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June 26 2013

17:26

Videology’s Jamboretz: Video Ad Tech Consolidation Looming

CANNES – With video advertising growing at such a pace currently, the number of technology suppliers in the chain could balloon and then shrink in a wave of M&A, one sector exec says.

“There is an absolute expectation that consolidation will have to happen at some point,” Ryan Jamboretz, the EMEA SVP of one vendor, Videology, told Beet.TV in this video interview during Cannes Lions. “There’s too many people racing at the opportunity. so there will be shake-out.”

Videology’s technology helps advertisers move money from TV to digital and understand the relative success of campaigns in each. The firm recently took on $60 million in new investment to fuel its own tilt at the opportunity.

“We’re delighted,” Jamboretz told Beet.TV. “Raising $60 million is no small feat. I think it’s  of the biggest raises in the sector this year. It’s a big part of our international expansion plan.”

June 20 2013

13:19

New CEO Wants Shazam To Be Destination, Not Utility

CANNES – After branching out from identifying music to enabling TV ad interaction, now mobile app Shazam wants to start aggregating its wealth of user data to encourage greater user engagement.

“Expect to see us do more and more around content and engagement, and becoming a more of a destination app around music instead of an identification utility solely,” Yahoo alum and recently-appointed Shazam CEO Rich Riley told Beet.TV in this interview during Cannes Lions.

“Sixty-five million people used Shazam in May. We want to make sure they’re not just using us when they hear a song they don’t know – we’d like them to come to us any time. We’ll be surfacing music, showing them what other people are Shazaming, we’ll have the social aspect, more content, more video.”

These upgrades will likely include lists of popular and current tracks and will continue in around a month, Riley said, adding that Shazam plans similar features for its TV efforts.

August 01 2012

13:46

The Quixotic Quest to Avoid Olympic Spoilers on Social Media

Olympic fever hit me young. One of my earliest memories is of a coloring book featuring the raccoon mascot from the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics that my mom gave me when I was three. I colored in the pictures of the raccoons skating and bobsledding while I watched the Olympics on our old boxy television. From then on, wherever I was, whatever I was doing, I always took two weeks out to gorge on the Olympics, as the technology that delivered them to viewers evolved.

olympics digital 2012 small.jpg

I've passed on my enthusiasm to my kids. When my daughter was two and half, coverage of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 was practically the first television I allowed her to watch. One day she saw an elderly neighbor of ours swimming shortened laps in the decidedly not Olympic-sized oval pool at our condo complex. She pointed and said, "A champion!" She pointed out champions everywhere -- joggers slogging down the street, slackers pedaling cruiser bikes, they were all champions.

During the Beijing Olympics, I managed to mostly avoid hearing results of competitions before I was able to watch them on the evening network TV coverage. But there are now more ways than ever to take in Olympic coverage -- network and cable TV, iPad apps, live feeds streaming on the Internet, and the athletes' Twitter and Facebook updates, to name some. The ubiquity of real-time coverage threatens to undermine what I most enjoy about the Olympics: the drama, the thrill of not knowing how the competition is going to turn out. So I will try to digitally sequester myself as much as I can during the London Olympics.

Against the Digital Grain

Why am I trying to go against the modern digital grain? When I was in high school, I almost won a 300-meter hurdles competition. There I was, charging down the track. I could hear my teammates chanting my name and saw no competitors in front of me. I was beginning to taste the thrill of victory that I'd heard so much about during my obsessive Olympics watching. Then I tripped over the second-to-last hurdle and landed flat on my face on the track. I picked myself up in time to collect my customary fourth place.

My loss was not at the level that an Olympian who has trained her whole life experiences when she makes an unfortunate mistake, nor would a win have been as great. But when you're rooting for an athlete, what you're really doing is rooting a little for yourself -- for the little bit of you that you see in every champion. And so, when you can see the win within her reach, and then something goes wrong, your own mishaps make you feel her pain. And you share a little of the athlete's glory when she wins, because you've been through the nerve-wracking experience together.

When, however, you hear through Twitter or a news site that an athlete tripped over a hurdle, and later you watch the race, it feels like all you're watching it for is to see when and how the calamity happened. This rubbernecking feels unwholesome somehow. It's less like the participatory feeling that watching a live sporting event can give and more like the why-have-I-sunk-this-low self-loathing that watching reality TV provides.

I have a few advantages in my quest to digitally sequester myself, chiefly that I am somewhat behind the rest of the country on my gadget acquisition. This is in part because I try to limit my online time, but mostly because on my meager writer earnings, I can't afford all those pesky monthly fees. So I don't have cable or satellite TV, and I still rock a flip phone without a text or Internet plan like it's 2005. I will try not to visit Facebook much during these two weeks. However, I can't give up Twitter. It's just too fun.

