It’s alive! Dynamic ads are up, running…and not all that scary

January 27th, 2016

The cable network that’s all about scary is trying to take some of the fear out of dynamic VOD advertising.

Fearnet and its national advertising rep, Los Angeles-based Sony Pictures Television, are first out of the gate in selling dynamic advertising positions in viewer-requested video streams that run over cable and telco-video systems.

So far, says Paul Brennan, Sony’s SVP of Advertising Sales, nobody has run away screaming from the pitch. Instead, Sony has sold campaigns on Fearnet VOD to a group of advertisers across consumer brand categories including automotive (Volvo and others), film (Relativity Media, Anchor Bay Entertainment and others) video games (EA and Capcom) and television brands including AMC and Starz Entertainment. “Because there’s a conscious decision of a viewer to be there, it’s a very strong place to advertise,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

Comcast-TWC could speed advanced ad deployment

January 27th, 2016

An advanced television advertising capability long pursued by the cable industry is starting to get some attention – and some traction.

It’s household addressability, or the ability to send to your neighbor who’s watching ESPN a different commercial message than the one you see at exactly the same time, on exactly the same channel, because you have different demographic or behavioral characteristics than the guy next door. Neat, huh?

Except there’s a rub: right now the attention is going mostly to satellite TV, not cable, because Dish Network and DirecTV are out in front with bigger rollout footprints and scale in the addressable advertising category. Read the rest of this entry »

Making the case for digital downloads

January 27th, 2016

With a new digital movie delivery service, Disney and Apple this week joined the burgeoning movement to cloud storage and retrieval of media stuff. Similar to the Ultraviolet platform that Disney has shunned in favor of its own solution, the Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) service lets users buy and watch movies on digital devices, in this case iPads, iPhones and iPods. It’s sort of a Disney-fied, miniature version of iTunes, and if you sign up you get Disney’s animated feature “The Incredibles” for free.

One of the appealing elements of DMA, Ultraviolet and other digital delivery platforms like Amazon Instant Video and Apple TV is a warm and comforting acquiescence to the cloud. Thanks to the pairing of mega-server arrays and fast broadband connections to them, we’re quickly becoming liberated from the do-it-yourself handiwork of the old days, when we had to manage the downloading of files to devices or personal storage systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Ma Bell makes a big bet on legacy TV

January 27th, 2016

AT&T’s big bet on old-school video delivery technology testifies to an inescapable reality of the telecommunications scene: pay-TV still rules.

At a time when everybody’s rushing to plant a stake in the online video delivery business, the $48.5 billion-plus-debt deal to buy DirecTV signals the enduring economic power of a tried-and-true formula: charging millions of people $100 per month for packages of TV channels. Read the rest of this entry »

How the youth movement is sinking legacy TV

January 27th, 2016

Nielsen’s latest take on how the American populace is shifting TV viewing habits is especially troubling (if your biz model has “legacy” written on it, at least) from a standpoint of youthful demographics. While Americans at large spent two fewer minutes per week watching traditional television during the third quarter of 2014 versus two years ago, viewing time among 18-24 year-olds plunged nearly 22 percent over the same time period.

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Wired Internet access is starting to look so 2013

January 27th, 2016

Increasingly, the Internet is a thing of air and invisibility. The International Telecommunications Union estimates mobile broadband connections are growing at a double-digit pace globally, compared to slowing growth of 4.4 percent for fixed networks. Already, there are nearly 2.4 billion mobile broadband subscriptions in the world, ITU believes.

Even among developed nations, where fixed broadband tends to be more prevalent, wireless Internet reigns supreme. Among nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, there were 330 million fixed broadband connections in place at the end of last year, versus 900 million mobile broadband units, according to OECD. Read the rest of this entry »

The video acronym that needs to die

January 27th, 2016

Dish Network Corp.’s breakthrough online video service addresses a marketplace sweet spot with such earnestness and resolve that it’s a shame to see it tarred with that sour and pejorative acronym of the new video era: OTT.

Short for “over the top,” this three-letter malcontent of a descriptor has always been a sketchy way to label genuinely innovative and interesting video business models that make use of the Internet. Dish’s millennials-targeted Sling TV is the latest, and the boldest, of the bunch. Read the rest of this entry »

On sale: TV sports channels! Super cheap!

January 27th, 2016

Here’s a tag line you probably won’t see: Sling TV: the best of television sports for $20 per month.

That’s not way Dish Network Corp. is positioning its new online subscription video service. But it could be. Read the rest of this entry »

The machine that ate television may be showing its age

January 27th, 2016

In the museum of Stuff Your Dad Used to Have, alongside the Chevrolet Cobalt and the Steely Dan t-shirt, here’s another item to add: the DVR.

The machine that ate television may be starting to show its age, according to some interesting analytics shared recently by CBS research guru David Poltrack. Read the rest of this entry »

Redefining broadband…and why it matters

January 27th, 2016

Most investors still seem to believe the market-reshaping Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger will happen. But as this New York Times analysis points out, the betting line is shifting, with some saying the odds of completion are now slightly lower.

Beyond the normal regulatory scrutiny a $45 billion transaction merits, the deal is complicated by shifts in the broader regulatory approach toward Internet delivery at large in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »