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April 2007, Week 2 Marketing Archives

Friday, April 13, 2007

Television's Future: Decentralized Distribution

Prepare to say goodbye to television being marketed as a "prime time" experience, and say hello to an emphasis on branding and decentralized distribution. Programs will continue to primarily be launched during the 8-11 p.m. hours, but online is where they will be marketed to their fullest potential and become profitable. CBS is the leader so far today in understanding the new world order. CBS is the most aggressive in forming partnerships with the likes of AOL, Joost and Sling Media. Sharing ad revenue with partners and affiliates large and small will take programs from millions to tens of millions of viewers who will share and comment on content. You may have heard about a new show because someone watched it during prime time, but the real money will come from the word of mouth sharing done online. This complicates the ad buying process as agencies will have to track the various options for content distribution. This will also democratize distribution as many more fingers will be in the revenue pie. This is good news for fans, technology companies and small publishers who will have new opportunities to participate in the revenue stream.

Television's Future: Decentralized Distribution By John Gartner at 10:24 AM
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Local Search Still in a Fog

The other day I wrote about the need for a guide to sort through the various local and vertical search properties, and little did I know that one already existed.

The LocalSearchGuide is a bare bones guide to the finding local pages and vertical search engines. Produced by the Internet Yellow Pages Association, SEMPO and others, the guide details the advertising options for the yellow page services (eg. pay per click, per call, etc.).

I'd like them to offer customer ratings, because boy do I have things to share about Superpages.com, which is one of the sponsors of the site. My experience with IdearcMedia, which runs Superpages, has been disastrous. First, speaking to two different sales reps revealed wildly different pricing for its print ads, so be careful to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Also, two different online sales reps called me at the same time, so I was telling one that I wasn't interested because of the high prices when I had to place her on hold to tell the same story to the other sales rep.

After I agreed to a print buy, the company totally hosed the ad by misspelling "massage" as "message," despite the correction I submitted that the company confirmed it received.

Irate, I asked for my money back, but instead the company offered free web ads to make up for their admitted error. One month and more than a dozen phone calls later, they have yet to fix mistakes to the online listing. I have worked with CitySearch, YellowPages.com, and Yahoo and Google for local search advertising, and all of those experiences have been easy and positive. I just applied for a free local listing on MSN, and the company says it will be 30-60 days before the listing will appear, while the other services have taken 10 days or less.

Superpages online ads are also more than double what their competitors charge. So for me it's a big thumbs down on Superpages customer service. Now let's see if my ads generate any business...

Local Search Still in a Fog By John Gartner at 09:17 AM
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Newspapers Queue Up the Video

Add Hearst to the list of newspaper publishers who believe that video will play a vital role in their future. Hearst Newspapers signed a deal with video platform Brightcove to host and distribute original and user-generated content.

Video is prominent on the front door of many sites formerly known as print destinations. Hearst understands the economics and potential of web video by paying for the service with ads and distributing the video through affiliates. Sharing video that is free to consumers will create opportunity for small and large advertisers and publishers who are trying to mine niche audiences.

If only major league baseball were so prescient. The sports league charges a hefty premium for all video except for a few highlights, and that will continue with the its new deals with DirecTV and In Demand. The league is going for the quick buck instead of investing in an advertising system targeting billions of out of market fans.

Online video viewers continue to skew male. According to E-Marketer, 78 percent of males online watch video, while only two-thirds of women do. The most popular video content is news, followed by amateur videos and movie clips. That may change as more programming is gender neutral becomes available.

Newspapers Queue Up the Video By John Gartner at 09:59 AM
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Local Search Goes to the Phones

Google launched a free 411 service that must have the directory services uttering some words not suitable for children. The Google 411 service is voice-activated and computer-driven, so it may be frustrating to use if you aren't sure about how to phrase what you are looking for and want to talk with another human.

I tested it with a few simple queries and it worked well -- the results were fast and matched the results you get from an online query. Google is giving away a service that last year generated $9.4 billion, according to the Kelsey Group (per MediaPost).

Google isn't the only one getting busy in this arena, as Microsoft is acquiring directory service company Tellme. Google is doing to directory assistance what Craigslist has done to classifieds -- and they will probably be just as successful.

