Give Me Media

ITV plugs in with Bebo, but digitally still dancing on ice
March 10, 2008, 12:53 pm
Filed under: BBC, Bebo, Friends Reunited, iPlayer, ITV, online TV, social media, TV | Tags: , , , , ,

Holly WilloughbyBeleaguered British broadcaster ITV is peddling fast to catch up with the rest of the digital world by announcing a deal this morning with Bebo to show its ITV2 programming on the social network. The move comes as ITV struggles with a decline in global content revenues and Michael Grade is increasingly waking up to online as the new distribution channel, but anything ITV has produced in terms of its online video player thus far lags so far behind rival BBC’s iPlayer.

The Bebo deal is interesting on a number of fronts – it’s cheap and arguably quick to deploy as a bandage measure to help stem ITV’s hemorrhaging younger viewers – an increasing number of which are getting all the broadcast content they want online and on-demand. Secondly, given that ITV owns Friends Reunited, you have to ask why it chose someone else’s social network as a digital route to market… 

Despite insisting he is ahead of where he expected to be, ITV’s shares have fallen more than 20 per cent since the start of the year as Michael Grade struggles to turn the corporation’s fortunes around, and to clearly articulate the corporation’s digital strategy. Let’s hope when it is finally revealed it is not ‘digital on ice’… and in the meantime Holly Willoughby can continue to keep ITV’s weekend end up, but for how much longer?


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.

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.