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March 2008, Week 2 Marketing Archives

Friday, March 14, 2008

Video Provide Prime Audience

If you want to reach young men online, there's no better vehicle than video. New data from Leichtman Research Group, states that 31% of adults online at home report that they view video online at least weekly, and 10% watch video on a daily basis.

Among all surveyed in the 18-34 group, 42% report that they watch video online at home at least weekly - up from 28% last year. Men ages in that bracket account for 40% of those who view video online on a daily basis, even though they comprise only 17% of those surveyed.

Research from Nielsen Online's Video Census indicates that YouTube continues to crush the competition in generating video streams, in total streams generated, but Fox and Yahoo are catching up in terms of users. As you can see YouTube's audience reach is about 3x of Yahoo, a healthy lead, but not as commanding as the streams data.

I bet that by the end of the year more than half of all web users will be consuming video on a weekly basis. News will lead the charge, followed by TV programs, and user generated content will be a weakening third place. UGC will become less important as more professional content is generated online.

Video Provide Prime Audience By John Gartner at 08:37 AM
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AOL Starts Comeback With Bebo

AOL never went away, but the company's first social networking acquisition will put it back in the spotlight. The $850 million purchase of youth-oriented social site Bebo nearly doubles the audience, and more importantly makes the company relevant.

AOL now has a curious mix of longtime users who are comfortable with the training wheels that the service provides and Bebo users who never heard of Netscape. We in the digerati may think that Facebook and Twitter are the cool places to hang out, but I still know many people who use AOL for their email and launching pad, and now they will have access to some social functions.

Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum, says the deal is significant also for the relatively cheap price of around $2 per user.

"The $860 million price that AOL has paid for Bebo, seems reasonable and even a bargain in comparison with the $240 million paid by Microsoft a few months ago for just a 1.6% stake in Facebook. It looks like the bubble in the valuation of social networks has burst."

So AOL may be back on track to become more competitive with slumping Google, troubled Yahoo, and trying harder MSN. Shifting from the over 40-crowd to the tween market will be an uneasy shift, but a smart social strategy can bridge the age gap.

AOL Starts Comeback With Bebo By John Gartner at 08:17 AM
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Current TV Makes Waves With Amateur Ads

Current TV is reaping the rewards of the new trend of commercials created by users.

According to MediaPost, Current TV is running several ads created by users with key advertisers including Sony and Toyota running half their inventory from the amateur ads.

This is a win-win for Current TV because it gets individuals participating and tightens the relationships with advertisers through the VCAMs (viewer-created ad messages).

Wannabe filmmakers and commercial producers see these contests as opportunities to show off their talents, and the advertisers get the benefit of free creative. According to a survey, 92 percent of viewers preferred the viewer created ads over professional spots.

Advertisers choose which VCAMs will run on TV and online, so it will avoid the past mistakes of Chevrolet which asked users to create their own spots for an SUV with disastrous results.

We can expect more of these types of campaigns in the form of contests and series of ads. Mashup technology and easy to use editing tools have made it possible for anyone to create their own spots. It's a great option for politicians (as long as they retain some control) or issues-oriented campaigns. YouTube should own this space.

Current TV Makes Waves With Amateur Ads By John Gartner at 08:07 AM
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CBSSports Sets Precedent With March Madness

Forget about office productivity this month. For the first time every game of the NCAA college basketball championship will be streamed online for free through many webites. owns the online rights and made the smart decision that selling ads around the event is much more profitable than pay per view. CBSSports will stream the event through, YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo! Sports, and Going even further the company also is allowing anyone to integrate the media player through a developer program.

It's almost certain that this will be the most viewed stream event in history. The companies that own other events could learn well from this event. Other sports events -- such as allstar games, the final games of important players careers, and the Super Bowl -- should also go this route. Not only does it maximize the online ad revenue from the event -- the March Madness tournament will double revenue -- it builds the fan base in the long run and will increase the TV viewing audience. Event promoters must realize that in nearly all cases people prefer to watch the game on a TV, so streaming online is not a threat to their TV ad revenue.

CBSSports is milking the event by showing archives of past games and creating highlight packages of this year's tournament games for streaming online. You can bet that Facebook and MySpace users everywhere will be linking to their schoool's victories to rub it in the faces of their rivals. There's also a Facebook application for picking and tracking the brackets, an annual office pool right that could become the most used Facebook app ever.

So congrats to CBSSports for setting the bar high for all sports events. Let's just hope their servers can keep up with the traffic.

CBSSports Sets Precedent With March Madness By John Gartner at 07:54 AM
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

YouTube Remote Possibility for TiVo

Will it be thumbs up or down for TiVo's soon-to-be-released service for watching YouTube videos in TV?

Giving access to a variety of web content from a DVR has been a long time coming, and the selection is still not where it needs to be. YouTube is the biggest source by far, but the quality issues will degrade videos on big screen TVs.

As I've been saying forever, DVRs need to enable subscriptions to your favorite RSS video feeds regardless of the format. Someday this will happen, but it is long overdue.

Via Engadget.

YouTube Remote Possibility for TiVo By John Gartner at 09:42 AM
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YouTube: McVideo for the Masses

YouTube has opened up more, providing more developer resources such as APIs to provide more control in accessing and displaying videos. This will no doubt lead to even more YouTube saturation, but is it good for the industry?

