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Monday, July 07, 2008

NBC Uses Olympics to Gauge Digital Media Use

We've reached a tipping point with IP-based media systems, which is just a fancy way of saying that more people are using their computers to get information they used to get from other sources.

Television is now delivered to computers and cell phones, untethering people from their living rooms. Unfortunately for big media networks, there aren't many good tracking mechanisms that can handle this change in viewing. That makes it hard to get advertisers to pitch in the cash necessary to go whole hog into the market.

NBC hopes its Web-based Olympics' coverage will change that.

NBC hopes its research provides a comprehensive picture of how people are supplementing TV viewership with tools such as video streaming, video on demand and mobile phones, said Alan Wurtzel, the company's research chief.

There is some data on how people handle online viewing, particularly when it comes to sports. CBS streamed every NCAA basketball tournament game this year and it's been such a successful venture, the network has plans to expand its online coverage.

Understanding how people use digital media these days is more than just a critical issue because there's no set business model right now even as companies move more of their content online. That conundrum -- how to make and distribute money for work streamed online -- was one of the core issues of last year's writer's strike in Hollywood.

If networks can track use -- and put a dollar figure to it for advertisers, there will be a rapid and transformative move to deliver all types of content online.


By Brad at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

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