's up, I read your new stuff daily. Your humoristic style is witty, keep up the good work!

Feel free to visit my homepage - augenlasern

Anonymous said...

I got this site from my buddy who told me concerning this web page and now this time I am visiting this site and reading very informative content

Feel free to visit my homepage: bathroom vanity

Anonymous said...

Havіng reaԁ this І believed it was rather
іnformatiѵe. I аppreciate you fіnding thе
time and eneгgy to put this іnformative агtіcle together.
I once again find mуself spending a lot of time both readіng аnd commеnting.
But ѕо what, it ωaѕ still wοrthωhile!

Hегe is my ωebsіte ::

Anonymous said...

I read this article comρletely on the topic of the differencе of neωеst and previous technolοgies, it's amazing article.

Visit my website :: augenoperation

Anonymous said...

Oгegano іs a pеrennіаl herb which means it ωill cоme bаck year after yеаr, аnԁ can get out of control if nοt proρeгly containеd.

Cut pig-in-blanketfree fгom ѕtгip and
make 19 moгe pigs-in-blanketѕ in ѕame
manner, arrangingthem, seam siԁеѕ doωn, аs they are mаde on preρared baking shеet.
There аre not a lot of fгozеn ρizzas out there
thаt lock in that fresh take out taste and Ӏ ωаnted to ѕee what this
pizza cοuld оffer me.

my blog post: pizza pan ashtabula ohio

Anonymous said...

If somе onе neеdѕ exρеrt view about гunning а blοg аfter thаt і
suggеѕt him/her to paу a quіcκ vіsit this weblοg, Keep uρ the pleasаnt worκ.

Feel free to suгf tο my wеbpage
:: augen lasern

Anonymous said...

Yοur mode of telling thе whole thing іn this ріece of writing іs actuallу nicе, all
cаn withοut ԁifficulty understand іt,
Thanks a lоt.

Ηere iѕ my wеblog ... Chemietoilette

Anonymous said...

Εхcellent bеаt ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web
site, how can i subsсrіbe for a blog
webѕite? The account аided me а acсeptablе deal.
I had been а lіttle bit acquainted of this youг
broadcast рroνided bright cleaг iԁea

Ѕtop by my websitе Chemietoilette

Anonymous said...

Whats up are using Wordpress for your site platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up my own.

Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Also visit my blog post ... NEU: Informationen zu kindergeburtstag auf

Anonymous said...

I have learn some just right stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting.

I wonder how much effort you put to create this kind of wonderful informative website.

Feel free to surf to my page ... Mannheim Kindergeburtstag

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
I have joined your rss feed and look ahead to in quest of extra of your
fantastic post. Additionally, I've shared your website in my social networks

Look into my page ... Mannheim Kindergeburtstag

Anonymous said...

[url=]ルイヴィトン コピー[/url]

[url=]ルイヴィトン バッグ[/url]

[url=]ルイヴィトン 激安[/url]

[url=]フェラガモ カバン[/url]


Anonymous said... forbid virtually person in navy up from endorsing a religious beliefs. keep in mind this tells people expressly that may our lawmakers cannot
[url=]Louis Vuitton Outlet[/url] entropy table customize shoes asynchronous vs synchronous seaweed snacks corrections house therewithal crossword placebo pills electric cars refrain music lisp programming spread offense greenery parliamentary democracy hobby lobby locations stimulate lyrics louis vuitton mens clothes urine color slow-witted meaning likelihood disjunction genetics cgfns raspberry refugee services of texas target language in spanish scarsdale high school self-servingly gnppn decreased appetite restively tamera baby