Dennis Haarsager's rolling environmental scan for electronic media. "Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us." --Jerry Garcia "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." --Bob Seger
... right now television and radio broadcasters have never been weaker than
in 1982, when Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., uttered these famous words:
“The NAB can’t lobby its way out of a paper bag.” ...
He then has some interesting analysis of the interest in the UHF TV spectrum, and ends with:
... But for those who believe that the NAB is amenable to reason, and
economic incentives, here’s the next puzzle: what will it take to
entice broadcasters to sell, give up or vacate the remaining airwaves?
There are plenty of telcos, techies, and community activists that
believe they can do better with them. All they need now is a game plan
to help the broadcasters out of their paper bag.
Claude Brodessesr-Akner has an interesting summary of remarks by CBS Chief Research Officer David Poltrack to the Television Critics Association this week. In summary, monster hits matter, don't fear the web or TiVo, YouTube won't replace the boob tube, DVR users sometimes notice ads, and prime time just got longer. Link: Advertising Age. --Dennis
I'm a customer of both Sprint (multimedia phone and PC wireless card) and Clearwire (WiMax-ish WISP for my home), so the news of this collaboration is very interesting. Clearwire has also recently entered into marketing partnerships with DirecTV and EchoStar. More importantly, I think, this accelerates the development of mobile WiMax which, with other advanced mobile IP technologies, will quickly bring IP to the dashboard. Soon I won't have to use my notebook PC and Sprint EV-DO card to listen to NRK's Alltid Folkmusikk channel when I'm driving -- ja, youbetcha! Here are two articles (thanks to Dave Ostrom at my university). --Dennis
In Sprint Moves to Build WiMax Network, Kim Hart writes:
Sprint Nextel is taking a different path to high-speed wireless
than its rivals: Instead of bidding billions of dollars on airwaves in a federal
auction, Sprint is building a network that uses WiMax technology, a move that
has attracted plenty of criticism. ¶ Sprint yesterday mapped out more plans for its network by announcing a
20-year partnership with Clearwire, a three-year-old start-up that provides
wireless Internet service and is headed by entrepreneur and early Nextel
investor Craig O. McCaw. Both companies hope the partnership will help build the
new network faster and cheaper. ¶ WiMax, like the better-known WiFi technology, connects cellphones and laptops to
the Internet at speeds comparable to cable modems. Proponents say WiMax signals
cover larger areas and are less susceptible to interference than WiFi and can
connect more devices at higher speeds than the networks operated by such Sprint
competitors as AT&T and Verizon Wireless. ...
In Clearwire and Sprint: Racing Ahead, Tom Giles writes:
Shares of Clearwire, a provider of wireless Internet access, surged on news
that it's pairing with Sprint Nextel to create a nationwide network designed to
provide mobile Internet access at faster speeds than typically available now. ¶ The fruit of their cooperation will be the first coast-to-coast network
providing broadband using WiMAX, a technology related to Wi-Fi with a
wide-reaching signal so that users need not keep close to a hotspot at home or
in a coffee shop to stay connected (see BusinessWeek.com, 7/11/07, "Will Mobile WiMAX Crack
Fortress Europe?"). The companies plan to market mobile WiMAX services under
a common service brand. ¶ Sprint Nextel ... and Clearwire ... had been planning separate WiMAX systems, but they say
combining forces will let them build a network more quickly and cheaply. ...
According to a
survey carried out by iSuppli, nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers want
their televisions to link to the Internet. This, it’s suggested, could path the
way for an explosion in sales of network-enabled consumer electronics devices in
the next few years. ...
... With a more fragmented audience it’s easier for advertisers to reach the
people they covet. “Audience fragmentation is a good thing,” [Vincent] Dureau[, Google's head of TV technology,] told
conference attendees, “You can make your audience more specialized. With more
specialized channels you can actually insert more relevant content that’s more
likely to reach the intended audience.”
"You can actually make more money, because you can increase the relevancy of
your ads. You can cut down on the number of ads - and still reach more people.
At the end of the day, you’re changing the attitude of the consumer. They’ve
reached a point where they expect the ad to be relevant and they’re more likely
to watch it.”
Sounds like Google TV AdSense. ¶ He also argued that ad skipping is a “godsend.” If advertisers can determine
which ads are being skipped and which are not, they can improve getting their
ads in front of people who actually want to view them. Important to this
initiative, he said, is building web-based technologies into TV set-top boxes
that can track such information. ...
I've been slow this week to read my feeds, and Gens Johnson of my staff beat me to a post by Laurie Sullivan of Om Malik's great NewTeeVee blog. She writes:
... iSuppli, a market research firm, projects that professionally produced video
will will bring in nearly $5.9 billion in revenues in 2011, up from $423 million
in 2006. ¶ At present 3- to 10-minute videos are popular because they can be downloaded
quickly over today’s broadband networks, running at typically 3 megabits per
second in the U.S., and 8 megabits in other parts of the world. As speeds soar
past 20 megabits per second, longer form videos could be downloaded quickly.
Longer videos would mean more advertising opportunities. ¶ The professionally produced video business, including professionally produced
and distributed advertising-supported news, sports and entertainment, will
account for 79.3 billion streams worldwide by 2011 up from 3.7 billion streams
in 2006, iSuppli projects. ...
The New America Foundation has released a report by J. H. Snider with this title, but the subtitle, "America's $480 Billion Spectrum Giveaway, How it Happened, and How to Prevent it from Recurring," is more descriptive. Snider has written widely on spectrum issues, often for the NAF, where he is Research Director of its Wireless Future Program. His points frequently include the inefficiency of current spectrum allocations (television broadcasting being one of the biggest), that the public should receive compensation for use of the spectrum (which would incent efficient use), and the importance of allocating additional spectrum to wireless IP delivery. One might describe the effects of the first and third as moving spectrum from my mother to my children.
I generally admire the work of the NAF and have spoken at one of its events. While I think his writing is thoughtful and constructive, I've also been critical that he and other wireless advocates frequently low-ball the number of Americans who depend on over-the-air reception and that he presents an analysis of how spectrum should be allocated for broadcasting that misses the realities of consumer behavior and broadcast economics: paraphrasing -- they have one standard definition channel now, so they should be able to get by with one of their current six megahertz in the digital world.
I've only had a chance to skim the paper, but it will be important reading for broadcasters, if only to keep us from taking the public spectrum we occupy for granted. And you just might learn something.
In The Passive Mass Audience Has Left the Building, Dave Evans has some tips about interactive marketing. He writes:
... Marketers are moving into social networks, both as participants and platform owners, because they can market in ways not possible in a broadcast environment. Broadcast can reach lots of people, no doubt about it. But to get a message where it really needs to go: on my to-do list or into my friend's inbox with my name in the sender field, you must be part of the social goings-on. You must also market via a platform that allows consumers to add value to your message, to validate that value through friends' approval or disapproval, and to let you know (as a marketer)
what worked and what didn't. You can achieve all this in a social network. ...
Dan Gillmor gave this topic as a keynote at the Citizen Reporters' Forum in Seoul in June. He's posted much of the talk, which begins:
... We’ve come a long way. There’s a growing recognition and
appreciation of why citizen journalism matters. Investments, from media
organizations and others, are fueling experiments of various kinds.
Revenue models are taking early shape. And, most important, there’s a
flood of great ideas. ¶ But we have a long, long way to go. We need much more
experimentation in journalism and community information projects. The
business models are, at best, uncertain — and some notable failures are
discouraging. Dealing with the issues of trust, credibility and ethics
is essential; as are more tools and training, including a dramatically
updated notion of media literacy. ...