A Two-Week Olympic Sequestration

During the first few days of Olympic coverage, my quest to digitally sequester myself has yielded mixed results. As I watched the Opening Ceremonies, I checked out Twitter, figuring that since this wasn't a competition, there was nothing really to spoil. I enjoy visiting Twitter during events that millions of people are watching together -- it's like throwing a party without having to cook and clean. But apparently the majority of the people I follow live farther East than I do, because I was reading lots of tweets about the parachuting Queen and Mary Poppins taking on Voldemort hours before I could see this in Colorado.

So I shut off my computer and enjoyed watching Kenneth Branagh, dressed kind of like Abe Lincoln, wandering around on that Hobbity hill in the pastoral portion of the Opening Ceremonies. If I'd had Wikipedia fired up, I could have learned that the top hat costume was meant to portray not Lincoln, but Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a British engineer whose "designs revolutionized public transport and modern engineering."

But I didn't need Wikipedia to tell me that Branagh is a great actor. His expression of joy and awe at the sight of the illuminated Olympic rings rising above looked so much more intelligent and convincing than the slack-mouthed stupefaction of the volunteers nearby him, who were perhaps feeling the same awe but weren't trained to express it through their faces. Branagh's eyeballs tracked side to side as he gazed at the spectacle, the way actors' eyes do when they give each other meaningful looks. Give that guy an Oscar.

Nor did I need Wikipedia to tell me who Tim Berners-Lee was when he appeared in the modern section of the ceremony. I had my software engineer husband to tell me that he established the first web server, and that in the opening ceremony he was sitting at a NeXT workstation, the computer he used in his pioneering work on the World Wide Web. My husband further informed me that Steve Jobs founded NeXT in 1985, the year he was fired from Apple. See! In the absence of the Internet, family members can also be fonts of information. However, my husband said, "I didn't know Tim Berners-Lee was British. I thought he was Swiss." So the same rule applies for information derived from Wikipedia and family members: trust, but verify.

Family Members Ruin It

missyfranklin.jpg

On Saturday, the first day of real competition, I fared less well on my digital seclusion. I avoided checking the Internet or listening to the radio, but at the birthday party for my dad that day, most of my family was armed with smartphones and iPads. My brother and my husband started a discussion that made it clear to me that Michael Phelps had not won the gold in the 400-meter IM. "Stop!" I said. "No more!" I ran away from them. So I was able to at least preserve the mystery of who had won the race until I watched it a few hours later and saw Ryan Lochte take the gold.

It will be hard for me to find time during weekdays to sit down and watch live Olympic coverage on the Internet, so as the London Olympics unfolds, I will continue my quest to maintain my ignorance until the moment when network TV chooses to enlighten me. I know, it's retrograde, but it's the best strategy I can come up with to maintain that Olympic magic that I first experienced as a kid.

However, I don't think I will be able to resist sneaking away from my weekday duties to watch a Colorado girl, Missy Franklin, in her swimming finals. She goes to the same high school that my little brother attended, which for some reason makes me feel like I have a stake in her wins. She's already won her first gold medal and is expected to contend for six medals.

She's taken it as her mission to bring some joy back to Colorado. At a news conference last week she said, "The only thing I can do is go to the Olympics and hopefully make Colorado proud and find a little bit of light there now." She tweets @FranklinMissy, and you can bet your gold medal I'll be following her.

Jenny Shank's first novel, "The Ringer," is a finalist for the High Plains Book Award. Her satire appears in the new "McSweeney's Book of Politics and Musicals."

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July 30 2012

19:47

The silver lining in the #nbcfail cloud

A touch of irony: There’s good news in the #nbcfail fuss for the network and all networks: The channel is not dead, not yet.

If I went too far — which, of course, is what I do for a living — I might argue that once we could get all the sports from the Olympics live on the web and apps, then we’d abandon old-fashioned broadcast channels and fragment ourselves silly. The channel, I’d argue, is a vestigial and artificial necessity of scarce broadcast spectrum, so who needs it?

But, of course, that didn’t happen. NBC is getting record ratings for its old-fashioned channels — even though it is airing an incredible volume of video online and even though Twitter, Facebook, and the web act as gigantic spoiler networks assuring that every result is known by every American hours before prime time.

Here’s the silver lining, then: Viewers still want channels and the value they add. That is precisely why they’re so mad that NBC is not showing the hottest contests live, because that’s what they expect a great channel to give them: the best, right now.

So NBC could take the #NBCfail fiasco as a Valentine. Not only would I argue that all the spoilers and chatter online are driving audience to prime time but the audience is telling NBC they’d prefer to watch a well-produced channel than the internet.

Take that, Jarvis and all you internet triumphalists!

Listen hard, NBC. Serve your audience well and maybe you’ll keep an audience.

