Give Me Media

Waiting on the world to change
December 24, 2007, 12:43 am
Filed under: ITV, News Corp, online TV | Tags: , ,

So the bloated festive season draws in and a year of plotting and future-proof strategies look to be falling into place, the world must now wait until Jan 2nd to see how things will begin to shake out in the media world, 2008 billed to be the big year for social media, Internet TV, and traditional media players sinking or swimming.

This post will address one of those issues: how and where News Corp goes from here. With Dow Jones under its belt Murdoch has the green light to change the landscape for newspaper publishers and online media again for good, and it’s just a matter of time (rumour has it end January, about the same time as the UK government will rule on what News Corp will have to do about it’s stake in broadcaster ITV) until WSJ online is freed up. That whole side of the business will play itself out, but for News Corp, it’s just the starting point and it will take most of 2008 to get all the building blocks in place. So rivals have a little time to get in on the act – and will need to before it’s too late. Next on the agenda for News Corp is rumoured to be the video gaming world domination – but is there anything in that?

In any case we have a US election to look forward to and at the moment it’s all wide open. It will be interesting to see how things have changed since Bush’s victory and will change beyond the end of next year.


MTV is no Jackass
December 13, 2007, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Blockbuster, Joost, MTV, online TV, TV, Veoh | Tags: , , , ,

JackassMTV is to release the new Jackass movie entirely online on 19 December in a partnership with Blockbuster. Beyond milking the Jackass franchise for as much as it’s worth (and well beyond its sell-by date – those guys were only ever REALLY funny before they got rich) it’s an interesting move for Blockbuster which finds itself on the back-foot, trying to catch up with the web TV boom and the impact on-demand TV will continue to have on its retail presence footfall.

It’s also a big deal for Paramount in general as it tries to understand more about online as a distribution channel, rather than relying on the old tape and DVD models. Hollywood has been slow carve out the online opportunities in its favour – even slower than the music industry – but the fact remains that media audiences are fragmenting and online TV services like Joost, Veoh, Babelgum and Vuze continue to swell their viewer numbers. The challenge for the online TV services is to attract the advertisers as the medium wrongly retains a ‘cutting edge’ scepticism among the major media players.

Murdoch Jr’s move to push News Corp’s digital future
December 9, 2007, 4:18 pm
Filed under: News Corp | Tags: , , , ,

A lot of loose ends began to come together at News Corp on Friday as Rupert Murdoch shuffled execs ahead of the imminent announcement of the Dow Jones takeover completion and, more importantly his son announced he would stand down as CEO of BSkyB to take on the job of running News Corp’s European and Asian operations.

The implication of Murdoch Jr’s move is vital for the rest of the media industry, particularly in the digital space. It has become increasingly obvious, as James Murdoch has won over his early critics, that he is responsible for his father’s significant moves in the digital media space. In fact in the early days Rupert Murdoch was largely reticent about the web and its impact, but his son’s influence has helped move News Corp well and truly into the digital space.

 The digital media industry must beware that News Corp is pushing ahead with its aggressive digital media strategy, the next stage of which will be the announcement of the removal of the payment barrier, and media rivals such as the Financial Times and CNN will need to respond.

 At Google’s Zeitgeist conference earlier this year, James Murdoch hinted at his vision of the changing nature of media and the interconnectedness of the growing number of media channels. It might not be the most inspirational speech ever given, but it gives an indication of Murdoch Jr’s appreciation for the digital world and in light of Friday’s moves, indicates this is just the beginning of a major push from News Corp.

Display ads to hold up online market? surely not
December 5, 2007, 2:28 pm
Filed under: AOL, marketing, MSN, online advertising, social media | Tags: , , , , ,

Online display advertising and online sponsorship will hold up advertising market and take the lion’s share of ever-increasing online spends. That bold assertion is the key finding of a report from Convera, a US-based vertical search firm. It cuts clearly against the rest of the industry consensus that paid search and social media will take a greater share of the online budget.

 So what’s the real beef? Well as CPM and PPC costs continue to swell, they occupy very specific niches. CPM for brand awareness and paid search for leads. But social networks lilke Facebook, MySpace and Bebo are all carving out ever larger slices of the online spend as marketers begin to understand how they can make them work to generate quality leads that are more likely to become paying customers.

 Will publishers earn more from display ads and sponsorships in 2008? The larger players, namely portals such as MSN, AOL and Tiscali will continue to cream revenue off channel sponsorships. But as social networks account for an increasing volume of overall Internet traffic (and in November accounted for over 5 per cent of UK internet traffic, overtaking webmail sites) the money will shift in line with where the lion’s share of the available advertising inventory is, meaning publishers will need to become more creative and go beyond simple display and sponsorship opportunities that were the bread and butter of the glory days of 2000.

Finally good news for ITV and CBS?
December 1, 2007, 2:33 pm
Filed under: CBS, ITV | Tags: , , , ,

superbowl advertising still a big drawThere was supposedly some good news for troubled broadcasters out of the Reuters Media Summit in New York late this week when a report from consultancy Bain & Co claimed that for the next four years, time spent watching television will rise faster than leisure time spent on the Internet.

Good news for major broadcasters on both sides of the pond as in the UK ITV continues to struggle for ratings while in the US CBS is skating on very thin ice if the US does fall into an economic recession. CBS alone generates 70 per cent of its revenue from advertising.

The saviour for broadcasters, according to the Bain & Co report is the growth of video-on demand and digital video recorders. In principal, this assertion seems to make sense, but ad-skipping on digitally recorded shows and a departure from linear TV scheduling is having a profound impact on ad sales. This is evidenced by the fact that TV networks such as CBS have inflated the costs of advertising during major live events – the only time seemingly the audience is as captive as it was a decade ago. The cost of a 30-second ad at Super Bowl XLI last February exceeded $2.5m for a 30-second slot and the Arizona showdown in 2008 is already on course to blow that out of the water.

The challenge for broadcasters has to be to look at how on-demand can work as a stronger proposition, rather than continue to resist it. IPTV services, such as the UK’s Tiscali TV and BT Vision theoretically could provide much more sophisticated and targeted advertising opportunities, the broadcasters and media buying agencies simply need to start working together more effectively.