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Idol Keeps On Rolling January 30, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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This is almost unbelievable. Idol is gaining momentum.

    “American Idol,” already top-rated, was up an astonishing 15 percent among the 18-to-49-year-old viewers that Fox most sought to reach. It was up almost 10 percent among all viewers, at 35.5 million, the second-largest audience ever for an entertainment show on Fox.

    And the figures for the second week were mind-boggling. Last Tuesday’s show was up 25 percent both in total viewers and in the 18-to-49 group from the corresponding week a year earlier.

    …Among teenage girls, the show had an extraordinary 49 share meaning that of every girl in the country watching television for those two hours, with about 100 channels to choose from in most homes, half were watching Fox. Probably nothing on television since the heyday of “The Cosby Show” has regularly posted numbers like that.

Yahoo’s Semel Works the Hustings January 29, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Aha. The first sign of the Yahoo image rehab I’ve been calling for. The message: Yahoo’s a tech company when competing with media, but a media company when competing with tech. Not bad.

Of course, Yahoo’s really a media company. But since the Times thinks Google and Microsoft are the main competitors, in this particular spinning, that message worked just dandy.

See how many grafs you get through before there’s any skepticism in the story. I count twenty-two. Does anybody read twenty-two paragraphs?

Signs o’ the Times? January 27, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Revenues at Microsoft were up 9%. For Procter & Gamble, if you strip out recently acquired Gillette, that figure was 8%. P&G is the bigger company. P&G gets growth by buying things. What’s Microsoft to do?

Predictions 2006: Media and Technology January 25, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Convergence is dead; long live Convergence. Vertical integration and synergy are dead…uh, well, maybe. Synergy shouldn’t be dead. All media should be multi-media. One brand, one audience, multiple channels, multiple receivers. Optimize programming for each, fine-tune revenue models likewise, but drive traffic across all. Cross-promote. This is The Law.

Repeat every year.

Make or Break in 2006

– Tivo: somebody buys ’em. Some suggest Netflix (not bad), some say Apple (not bad at all), some say Blockbuster (gahghhh). But what about Nielsen Media? Is Tivo a user experience? a consumer electronics device? real VoD? an advertising/promotional network? a market research tool? We’ll find out this year.

– MySpace: Rupert bought ’em. This year we’ll find out if the fad is sustainable and, more important, if News Corp. can make money off it. If it isn’t, or it can’t, it’ll be over, and everyone will know by the end of 2006. I’m writing “21st Century Portals” in Q2. You’ll find out then.

– AOL.com: see above.

Bleeding-Edge Indicator

Deconstructing your site is the critical concept Jupiter produced last year, introduced by colleague Barry Parr. Most companies won’t figure it out in 2006. Simply put, “Publishers must make their sites the archive and Google their search page.” Gawd knows, I’m one of the original proponents of herding the sheep, but there will be a whole new way of doing that. It’s not a site anymore, it’s a network of landing pages.

Non-Events

Things that will be talked about a lot, but won’t have a big dollars and sense impact in 2006:

– Breaking up Time Warner: (a la Viacom) won’t happen
– Blog network ad revenues
– Collapsing filmed entertainment release windows: day-and-date DVD and box office releases, etc.
– IPTV
– Mobile music (over-the-air downloads) or mobile video
– DVRs and ad-skipping
– China anything
– Next-gen DVD formats (Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD)
– Google off-line advertising (not this year)

Requisite Flippant Management Prediction

Something’s going to happen at Yahoo. The best-positioned online media company just ain’t getting the respect it deserves. And some heavy hitter will leave Google. That’s a slam-dunk. It won’t hurt them.

Following are some of my favorite ’06 predictors, both for amusement value and prescience. I’ll let you figure out which is which:

Organic’s Mark Kingdon
Slate’s Edward Jay Epstein
LA Times’ Sallie Hoffmeister
Search guru John Battelle

Dull Dish from Davos January 25, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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So far the NY Times/Int’l Herald Tribune appears to have at least seven people blogging at Davos. So far, the blog still isn’t any fun.

MySpace Isn’t a Portal… January 25, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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…it’s Amway crossed with eBay! Don’t tell the cool kids!

That’s according to News Corp.’s Ross Levinsohn, in this WSJ interview. Fun times. I guess this explains how MySpace can soak up lots of the time spent online but not so many of the ad dollars yet — it’s cheap!:

    WSJ: Why should advertisers choose your network over proven performers like Yahoo and MSN?

    Mr. Levinsohn: Not to take anything away from Avis, but we’re going to try a lot harder to establish our place in the marketplace. Yahoo doesn’t have to do it, they’re the 800 pound gorilla. For MSN to do a custom program, you have to spend at least seven figures.

Prediction Anticipation, Part Deux: How’d I Do? January 24, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Okay, I’m getting some grief from friends and colleagues, and January is coming to a close. Before I do my 2006 Media and Technology Predictions, let’s see how I did last year.

Broadband Critical Mass. I hadn’t found a killer app that would emerge from the US home broadband v. dial-up critical mass and cross-over, so I said it might be a market share shift opportunity. Hasn’t happened. Yahoo is about to pass AOL in time spent, but hasn’t done it yet. MySpace may be the new portal, but it and Yahoo aren’t because of broadband offerings. And Interweb video — a possible killer app — is hotter than it’s been in a long while.

Paid Search Backlash and Local Paid Search. Again I’m a bit premature on backlash, although the teapot-tempest of click fraud emerged. I’ll claim victory on calling the beginnings of a show-down between local search, Yellow Pages and Classifieds. There are pay-per-call experiments from Google, Yahoo, and Verizon.

I posted earlier this evening on just one of the signs of Blog Backlash.

No meaningful Wireless Content in 05? Nailed that one. Ditto no real Home Entertainment Hub. And even though HP bailed on its dual-hub strategy (a Carly thing?), DVRs began to matter, as Nielsen “raced” out a service to cover ’em.

I laid out some prediction-light themes:

On-Demand Everything: how ’bout day and date release experiments in box office and DVD? and vPods and In2TV and MTV Overdrive, etc. etc.?
– Internet Fan-Feeding: claims of ratings boosts from iPod vids wasn’t quite what I had in mind, but it’ll do.
What’s the New New Thing? Haven’t found it yet. Tools for buzz marketing measurement? Behavioral targeting? Premature.

Requisite Flippant Management Prediction?: Got it. More or less.

Not too shabby, huh? Who says you get what you pay for?

Tomorrow: predictions at last.

Who You Calling Brushed Metal, Pal? January 24, 2006

Posted by David Card in Digital Home & Personal Tech.
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I’m late to this but it’s hilarious if you’re a Mac UI/design geek. (Warning: dialogue is R-rated.) Colleague Joe Wilcox reminds me that Microsoft Messenger just went brushed metal. Always just a half-step behind on these kinds of things…

Citizen Journalist Pioneer Folds a Tent January 24, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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A little over a year ago, I posted about Dan Gillmor putting his money where his mouth is, and starting a citizen journalism business. It didn’t work. Dan’s thoughtful post on lessons learned is a must-read. Best of luck in whatever the new venture is, Dan.

Tagging: Steamless Meme or New New Thing? January 24, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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We should have a pool. Whaddaya say, tagging — the new, new thing or meme that runs out of steam in 6 months? Even though I’m a huge fan of the wisdom of crowds and harnessing the power of the audience, I am just cynical enough to think that Americans are too lazy to tag things. Clicking on a link is one thing. Typing a tag is another.

Note to MSM: please, please don’t adopt the phrase “the Tagosphere.”