I'm guessing that Google expects to make more money from ad revenue than by charging people to call. Advertisers who pay for online placement get priority in the free service, which makes advertising online that much more valuable.

I noticed that Google has integrated local results within its general search results, which wasn't the case the last time I checked a few months ago. If you search under a business category and city, you see the local results at the top of the page. This is a huge benefit to advertisers and consumers who will find what they are looking for much faster.

Local Search Goes to the Phones By John Gartner at 09:15 AM
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Monday, April 09, 2007

YPN aka Yahoo! Publisher Network Protects Itself

Yahoo Publisher Network A few weeks ago I remember my intern talking about how great the DigitalPoint forums were and that he had just sold two joost tokens for $10 each. After giving him a hard time about selling his Joost invites he switched topics and started rambling on an on about how much he can't stand Google AdSense and that users in the DP forums were saying that the Yahoo Publisher Network paid much higher amounts compared to AdSense. I went on to explain why it is that YPN will probably always pay better than Google and I'll give you the same explanation.

First off, Yahoo was smart in it's method for rolling out YPN. Instead of opening it up to a huge number of users for the beta they did an invite-only launch. Making a program invite only almost always increases the demand of the product and exclusivity strengthens its brand. Additionally, the invites were only sent out to sites of high quality and unique content (this goes back to the fundamental business model of search engines).

Then once the ad network was gaining momentum and getting more and more advertisers to use the publisher network instead of just the normal sponsored search results / ppc ads they did a bit of advertising to invite others with high quality sites to apply. But they still only allowed those with sites in the top of the bell curve into the network.

Additionally YPN is staying commited (for the time being) to sites that are only in English and that target a U.S. user base. Doing so allows them to get a solid group of high quality sites that aren't prone to click fraud or MFA's "Made For AdSense" web sites. Even with pressure from all sides trying to push them to go international, Yahoo Publisher Network is saying NO! And I think it's a fundamentally brilliant move.

Yahoo is benefiting from Google for once in this area. Google launched AdSense and opened it up to the entire world (I exaggerate a bit) within the first month. The spammers got a wiff of all that free cash and immediately the network was hosed. Then Google had to play damage control, and has been doing so for the past year and a half now, and as a result they don't pay their as well as YPN. And in the end that's what its all about. Publishers want an easy way to make money and advertisers want to make a return on their ad dollars, by keeping the YPN publishers happy, Yahoo! has kept their advertisers happy as well. They don't have to send out nasty letters very often either ;)

YPN aka Yahoo! Publisher Network Protects Itself By Jason Dowdell at 09:37 AM
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Advertising Could Push Web Video to TV

The divide between web video watching and advertising dollars could be crossed once YouTube content starts showing up on TiVos and AppleTVs.

I have been calling for media box makers (including DVRs, game consoles, and media servers) to enable their boxes to see web video content for nearly a year, and slowly but surely it is happening.

Mac enthusiasts are adding many features by hacking the AppleTV, and software company Twenty08 has just released a beta AppleTV RSS reader. While the software today allows you to subscribe to and view RSS text feeds, the company says video RSS is on the way. AppleTV so far is limited to purchased iTunes content, but that's about .01 percent of the video content that is available on the web.

TiVo has had the ability to view web video from a few select partners such as the New York Times and Rocketboom, but again the greater web has been ignored. Competition from IPTV services is also putting pressure on box makers to open their doors to web video.

Software hacks won't include the advertising piece, so it's up to the box makers to figure out how to monetize the content. Video aggregators also need to get involved because once the ads are integrated with content, copyright holders will want to get paid. This requires building relationships, which could be the last piece of the puzzle. Wouldn't NBC want its programs that are available on demand online to be viewed on TV with ads?

Someone will get this right, and I say it will happen no later than January 2008's CES.

Advertising Could Push Web Video to TV By John Gartner at 08:44 AM
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« April 2007 Week 1 April 2007 Week 3 »

  • Week 1 (5 entries) April 1-7
  • Week 2 (6 entries) April 8-14
  • Week 3 (8 entries) April 15-21
  • Week 4 (7 entries) April 22-28
  • Week 5 (0 entries) April 29-30

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