For video to become integral to the web experience we need a standard that publishers (including advertisers) can write to so that content can be distributed far and wide. YouTube, with Google's backing, is becoming that default standard.

YouTube is becoming the McDonald's of video -- it's everywhere, fast, and a brand that is familiar and easy to consume. But similarly, the quality is not comparable to other much smaller competitors. The low quality resolution and dependence on Flash present technical challenges and limitations for developers who want to create high quality videos.

YouTube will need to step up with a higher resolution and better performing platform if all of those ad dollars and subscription fees are ever to be realized. Otherwise, we'll be stuck with an unhealthy market driven by McVideo.

YouTube: McVideo for the Masses By John Gartner at 09:10 AM
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Five Reason Why IPTV Will Succeed

TV over the internet protocol (IPTV) is taking off with good reason. According to analyst firm nforma Telecoms & Media, the global number of subscribers grew to 12.3 milion in 2007, led by Europe and Asia. In the U.S. the market grew by 1 million subscribers.

Strategy Analytics has different numbers but is equally bullish on IPTV. The company says revenues for IPTV in the US were at $694 million last year, and expects the market to grow to a whopping $14 billion by 2012.

Today Verizon and AT&T are driving most of the growth for IPTV, but expect more telecoms to launch services soon.

Telecoms have an advantage over cable because their digital networks have been optimized for IP almost from the start, where as cable is still transitioning from analog to digital. The phone companies know all about voice and data over IP, so they have a technology advantage.

Interactive advertising and TV will be soon be a key differentiator, and IPTV is a better platform for delivering and tracking content. Telecoms can develop applications that can simultaneously be delivered to TVs and computers, maximizing their profit potential

Finally, IPTV can be a value added service that matches better with existing data and voice services.

I'm not counting out Comcast at all -- the company may well become dominant if it buys an Internet video company or even TiVo and figures out how to put content from the LCD to the big screen in the living room.

Five Reason Why IPTV Will Succeed By John Gartner at 12:27 PM
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ISPs Won't Win Neutrality Battle

The fight for "net neutrality" continues, with ISPs such as Comcast desiring to keep their practice of discriminating against peer to peer applications private. If ISPs are to continue slowing traffic to protocols such as BitTorrent, they will minimally have to disclose that they are doing so, according to MediaPost. The FCC is expected to rule on net neutrality this summer, and ISPs probably won't win their absolute right to continue such practices. BitTorrent is a legal and legitimate application for commerce, and so the company and its licensees have a strong case to prevent ISPs from selectively degrading the performance of their service. On the other hand, ISPs can't be impeded from taking any steps to manage their bandwidth, so neutrality must have some wiggle room. Compromise is clearly needed because the nascent streaming and legitimate file sharing markets can't be slowed by a seesaw battle between technologists at BitTorrent to design software to fool ISPs, who would then rewrite their management software to counter any changes. According to Technology Review, a Princeton University professor has developed the basis for an algorithm that would balance the needs of the ISPs and the peer networks. Working together is necessary for the online streaming and file sharing companies to compete in a free market. The FCC's decision should reflect that these two camps need to work together to eliminate prejudice in bandwidth management.

ISPs Won't Win Neutrality Battle By John Gartner at 08:40 AM
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Monday, March 10, 2008

Yahoo Knows More Than You Think

Yahoo collects more data about visitors to its network of sites and those sites that run its ads than any other web company, according to The New York Times Digital Bits.

That Yahoo is so far ahead of anyone else in tracking users explains why Microsoft is pushing so hard for the company, and it also reveals that Yahoo is underachieving in monetizing its networks.

Yahoo needs to step up and effectively target its audience to please shareholders by generating more revenue. Crunching the numbers to determine those who will be more receptive to investment ads versus health drinks will increase the click-throughs in a world that is moving towards performance based advertising.

Now that the economy is tanking advertisers will expect better results for their money, and all of the networks had better be prepared to respond.

Yahoo Knows More Than You Think By John Gartner at 07:59 AM
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Backchannel Takes on Interactive TV

Backchannel is pursuing that elusive pot of gold at the end of the TV rainbow -- interactive advertising. The company is tying overlay ads that show up on screen with the internet, according to BusinessWeek.

While going from the TV to the web may be the easiest way to track ads, enabling purchases using just the remote would be the most effective mechanism. Televisions are still designed to be one-way communication channels, but that could change.

Set-top boxes are becoming IP-enabled, and if you change the remotes from using infrared to WiFi, there's no reason why you can't unleash the interactivity of the internet through the handheld control.The next step is to put wireless chips directly on the TVs and elminate the need for set-tops.

Channel surfing and web surfing remain different user experiences because of the distance that people are from the screen, and some folks may never warm up to moving TV viewing from a passive to active experience. However, the current generation of those under 30 has become used to chatting, emailing, and browsing while watching TV, so things may change.

Fox should try to make American Idol interactive by enabling chat through TV screens. This would provide the scale to test whether or not people would enjoy interactive browsing.


Backchannel Takes on Interactive TV By John Gartner at 07:29 AM
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« March 2008 Week 1 March 2008 Week 3 »

  • Week 1 (10 entries) March 1-8
  • Week 2 (10 entries) March 9-15
  • Week 3 (10 entries) March 16-22
  • Week 4 (10 entries) March 23-29
  • Week 5 (0 entries) March 30-31

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