Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mobile Video & Content Providers

Fourth and long for mobile video CNET News.com

Honestly, mobile video is a great idea -- to me at least. However, looking at this from an analogous standpoint, imagine ESPN saying the only way you can receive its programming on TV is to buy a ESPN branded TV, with all the TV service provided by ESPN. . . That would be ridiculous. ESPN's core competency is as a content provider. When it creates distribution channels which restricts the distribution of its content, well. . . it comes across as a fairly short-sighted strategy.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I Love Where the Web is Going!

ad:tech - The #1 event for interactive marketing. The Digital Marketing Conference for Today's Marketing Leaders!

I have not seen a website that has utilized an introduction like this before. I really like the way it combines a viewing experience reminiscent of TV -- the woman walking onto the screen (but not to a place that is invasive to the user) -- with the interactivity of a website. I can already see the possibilities for something very similar, but utilizing pre-defined preferences to make the message more personal.

What's up with Blogger's Spell Check?

OK. . . this I don't get! Since Google owns Blogger, I would think that Blogger's spell check would recognize Google as a word. . .

But, obviously not!

Google & Da Vinci

once in a blue moon over middle C times a quadrillion - Google Search

Honestly, this may go down as one of the all time great promotions. In my group at work, everyone has signed up for a Google personalized homepage, which is all it takes to get you in the game. But the great element is how interactive the promotion is. . . From using Google Video, to the personalized homepage, to Google Search -- every component of the promotion is built around building customer interaction and engagement. And that is so much better that the standard types of promotions you see, but may not pay attention too anymore. I'm talking about the standard sweepstakes or little premiums that are given away whenever you visit a store.

With this promotion, you actually look forward to the interaction you will have with the company. And that is something that becomes truly priceless. There are still many days left for the promotion -- each day is a new puzzle, and I think there are 28 days worth of puzzles -- and it would be fascinating to see the participation metrics, as well as the percentage of people that created Google personalized homepages for the promotion, who continue to utilize them after the promotion is over. After all, the true measure of success for a promotion is the effectiveness it has in creating a desired effect. For Google that is to utilize their product on a daily basis, and for Sony it is to go see the movie. Even though Sony products are being utilized as the prizes, for Sony to attain true long-term value out of this promotion, they should (and it may be coming) thought of ways to incorporate Sony products into the daily customer-facing interactivity this promotion provides.

I do have to give a nod to the person who wrote today's clue. It was absolutely amazing. I was completely stumped about how to figure out what value to assign to "once in a blue moon". Luckily, I saw that it was possible to highlight the text on the puzzle -- which usually is not possible since it is a Flash site -- and was able to get the answer. I love it!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Narrowstep - the TV on the internet company

Narrowstep - the TV on the internet company
Talk about well done! Why could traditional TV be in trouble? Because of upstarts like Narrowstep. Their tagline -- Reinventing Television -- is right on. I stumbled onto Cycling.tv about a year ago, and instantly fell in love. It was a "network" I could relate to. And most of all, it was a network I wanted to watch. Now they have further segmented their viewership, and enticed me to spend even more time with them, by dividing up the programming options to cycling, mountain biking, and triathlons. If only they carried Lost and The L Word, I might be able to walk away from traditional TV all-together!

What should really be of interest to advertisers, is that I actually "enjoy" the advertisements. Earlier tonight a Bianchi bicycle commercial ran. Because it was targeted towards my lifestyle and my interests, I actually listened in Bianchi's message. (Think about how many ads you really don't listen to!) Throughout the last year, Cytomax run a number of commercials on Cycling.tv. I'm fanatical about watching ABC's Lost, but I would be incredibly hard pressed to recall one commercial that ran during the show last season, simply because almost all have zero relevance to me. (Yes, it is much easier to target a cycling audience vs. a Lost audience, but that should be a reason for transitioning to a medium that allows for permission marketing.)

MSO's (cable TV companies) argue that a la carte, will reduce consumer choice. And that is to a certain extent true. But by the number of shows on TV that have little to no audience, that argument begs the question of--will anyone care? However, the fact that companies like Narrowstep are able to emerge and grow, without traditional distribution channels, is a testament to the argument that wanted content will find distribution channels and an audience.

Actually, traditional TV may not be the best source of distribution. As the internet increases the amount of content available to us, the need for TV/internet convergence becomes apparent. The best source of content distribution, is the source that will allow me to watch the Het Volk on Cycling.tv, followed by ABC's Lost.

What will be the distribution channel that aggregates traditional television content as well as internet content? I'm anxious to find out, but of course when that channel does finally emerge, TV Guide is going to have one hell of a tough job!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

OLN. . . Almost Doin' It Right!

OLN
If you scroll down to the bottom, you can see that OLN is almost at the point where it is effectively using its online and on-air mediums to distribute content. There will be a lot of additional advertisers that step on board for the opportunity to advertise during the Giro, especially if viewership is there. However, making it paid content may keep the viewership way down. Having to pay for the content? Not unless it is part of a larger package of content I'm interested in . . . and of course it would have to be a really decent quality as well.

Several years ago, Ironman Triathlon charged to stream the Hawaiian Ironman live -- I never watched. This year it was free -- and I watched about 6 hours of the race. I definitely was open to many of the sponsors messages, since they were targeted to my lifestyle.

But if it was free, and the quality of the video is good enough to keep viewers engaged, this could be a big opportunity to provide targeted interactive advertising opportunities that provide advertisers with the results that elude them with other mediums.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Taking a little time off. . .

Since I've had a couple of people mention in the last couple of days that I haven't been paying too much attention to my blog recently, thought I would give a quick update to assure everyone that I haven't abandoned the ship!

This may be obvious, but when I combine working on my Master's degree with work and with volunteer commitments and home ownership, well. . . .there isn't too much time left to keep up with my blogging. Sooooo. . . hopefully that explains my lack of attention. But on the positive side, the first year of my Master's program is now under my belt!! It was an incredible year of learning, especially when combined with the investment Spotlight is putting forth for all of its employees. In February I'll finish a 100 hour marketing based sales training! Now that is a lot of training, but I can already seeing it paying dividends for our office.

But as 2006 approaches, I'm adding a monthly blog post commitment to my Google Sidebar Todo List! So I guess that means its time to kick my time management skills into high gear!

All the best in 2006!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Internet TV--Part 1

Wow! School has kept me way too busy during the last month! I'm glad to have a short break before it all starts again. However, no more full-time work and full-time school! That was just a little too much.

One of the hot topics right now seems to be IPTV. With the cable companies hitting the teleco's with VOiP, the telecos really don't have too much of a choice but to strike back at cable companies by moving into service delivery for television content. Of course, the big issue here is that there is only a limited number of advertising dollars to go around, and since most cable companies are only competing with local broadcast networks for local advertising dollars (but with satellite and national broadcast networks for national ad dollars), having a major player move into their territory to not only compete for the dollars from the subscriber base, but also for the ad dollars that go along with that base. . . and you can see why it will be an exciting, but probably ugly fight. (I heard it mentioned that Comcast's ad sales department delivers approximately 35% of the companies revenues.)

So speaking of IPTV. . . I recently stumbled on to Cycling.TV, and instantly fell in love! Time to go for a run, then thoughts on why IPTV will finally shake up the way content is delivered to your home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Yes, it is Madness

The look on Bill Self's face says it all. About July, I will have recovered, and be looking forward to next year. . . and making it past the first round!

Podcasts & Marketing

MarketingProfs.com posted an article today, bt Stephen Spencer, about how podcasts relate to marketing. It is worth a look, especially if you are considering producing a podcast of your own.

Also, here is another article on the same subject from ClickZ.