Articles of Interest

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

iMediaConnection: Google Tunes into TV

iMediaConnection: Google Tunes into TV
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
By Roger Park, Associate Editor
Google Inc. announced the availability of Google Video beta, a service that enables users to search the content of television programs from TV content providers including PBS, Fox News, C-SPAN and the NBA.

Google Video beta lets users search closed captioned content of TV programs. Google began indexing in December 2004. For example, if a user enters of search for "Satellite Radio", Google Video will return a list of relevant TV programs that mentioned that term.

Google additional search features include a still video image preview page, upcoming episodes information, the ability to search within the show and program details.

"What Google did for the Web, Google Video aims to do for television. Users can search the content of TV programs for anything, see relevant thumbnails, and discover where and when to watch matching television programs. We are working with content owners to improve this service by providing additional enhancements such as playback," says Larry Page, co-founder and president, Products, Google.

This early-stage release of Google Video does not include Google AdWords advertising.

"As the product develops, we will consider integrating ads but don't have anything to announce," Google spokesperson Eileen Rodriguez told iMedia.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Vlogs article from ClickZ

ClickZ Experts on Media Buying
Vlogs: Richer Rich Media?
By Tessa Wegert
January 6, 2005

No question, 2004 was the year of the blog. Everywhere you turned, Internet users were talking about the latest posts on the greatest Web logs. Everywhere you looked the media was either touting the attributes of this erstwhile technology or marveling at bloggers' candor.

Now, at the height of their popularity, blogs don't look as though they'll be fading from the spotlight any time soon. In January, Fortune magazine unapologetically named blogs the top Tech Trend to Watch in 2005. According to blog search engine and measurement firm Technorati, there are 23,000 new Web logs created each day.

In 2005, a new type of blog may emerge on center stage, marrying blogs with online video. It's called the video blog, or "vlog."

Anyone who ever studied English surely knows the expression, "Show, don't tell," commonly used to encourage students to better illustrate their essay points. When it comes to vlogs, I doubt a more appropriate mantra could be found. Vlogs are exactly what you think they are. Instead of using text and the occasional graphic image to express opinions, rant, and share information, some bloggers now opt for video as their online medium of choice.

In a recent BusinessWeek article, the author tracks a number of current vlogs, including one belonging to a film editor, another run by a video producer, even one by a common citizen who assumed the role of Web journalist by shooting and uploading amateur video news reports.

All the above video bloggers belong to a Yahoo Group devoted to video blogging. A TV station employee formed the group last June.

The concept of vlogs may be fairly new, but it's already captured the attention of online media behemoths such as Yahoo. Word is the company, which launched a video search service late last year, is working with a group of grassroots media advocates to develop a video version of RSS (define). RSS aggregators, of course, are commonly used to find blog postings and stories from around the Web. Yahoo's service could just turn out to be the instrument that takes video blogging mainstream.

If you're an online media buyer, planner, or advertiser, you're probably already salivating at the thought. Ever since blogs took off and made their way onto millions of marketers' collective radar last year, progressive souls have been racking their brains for ways to utilize this tool. Some companies, such as BizNetTravel, created their own blogs to interact with customers and clients online. Others, such as Lee Jeans, launched blogs as part of cross-media promotional campaigns.

Those who simply wanted to advertise in an existing blog, however, found placements hard to come by. Although some opportunities do exist (and new ones are cropping up), the channel definitely left something to be desired.

If we're lucky, vblogs will change all that.

Nearly as popular as blogs in 2004 was online video advertising. Demand for video formats and placements remains high. According to a year-end survey conducted by video ad developer Unicast, as much as 70 percent of advertisers and agencies plan to increase online ad spending by an average of nearly 50 percent this year. They say they're particularly interested in boosting their online video usage.

Those stats are consistent with what Jupiter Research (a Jupitermedia Corp. division) reported last summer. It estimated online video ad spending would grow fivefold to reach $657 million by 2009.

As marketers' obsession with online video advertising grows, what better time to introduce a placement that unifies the power of video with the value of blogs? By inserting unique, unconventional ad messages into video clips on vlogs, marketers may just be able to take both video and blog advertising to the next level.

If vlogs take off as expected, it's likely only a handful will accept advertising or provide enough traffic volume to make a placement worthwhile. Whether blog readers will tolerate the more intrusive video advertising also remains to be seen. If they do, the Internet industry may be singing the praises of yet another new online ad format by this time next year.

Bloggers are ready to "show" instead of "tell." My bet is advertisers will devour this next generation of blogs.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The New York Times > Technology > Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing

The New York Times > Technology > Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing
December 30, 2004
Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing
By JOHN MARKOFF

AN FRANCISCO, Dec. 29 - The average Internet user in the United States spends three hours a day online, with much of that time devoted to work and more than half of it to communications, according to a survey conducted by a group of political scientists.

The survey found that use of the Internet has displaced television watching and a range of other activities. Internet users watch television for one hour and 42 minutes a day, compared with the national average of two hours, said Norman H. Nie, director of the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society, a research group that has been exploring the social consequences of the Internet.

"People don't understand that time is hydraulic," he said, meaning that time spent on the Internet is time taken away from other activities.

A 2000 study by the researchers that reported increasing physical isolation among Internet users created a controversy and drew angry complaints from some users who insisted that time they spent online did not detract from their social relationships.

However, the researchers said they had now gathered further evidence showing that in addition to its impact on television viewing, Internet use has lowered the amount of time people spend socializing with friends and even sleeping.

According to the study, an hour of time spent using the Internet reduces face-to-face contact with friends, co-workers and family by 23.5 minutes, lowers the amount of time spent watching television by 10 minutes and shortens sleep by 8.5 minutes.

The researchers acknowledged that the study data did not answer questions about whether Internet use itself strengthened or weakened social relations with one's friends and family.

"It's a bit of a two-edged sword," Mr. Nie said. "You can't get a hug or a kiss or a smile over the Internet." Many people are still more inclined to use the telephone for contact with family, he said.

The latest study also found that online game playing has become a major part of Internet use.

Over all, 57 percent of Internet use was devoted to communications like e-mail, instant messaging and chat rooms, and 43 percent for other activities including Web browsing, shopping and game playing. Users reported that they spent 8.7 percent of their Internet time playing online games.

The study also found that although the Internet is widely employed for communications, users spend little of their online time in contact with family members.

Of the time devoted to communication, just a sixth was spent staying in touch with family members, significantly less than the time spent on work-related communications and contact with friends.

The study found that as much as 75 percent of the population in the United States now has access to the Internet either at home or work.

"It is remarkable that this expansion of use has happened in just a decade since the invention of the Web browser," Mr. Nie said. That rate of growth is almost as fast as the spread of the telephone, and is impressive because the computer is more complicated to use, he said.

The study, titled "What Do Americans Do on the Internet?" also found that junk e-mail and computer maintenance take up a significant amount of the time spent online each day.

Respondents reported spending 14 minutes daily dealing with computer problems. That would suggest that Internet users spend a total of 10 workdays each year dealing with such problems.

The study, the latest in an annual series, was based on a survey of 4,839 people between the ages of 18 and 64 who were randomly selected. Respondents were asked to create detailed diaries of how they spent their time during six randomly selected hours of the previous day.

Data collection was performed by Knowledge Networks, a survey research firm based in Menlo Park, Calif. The researchers plan to release the study on Monday on their Web site, www.stanford.edu/group/siqss.

Thirty-one percent of the survey sample reported using the Internet on the day before they were surveyed. Researchers classified this group as Internet users.

The researchers found that the amount of Internet use does not differ by gender. But women on average use e-mail, instant messaging and social networking more than men, while men spend more time browsing, reading discussion groups and participating in chat rooms.

Younger people in the sample tended to favor immediate forms of online communication, while older people used e-mail more frequently.

Monday, January 03, 2005

MediaPost's quotes/thoughts to kick off 2005

MediaDailyNews 01-03-05
MediaPost's MediaDailyNews
Monday, Jan 03, 2005
'05 Seen As Year Of 'Accountability,' 'Creativity,' And On-Demand Media
by Joe Mandese

Research, accountability and creativity loom large in the minds of industry leaders heading into 2005. Those themes, as well as reality TV, DVRs, on-demand media, and the burgeoning broadband marketplace are among their big predictions for the year ahead.

"Measurement takes a big ramp-up next year as Project Apollo, Nielsen commercial ratings, the Radio Advertising Bureau's Media Effectiveness Lab, the Advertising Research Foundation/Interactive Advertising Bureau's Cross Media Labs and overall technology play a critical role in this important developmental arena." - Bob Liodice, president, Association of National Advertisers

"Two thousand and four was dominated by massive AOR pitches. While I predict that the market will continue to see healthy activity on the new business front, it may come from smaller to midsize companies who are seeking the same level of service and media marketing sophistication that is in demand by relatively larger scale marketers." - Laura Desmond, CEO, MediaVest

"The brighter, more aggressive advertisers and agencies will begin to work more creatively in plan development execution and messaging." - Steve Farella, CEO, Targetcast TCM