July 29 2012

17:01

#nbcfail economics

Reading the #nbcfail hashtag has been at least as entertaining as much of NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. It’s also enlightening — economically enlightening.

There’s the obvious:
* The people formerly known as the audience have a voice and boy are they using it to complain about NBC’s tape delays of races and the opening ceremonies, about its tasteless decision to block the UK tribute to its 7/7 victims, and about its commentators’ idiocies (led by Meredith Vieira’s ignorance of the inventor of the web; they could have used their extra three hours to enlighten her).
* Twitter is a gigantic spoiler machine. It would be nearly impossible to isolate oneself from news of results because even if you don’t read Twitter or Facebook or go to the net, someone you know, someone you run into will. Information can’t be controlled. Amen.
* We in the U.S. are being robbed of the opportunity to share a common experience with the world in a way that was never before possible.
Those arguments have all been made well and wittily on #nbcfail.

The counterargument has been an economic one: NBC has to maximize commercial revenue, which means maximizing prime time viewership, to recoup the billions paid for the rights to broadcast, billions that pay for the stadiums and security and ceremony. The argument is also made that NBC’s strategy is working because it is getting record ratings.

But there’s no way to know whether airing the Phelps race or the opening ceremonies live on TV would have decreased or increased prime-time viewing. Indeed, with spoilers everywhere, viewing is up. I can easily imagine people watching the Phelps defeat live tweeting their heads off telling friends to watch it in prime time. I can imagine people thanking NBC for curating the best of the day at night and giving folks a chance to watch the highlights. I tweeted: “I’m waiting for NBC to take credit for idea Twitter helps build buzz & ratings for tape-delayed events.” (Which led Piers Morgan’s producer, Jonathan Wald, to take joking credit and then the executive producer of the NBC Olympics, Jim Bell, to offer it. To his credit, Bell has engaged with at least one tweeted suggestion.)

If NBC superserved its viewers, the fans, wouldn’t that be strategy for maximum audience? The BBC is superserving its viewers. I went to TunnelBear so I could sample what the BBC is offering on the air and in its iPlayer — which, of course, we can’t use in the U.S. — and it’s awesome. But, of course, the BBC is supported by its viewers’ fees. So the argument is that the BBC serves viewers because they’re the boss while NBC serves advertisers because they pay the bills.

I still don’t buy it. I don’t want to buy it, for that pushes media companies to put all they do behind walls, to make us pay for what we want. I still see a future for advertising support and free content. I still believe that if NBC gave the fans what they wanted rather than trying to make them do what NBC thinks it wants, NBC could win by growing audience and engagement and thus better serving sponsors. I ask you to imagine what Olympics coverage would look like if Google had acquired the rights. It would give us what we want and make billions, I’ll bet.

The problem for NBC as for other media is that it is trying to preserve old business models in a new reality. To experiment with alternatives when billions are at stake is risky. But so is not experimenting and not learning when millions of your viewers can complain about you on Twitter.

The bottom-line lesson for all media is that business models built on imprisonment, on making us do what you want us to do because you give us no choice, is no strategy for the future. And there’s only so long you can hold off the future.

The bottom line for Olympics fans is that, as Bill Gross pointed out, much of the blame for what we’re seeing — and not seeing — falls to the IOC and the overblown economics of the games. There is the root of greed that leads to brand police who violate free speech rights in the UK by chilling use of the innocent words “2012″ and “games”, and tape delays, and branded athletes. This is the spirit of the Olympics Games? It is now.

July 27 2012

16:11

April 30 2012

15:51

April 18 2012

16:18

Daily Must Reads, April 18, 2012

The best stories across the web on media and technology, curated by Lily Leung.

1. Julian Assange launches talk show on Russian television (NYT)



2. Father of the world wide web urges people to demand their personal data from Google, Facebook (Guardian)



3. Hulu's paid subscription service hits 2 million users (GigaOm)



4. More people are watching TV shows on their tablets (MediaDailyNews)



5. Can Twitter replace newswire services? (Digiday)



6. Netflix could move from streaming to making content (GigaOm)



Subscribe to our daily Must Reads email newsletter and get the links in your in-box every weekday!



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April 10 2012

16:45

February 28 2012

15:56

Daily Must Reads, Feb. 28, 2012

The best stories across the web on media and technology, curated by Lily Leung.


1. E-book revenues for publishers were up in 2011 (PaidContent)



2. Financial Times' digital growth explained (Foliomag)



3. More are watching live TV to avoid spoilers on social networks (Lost Remote)



4. NYT launches Tumblr of paper's photo archives (Poynter)



5. Which magazine publisher is winning in the Twitter race?  (MinOnline)



6. 13 ways a reporter should use a beat blog (The Buttry Diary)



Subscribe to our daily Must Reads email newsletter and get the links in your in-box every weekday!



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January 13 2012

18:25

Daily Must Reads, Jan. 13, 2012

The best stories across the web on media and technology, curated by Nathan Gibbs


1. New York Times public editor smashes himself with boomerang (Reuters)

2. Study: Old-school TV viewing is still growing (paidContent)

3. Apple cancels in-store iPhone 4S sales in Beijing and Shanghai because of unruly crowds (AllThingsD)

4. Study: Your Facebook personality is the real you (ReadWriteWeb)



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January 09 2012

16:50

Daily Must Reads, Jan. 9, 2012

The best stories across the web on media and technology, curated by Nathan Gibbs


1. Walking while texting: A guide for safety and etiquette (New York Times)

2. Glam Media will test appetite for digital-media IPOs (Advertising Age)

3. CES loses clout as as industry shifts (New York Times)

4. How people watch TV online and off (TechCrunch)


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December 06 2011

21:50

Broadcasters press Supreme Court to allow TV, radio and newspaper acquisitions

The Wrap :: Broadcasters are urging the Supreme Court to loosen restrictions that prevent companies from owning newspapers, radio stations and television stations in the same market. The NAB argues that rather than resulting in dangerous monopolies, allowing broadcasters to own multiple news organs helps them improve their financial health. That in turn gives them the flexibility to invest in higher quality reporting.

Continue to read Brent Lang, www.thewrap.com

December 01 2011

16:43

September 05 2011

08:00

Look at Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV - Future of TV is "TV in the cloud"

TechCrunch :: TV is moving to the cloud. It is inevitable, just as other kinds of media from books to music are increasingly delivered over the Internet. Netflix, Hulu, and even Apple TV are making inroads when it comes to distributing traditional TV shows and movies to Internet-connected screens. YouTube keeps grabbing more of our attention, accounting for 7 percent of total time spent on the Internet in the U.S., according to comScore.

Erick Schonfeld: "And yet the TV as well as movie industry are proving more resistant to change than any other form of media. Change will come, but it won’t happen as quickly as it is with music, news, or books."

Continue to read Erick Schonfeld, techcrunch.com

September 03 2011

16:07

Online video finally chipping away at broadcast TV

GigaOM :: A quarter of people in countries with access to high-speed broadband are streaming video to their TV, although more than 80 percent still watch broadcast television as well. But that’s slowly beginning to change: According to survey data from Ericsson, there’s been a slight decrease from 2010 to 2011 in the percentage of folks watching broadcast TV, while Internet-enabled options, such as long-form streaming sites like Netflix, short-form videos aggregators like YouTube and downloaded content are all on the rise.

Continue to read Stacey Higginbotham, gigaom.com

August 02 2011

06:35

Peter Kafka: Why watch TV at home when you have a perfectly good iPhone to squint at?

AllThingsD :: Yet more evidence that “mobile” is relative when it comes to smartphones, iPads, and online video. Here’s another study that says lots of people are watching stuff on their gadgets when they’re just a few feet from their own TVs. This one comes from Nielsen, and was commissioned by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing trade group. The takeaway: Users are most likely to watch video via apps from the likes of YouTube, Hulu and others when they’re at home.

Continue to read Peter Kafka, allthingsd.com

July 24 2011

17:45

Sarah Hill, KOMU-TV - Google+ Hangout: Norwegians speak on Oslo bombings

Another case of how journalist currently make use of Google+ features. Sarah Hill, an American television journalist at KOMU in Missouri, used a Google+ video chat Hangout to bring together Norwegians via Google Plus about their reaction to the recent bombing outside government headquarters and shooting at a youth camp outside Oslo. One of the video chat room participants described what it felt like when the bomb blast went off. The G+ Hangout was recorded and broadcast on TV.

 

July 13 2011

09:08

Digital "Hollywood" - Web-only movies? web video is growing up

Los Angeles Times :: Digital studios such as Vuguru are adopting Hollywood rituals for their new media series and applying traditional business models to underwrite production costs. Movies for web online release? - Web video is growing up.

[Michael D. Eisner:] It's a little bit like when TV guys were no longer considered ghetto people, we could actually grow into being the movie business. Slowly, the people who work in the digital space are no longer considered odd and strange. … And advertisers think these guys may be the new breed.

For now it is "a slight novelty value" making a movie only for an online release, but in the next five to 10 years?

Continue to read Dawn C. Chmielewski, www.latimes.com

July 07 2011

07:38

FTC does little to curb ads for fake news sites and it's getting worse

The Consumerist :: Sites with names like "News 6 News Alerts" and "Health 5 Beat Health News" steal the look and feel of websites for local TV stations. Even though the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, recently appeared to be coming down hard on "news" sites shilling for things like acai juice, it looks like those sites are not only still around, but links to them are popping up on major, legitimate news sites.

Continue to read Chris Morran, consumerist.com

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