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September 2006, Week 4 Marketing Archives

Friday, September 29, 2006

Cable Battling Online Video

The YouTube phenomenon has cable companies sweating through their shirts, and they are starting to fight back.

TimeWarner demonstrated a video upload service that will broadcast user generated content over digital cable, according to Information Week. Videos are uploaded to SimpleStar's website, which reviews and forwards them to TimeWarner. CurrentTV has having some success with this model, and more networks are likely to do the same.

Cablevision is countering YouTube's pirated video collection by selling episodes of The Office and other NBC shows online for 95 cents a piece (per MultiChannel). Bad move. If Cablevision's sales team can't sell more than a dollar's worth of advertising against each show, then they need to hire a new staff.

Comcast is doing video on demand right by giving away CBS' shows for free and harvesting the ad dollars. You can learn more about customer habits this way too.

Cable Battling Online Video By Jason Dowdell at 06:51 PM
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Why Does Europe Hate Google?

Google is learning first hand that being top dog encourages people to take you to court. Even though Yahoo News gets more traffic (at least in the U.S.), newspaper publishers in France and Belgium decided to sue Google to prevent linking to its news stories.

Google lost in court in the Belgian case, then lost one appeal, and will head back to court in November to try to overturn the decision that bans the company from linking to articles published by Belgian papers. (Google's home page also was linked to news stories in Belgium.)

Worst of all, Google was forced to wear the equivalent of a scarlet letter on its website by having to post the court decision for five days. That made folks at the company none too happy, as quoted by Web Pro News.

I find it interesting that Google was the target while Yahoo (nor any other portal) was not sued. Google News does not post ads on its search pages or the results page, while Yahoo does. So suing a company that drives traffic to your sites but not garnering ad dollars while leaving Yahoo to profit is most curious.

I also don't know why Google doesn't put ads on its news pages. Perhaps the company is being overly cautious about lawsuits, but obviously that isn't working.

Why Does Europe Hate Google? By John Gartner at 06:45 PM
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Ad Network Fills Video Void

Video Egg this week hatched an advertising network that embeds ads into video streams generated by social networks. Advertisers can buy spots on the Eggnetwork that will run on sites including Current TV AOL, Bebo, Hi5, Dogster, and Tagged. VideoEgg also distributes software to simplify uploading videos.

Obviously the demand for online video is huge, and therefore the corresponding ad business will quickly become a multi-billion dollar industry. So it is not surprising that today VideoEgg announced it received $12 million in third round funding .

The trick will be to make sure that the ads don't run against objectionable content, and to target advertisements to the right audience. Since most of the sites either require or offer viewers to register, ad networks should factor in the user demographics.

Ad Network Fills Video Void By John Gartner at 02:38 PM
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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Odd Works for Viral Marketing

Good ideas for creating marketing buzz can come from anywhere, and marketers that throw open the door for viral campaigns can be richly rewarded.

QVC challenged its employees to come up with ideas for marketing its Qforce logo (what that represents I don't know, but hey, it's branding) and the company generated 65 million impressions based on a variety of straight and wacky ideas.

The winner organized a belly flop contest for charity, during which all participants wore a Qforce t-shirt, and the event was picked up by local media and the video went viral online.

You don't have to be a Darin Stevens or Larry Tate to come up with a good marketing idea. So if you are struggling with ideas for a new product, don't as a V.P., ask an intern, the receptionist, or that slightly-off character who works in accounting. It just may work.

Odd Works for Viral Marketing By John Gartner at 12:36 PM
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TechCrunch Hits 1 Million Feed Subscribers .... Kinda!


Well, either Techcrunch.com has reached a new level in an unprecidented amount of time or they broke feedburner. As I logged on this morning I noticed Tcrunch had 1,115k (yes thats 1,115,000) RSS Subscribers according to their feedburner widget. I had to do a double take, because just yesterday it was 120k (120,000) and only a month ago todayit was just hitting 100,000.

So either Michael Arrington has figured this Internet thing out and grew 900,000 subscribers in one night (if so we can officially dub him "King of the Internet") or Feedburner had an oopsy!

TechCrunch Hits 1 Million Feed Subscribers .... Kinda! By Matt O'Hern at 11:45 AM
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

TV/Website Tandem Tracks Movies

A new TV station and website dedicated to covering the movie industry launches today. ReelzChannel TV and ReelzChannel.com will offer commentary, reviews, movie trailers and insider gossip about movies that are showing in the theater, as well as keeping track of what is showing on cable and broadcast TV.

From the description, it looks like parent company Hubbard Media Group is pushing the TV/Net integration as a key selling point from the start, which seems like a smart move. With the overwhelming amount of programming on cable and satellite stations, having a guide is important.

If they allow users to customized the genres or actors that you want to track (ala TiVo) online, ReelzChannel could win an audience in a hurry. TiVo recognizes that using the DVR's channel guide is time consuming, so creating an easy way to track content online similar to what TiVo also offers would be welcome. As a movie buff I'm intrigued, so I'll give the site a look when it goes live later today.

TV/Website Tandem Tracks Movies By John Gartner at 01:23 PM
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User Videos Need to Be Profitable

The number of people watching user-generated videos is staggering, but what's more amazing is the slowness with which companies are capitalizing on it.

Accord to Comscore MediaMetrix, nearly 60 percent of all U.S. internet users watched a video stream in July. MySpace had 20 percent of the action, with 1.5 billion streams served, and Yahoo and YouTube generated the second and third most video streams.

The companies are slowly introducing ads, such as YouTube promoting new movies, but they need to get a comprehensive advertising plan in place. One pre-roll ad per five videos watched is acceptable, but more importantly, they should also create a compensation plan for those who are creating videos.

Contests that pay cash for the most-watched videos will increase participation, or failing that, they could offer merchandise from advertising partners as bonuses for milestones for viewership. For example, if 10,000 people watch your video, you get 50 percent off coupon for buying something from Gap.com, and for 50,000, you can download an album for free from Napster. These incentives would cause the content creates to virally market there videos to get the awards.

The TV networks have been slow to cash in too. TBS is joining the user-generated content crowd with its own micro-site to be called "Funny or Not?" The network will be promoting the community, which users software from "social marketing" company ViTrue. They are one step ahead of ABC, which amazingly has not created a video upload site for its America's Funniest Home Video program, the show that sparked interested in user-generated videos.

User Videos Need to Be Profitable By John Gartner at 01:21 PM
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Click Fraud Getting Worse

BusinessWeek has a nice investigative piece about the thriving market for click fraud. The article cites cases of continuing rampant fraud, and
says that the FBI and a Senate Judiciary Committee staffer are getting interested in looking at potential federal violations.

So is Google's geotargeting not working, or are advertisers not properly configuring their accounts to only send to the U.S.? Geotargeting if implemented correctly should reduce the amount of click fraud substantially. There have been questions about limitations to Google's geotargeting capability, so if there are holes, they need to be fixed pronto.

Currently it is too easy for anyone to set up bogus websites where they can start earning commissions and ripping off advertisers. More work needs to be done on vetting publishers so that the pages they create can be tracked. Search engines should be able to limit the IP addresses of their publishers to make sure they aren't posting dozens of sites outside of the U.S.

Click Fraud Getting Worse By John Gartner at 05:40 PM
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Social Nets Affecting Search

The top social network sites are encroaching on search's turf in driving traffic to shopping sites according to data from Hitwise.

Google (surprise!) remains at the top of the heap in sending traffic to shopping and classifieds sites, scoring more than 3 times as much market share as closest competitor Yahoo. MySpace outpaced MSN Search in driving shopping traffic, which ain't good news for the sales team at MSN. MySpace doubled its share of the shopping traffic within the past six months.

Because the young 'uns are spending so much time on MySpace, they are entitled to customized search results that reflect their demographic. Google should customize the results for its partner, so that it can make the most of the relationship. De-emphasize the results aimed at older married folk and they'll increase the relevant results leading to sales.By focusing its advertisers and search results, MySpace could keep users from ever visiting a search site.

MySpace and its peers should start offering search toolbars and IM gadgets to retain its users, and it could become the default destination that AOL used to be. MySpace offers its own classified section, so Craigslist is in its cross hairs too.

Social Nets Affecting Search By Admin at 01:23 PM
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Monday, September 25, 2006

Targeted Video Ads to Explode

Giving away TV shows and supporting the content through targeted ads is clearly the way to go, but the networks have been slow to play. According to analyst firm ABI Research, revenues from dynamically inserting targeted ads via video on demand or streaming video content will grow from $284 million this year to $1.8 billion by 2011.

This fall marks the first time that you'll be able to watch full episodes online. ABC, NBC, and CBS are all offering some of their popular or new shows for free, but they are missing a golden opportunity by not requiring viewers to register or targeting the ads.

If I really wanted to watch Desperate Housewives, I'd gladly take a few minutes to register and give some of my basic information. It's unbelievable that they aren't asking for registration as a means to learn about their audience and build loyalty!

The click-throughs for ads that are suitable to an individual would be much higher, but instead everyone who watches sees the same ads. The networks could give a choice of say half a dozen categories, and ask individuals which products they are most likely to buy, such as new cars, sports gear, or insurance etc. The ad-servers could also control how many times a person sees the same ads.

Prime time may be dead, but video on demand is just out of the womb. The networks should seize this opportunity and grow their overall revenues through targeted advertisements. Investing in the ad insertion and analytics software are sound investments.

Targeted Video Ads to Explode By John Gartner at 10:41 AM
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Sony Creates DVR Ads

Sony is trying to engender itself with TV viewers by creating advertisements with different endings. The interactive ads for Sony TVs will show different results if the viewer is a man or a woman, which the company hopes will lure a few more folks into watching the ads, according to Endgadget.

Instead of continuing to see DVRs as an obstacle, advertisers are starting to see the opportunity of creating spots targeted towards people who fast forward through ads. At the minimum, even when fast forwarding, ads can still reinforce branding as long as a logo is always on screen.

Technology allows images to only be seen during slow motion, or advertisers could create something unique by having hidden messages that can only be seen during fast forwarding. It's the high tech version of what Mad magazine did when readers could create images by folding the back cover in half.

The TiVo horse is out of the barn, so smart advertisers will find away to capitalize on it instead of clinging to the past.

Found via Digg.

Sony Creates DVR Ads By John Gartner at 10:34 AM
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« September 2006 Week 3

  • Week 1 (20 entries) September 1-9
  • Week 2 (15 entries) September 10-16
  • Week 3 (18 entries) September 17-23
  • Week 4 (11 entries) September 24-30

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by Bill Gates
Why Does Europe Hate Google?
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by Bernard Girard
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by Paul

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