"I predict that in 2005 we'll see the first substantial creative assignment going to a media shop (i.e., more than simply a one-time project). And I predict that that media shop will begin to understand just how difficult and elusive world-class creative work is." - Lisa Seward, media director-North America, Fallon

"From my perspective, 2005 will be the first year to see video content that is really pervasive across multiple platforms outside of what was traditionally the TV: broadband, 3G cell phone technology." - Mark Stewart, chief strategy officer, Universal McCann

"With the uptake of iPods, DVR's, broadband and home networking, the line between online and offline blurs as consumers watch TV on the Internet and send their digital music and files to their traditional televisions. This blending and leakage will have impact on organizational structure (online/digital specialists versus traditional), measurement (more and more emphasis on outcome based measurement versus input based measurement) and creativity (use digital production to create more cost effective commercials, etc." - Rishad Tobaccowala, president, Starcom IP

"The new found success of character-driven dramas with continuing story-lines will inspire clones from rival networks. 'Lost' and 'Desperate Housewives' are successful on a multitude of levels because they're unique. Besides having great ensembles cast, they both feature the element of the 'big mystery.' For 'Lost' it's the mysterious magical happenings on the island. How can a paraplegic prior to the crash, be able to regain the full use of his legs post-crash? How can a tropical island have polar bears as inhabitants? For 'Desperate Housewives' it's the mystery surrounding Mary Alice Young's suicide." - Shari Anne Brill, vice president-director of programming, Carat USA

"Marketing Organization Design will start to get on the drawing board as an important priority for the marketing community." - Bob Liodice

"The term 'on demand' media grows as people realize that all electronic media is moving to a form of on demand (broadband or VOD or online music videos or even Digital Video Recorders." - Rishad Tobaccowala

"We're going to see strong place-based experiential media programs implemented for leading advertisers. More importantly, we're going to see some media agencies taking charge with message development." - Steve Farella

"Cable Systems will aggressive market VOD [video-on-demand] and built-in DVR services to consumers as a way to upgrade subscribers to digital set-top boxes." - Shari Anne Brill

"Two thousand and five will be a seminal year for TV broadcasters in which the downturn in business will be caused by a fundamental change in the advertising business, rather than by just the odd year cycle of no political or Olympics spending. This change is being driven by consumers and advertisers alike who are shifting their attention to new ad platforms such as the Web, broadband, video streaming, wireless, and others Industry analysts have already begun to see broadcast stocks as "value" instead of "growth." The broadcasters who are working to change their business culture to embrace these new platforms and advertising formats will be rewarded." - Gary Gannaway, CEO, WorldNow

"Re-aggregation rather than segmentation becomes the rage as clients realize that it is less and less about chiseling down large masses of audience but rather re-combining clusters of people into some form of scale" - Rishad Tobaccowala

"CEO's and CMO's will move closer and start to get on the same page." - Bob Liodice

"The post-Janet Jackson back lash will continue as networks and stations remain risk averse to programming that could potentially be deemed indecent. The recent decision by selected ABC affiliates to pull the broadcast of 'Saving Private Ryan' along with the FCC's recent request to obtain a video of the Athens '04 Opening Ceremonies in response to receiving complaints about NBC's coverage of the event are two ominous examples." - Shari Anne Brill

"Behavioral targeting grows because search itself becomes costly as advertisers bid up prices of search and advertisers try to find other ways of targeting intent." - Rishad Tobaccowala

"Two thousand and five could be an off-year for broadcast creativity and innovation, as everyone hustles to find the next scripted drama or warm-hearted reality show. Creativity will, however, be alive and well as marketers and cable programmers begin to tap into the opportunities presented by evolving consumer behaviors and new technologies, in connecting audiences with brands and content." - Betsy Frank, executive vice president-research and planning, Viacom's cable networks, film and publishing

"Privacy with regard to targeting becomes an even greater issue as targeting becomes more relevant and therefore spooky plus the politicians roll out in droves. Privacy also impacts blogs as people begin to worry about this media which is a combination of private musings and public broadcast." - Rishad Tobaccowala

"The advertising marketplace will have a robust 2005 with overall spending increases across all media at better than 7 percent." - Bob Liodice

"Two thousand and five is when MediaPost's MEDIA magazine truly begins to understand that two issues (traditional and non-traditional) share more than 50 percent of content that is similar (really an offshoot of point one) and clients and media realize that it is media companies and not ad agencies is where the future of marketing communications are. As a result talent which the media companies need migrate from agencies to media companies." - Rishad Tobaccowala