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“Lost” Catch-Up: Future of TV? January 30, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Okay, everybody needs to watch Lost tonight, to see if this nutty idea works. (On-screen text on a repeat of last season’s finale, to help you follow three seasons of convoluted plot. They’ll even tip off “easter eggs.”)

Real fans would use the Internet to do this — 42% of adults watch TV while they’re online on a monthly basis, a third weekly, and the pattern doesn’t skew young. Will it feel like satirical MST3K and VH1 pop-up video? Or like useful sports stats? Stay tuned, we’ve got some old-school iTV research in the works.

And how does this not violate the writers’s strike? (A “marketing” firm did the work.)

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Get Real, TechCrunch January 24, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I’m just guessing, but I’m guessing you should file this under “Left Coast Steaming Loads of Cr@p”

Right next to the nonsense about practically-insolvent Penthouse paying $1 billion for Adult Friendfinder. Or was it half that? Or perhaps a lot less?

This is what separates journalists from bloggers. Or from venture capitalists. TechCrunch, what are you? You might want to pick one. The three-way combo kinda stinks.

To All You Mobile Advertising Doubters January 22, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Anybody notice how many of those nifty new iPhone “apps” ship with advertising? Just pointing this out…

Dream Job January 17, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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One of — possible the — best media analysts on Wall Street, Goldman’s Anthony Noto, is leaving to be CFO of the NFL. The NFL is already a media juggernaut, and they’re getting a sharp guy. Have fun! And, btw, about that NFL Network thing? Could you talk the league out of it?

Sorry, Apple Movie Rentals No Game-Changer January 15, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I’m sorry, but I’ll have to disagree that Apple’s movie rental story will do for movies what iTunes did for music. To really change the game in movie rentals, somebody will have to:

– Match the big hits content library. Not the long tail
– Feed the biggest screen in the house, the TV set
– Make a price breakthrough
– Make a release windows breakthrough
– Match or better DVD quality (because of those bigger screens)

Apple’s catalog is puny (1,000 titles) and not hits-focued, and it’s in a crummy release window (30 days post DVD). AppleTV is getting better, but probably isn’t there yet for the masses. Its ease of use is surely better than some alternatives, but it’s not set-top box with on-screen promotion (and hey, even that hasn’t worked for MSO VoD). Rental pricing is good ($3.99 for current hits). I haven’t seen the quality, but prior iTunes store releases and AppleTV connections didn’t cut it on big-screen TV sets.

Apple’s ecosystem is a force, to be sure, but this isn’t about three screens yet, it’s about the Big Screen.

Lost on iTunes a day after release, without having to wait for the DVD was a breakthrough it its day, but quickly matched and bettered by ad-supported streaming solutions. The iPod revolutionized music, and the iTunes store’s catalog, ease of use, pricing, and the fact you could buy singles were game-changers.

This isn’t about “Internet movies,” it’s about delivering on-demand content to the TV set. The competition is with cable, satellite, Blockbuster, Netflix, and the networks all of whom are tough. The “dinosaur” studios & networks are way more aggressive in exploring digital than the record industry was, and Apple can’t bully them like it did the labels.

More Prediction Anticipation January 9, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I’m still behind on making my 2008 predictions for media and technology. Will yet another Top Ten of 2007 tide you over for another day?

Top Ten Movies of 2007 (roughly descending order)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Sweeney Todd
Into the Wild
No Country for Old Men
28 Weeks Later
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Hot Fuzz
There Will Be Blood
Live Free or Die Hard
Gone Baby Gone

I haven’t seen Juno yet. Nearly made the list: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, 3:10 to Yuma.

My favorite of the year made $3 million in US box office ticket sales (ranked number 185 out of 600 or so). Of the 27 movies that made over $100 million in 2007 — vs 18 last year, so much for the long tail causing the death of hits — I liked four and four more weren’t bad. I didn’t really like any of the four $300 million titles (there was only one in 2006), and I absolutely hated one (Transformers).

But I swear, I’m not a completely pretentious snob. Check out that list — Potter 5, Die Hardest, and a horror movie sequel! I’m getting more mainstream, I promise. In 2006 none of my faves were in the box office top ten.

Prediction Anticipation January 8, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Yikes, it’s getting into January, and I continue to slack on delivering my 2008 media and technology predictions. (Although I’m not going to pull the “I’d tell you, but I’m under NDA” trick.) But first, how’d I do last year?

I thought Social Media would be huge and fragmented, but I didn’t think we’d see another monster brand emerge beyond MySpace and YouTube. Whoops. Oh, yeah, that Facebook thing is kinda popular. I said we’d figure out what kind of marketing works on social networks, and we did make some progress there, but I also thought the industry would define engagement metrics. That’s ongoing (we’ve got multiple Jupiter reports on the subject coming very soon. I’ll update the link.)

I thought Three-Screen Media would remain fragmented, unprofitable, and that no user would pay for UGC video. (Will advertisers?) All correct — and easy — but I thought we’d make a little more progress on mobile video than we did. Similarly, in Mobile Media & Marketing, I said there’d be no real money this year (except SMS voting) and no new big media brands.

I was pretty good at non-events, several of which continued from 2006:
– No luck for the search guys applying their skills off-line
– No serious blog ad dollars or audiences
– No successful niche social networks
– No US music phone or OTA download impact
– No death of hits (in the face of long-tail content)

All on the money. Oh yeah, I didn’t think Apple would do a phone in 07. Probably my worst call since rejecting the idea of consumer DVD sales (vs. rentals).

My requisite flippant management/merger predictions weren’t bad, either:
– Tivo still hasn’t been acquired. Should I go for three years in a row?
– As predicted, Yahoo didn’t get bought, and Sir Howard didn’t get fired at Sony.
– As predicted, News Corp. bought Dow Jones.

2008 predictions coming soon. Stay tuned.

If It’s on the Simpsons, It Must Be True January 7, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Last night on the Simpsons, as Dan Rather was introducing his presidential primary media panel, consisting of reporters from CNN, Slate, and the Washington Post, bully Nelson Muntz pointed at the poor print reporter and crowed: “Haw haw, dying medium.”

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Another Great One Passes January 6, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Oh, now I’ve really got the post-holiday blues. We’ll never hear the story of Flashy’s adventures in the Civil War, or Khartoum, or with Maximilian in Mexico, or in the Boxer rebellion.

Flashman1.jpg

George MacDonald Fraser reminiscence, and obit (from a Tory paper, as it should be).

Flashman’s Who’s Who entry.

TV Media Planning Evolves. Slowly January 4, 2008

Posted by David Card in Media.
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From the If the Journal Says It, It Must Be True department: media planners aren’t wonky anymore; they’re rising stars! And behavioral analysis is more important than demographics!

These are some of the key takeaways from an interesting profile of Interpublic/Initiative’s Janice Finkel-Greene, under the headline “Looking at Data Through a DVR.” But if media buying actually took into account current DVR behavior, wouldn’t TV ad spending be down? (See Figure 7.) It’s not. It’ll probably take a new generation of media planners, raised on Internet measurement techniques, to really re-distribute the ad spending wealth. And TV will be the best mass medium for emotional, story-telling messages, probably forever.

Jupiter’s latest DVR forecast and some behavioral data here.