|HOME||MEDIAVILLAGE.com||WOMEN ADVANCING||HOOKED UP||MEMBERSHIP INFO||MEMBER COMPANIES||MEDIA BUSINESS REPORT||ECONOMIC FORECASTS||RESEARCH|
Published: March 26, 2008 at 02:11 AM GMT
Last Updated: April 7, 2008 at 02:11 AM GMT
Assuming this week's release of fourth quarter GDP data confirms an official recessionary economy, marketers, media companies, economists and unofficial economic pundits will weigh in with appropriately reactionary forecasts of ad industry doom and gloom.
There are certainly indications that the media community should be concerned. Automotive forecasts are dismal at best and ad spending in this critically important local and national ad category is down. Local political ad spending is not as robust as expected, as politicians have discovered the power and value of free online communications, especially YouTube. Both the financial and real estate industries are being severely impacted and ad spending curtailed, which again is more a print and local issue.
Network TV scatter pricing, strong throughout 2007, has softened. Online advertising requests-for-proposals (avails) are down compared to early 2007. But while newspapers, local television and radio stations, and even television networks cannot look forward to full-year 2008 revenues with a positive outlook, the overall ad economy remains reasonably robust.
2008 will most certainly be a year when the rich get richer. Media companies that have invested in relevant multi-platform capabilities and that can deliver targeted audiences across multiple branded media assets will attract the lion's share of growth in 2008 and into the foreseeable future. Those media companies that have been slow to market, playing the wait-and-see game before investing in new media assets, will suffer from the economic slowdown.
For mega-media conglomerates like News Corp, Time Warner and Disney, pressures to integrate cross-media assets will take on a new urgency as the merger of digital distribution with powerful traditional media brands and reach gains critical importance for expanding relationships with the largest marketers. In this marketplace, the unexpectedly aggressive efforts of the broadcast networks over the past 24-months will reap positive rewards. Although NBC Universal's acquisition of iVillage has been questioned, it ultimately will prove to be a valuable asset for extending the NBCU broadcast and cable networks' advertiser offerings. And while Fox-TV has been slow to develop integrated sales and marketing initiatives with News Corp's Interactive assets, and especially MySpace, integration will be forced by marketers and agencies who are demanding innovative tactics for delivering measurable results for their campaigns.
Similarly, Viacom has quietly cobbled together a valuable portfolio of social networks, gaming sites and virtual world sites that are unmatched in the media world. In the next 12 to 24 months, the pace of acquisitions by major media companies will accelerate as traditional players realize the critical importance of platform extensions. They will also elevate within their organizations those executives who understand and have experience in both traditional and digital media, and who understand the marketing requirements of advertisers beyond reach and media cost efficiencies. Executives with promotion, direct marketing, event marketing and public affairs experience will be essential to the growth of media companies as well as media agencies.
Among the leading online and digital media companies, the dearth of sales executives experienced in the traditional media marketplace will be an albatross, slowing their progress and acceptance. Filling executive roles with skilled network sales executives, who also have proven online sales credentials, will be a priority.
The decision last week by General Motors to allocate half of its annual $3 billion advertising budget to the Internet within the next three years is sending a clear message to all media. Rather than a death knell to newspapers and network TV, it should be a clarion call to all media to accelerate cross-platform initiatives. GM's strange announcement, which was preceded by the departure of long-time GM Planworks' executive Dennis Donlin, suggests there is sufficient relevant inventory to fulfill the auto maker's online objectives. If the company is to increase its online ad spend seven times 2007 levels of an estimated $200 million, more good real estate will be required and it's likely to come primarily on the sites of established media brands. In 2007, GM spent an estimated $1.2 billion on TV ads, down nearly 12% from the previous year. If Cadillac, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn, GM Trucks and other GM brands move too aggressively away from long-established TV franchises and sponsorship rights, especially in sports, other car makers will move in quickly and GM's market share will drop like an anchor, leaving the company dead in the water. It's more likely the company will look to extend their most valued franchises across the digital landscape.
Joel Ewanick, Marketing VP for Hyundai Motor America, says, "Online is getting to the point where it may be more important than the 30-second spot." I disagree. But advertisers will demand more accountability from their 30-second spots, and will look for ways to bring their TV and online budgets together in more measurable and convergent models.
Last week, NBC Universal paid $6 million for a 35% stake in Radical Media's driverTV, which is a perfect example of the type of strategic initiatives traditional media companies will require to increase their market share as more and more marketers demand digital integration and direct marketing infrastructures. The driverTV web site and VOD channel program three-minute videos underwritten by automakers. "There is growing need for the automotive industry to find engaging ways to reach potential buyers with information, and the driverTV model has been very successful in bringing together car companies and those in the market for new vehicles.," said George Kliavkoff, chief digital officer for NBC Universal. Without NBCU's traditional networks, driverTV was another website struggling for credibility. With the promotional clout of NBC, Bravo, Oxygen, USA, Sci Fi and NBC's online assets, driverTV becomes a powerful marketing vehicle for the auto industry. Its why, in a softening economy, the rich will get richer.
Video of the Week: Fuse Brings Transcendent to TCA
As ever, one never really knows what’s coming next during a typical day at a Television Critics Association tour – especially during the cable portion. Case in point: The grand finale to the many presentations on Friday was a party thrown by Fuse that proved once again that a smallish network largely off the radar of most critics can break right through and be noticed at this twice-annual event. The Fuse bash topped off a day of memorable panels for such well-received offerings as BBC America’s new adventure series “The Last Kingdom” (from “Downton Abbey” producer Gareth Neame); Starz’ upcoming horror action series “Ash vs. Evil Dead” (instantly one of the most talked about new series of the tour) and dramatic limited series “Flesh and Bone” (about a young woman who joins a prestigious ballet company in New York City); the IFC comedies “Gigi Does It” (starring David Krumholtz of “Numb3rs” as a 70-year-old widow and grandmother) and “Documentary Now!” (a series created by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Seth Meyers starring Armisen and Hader that will consist of parodies of well-known documentaries), and AMC’s breathlessly anticipated “Fear the Walking Dead.”
What Might Replace the Set-Top Box?
As Cisco punts legacy SA boxes to Technicolor, I thought I'd look around my home at the existing set-top boxes and the like. We've got a whole-home DirecTV set up so that's two boxes and two remotes (though a DirecTV app can replace the remotes). At the set in the living room are two more boxes with remotes: Apple TV and Amazon's Fire make it four so far. In my office is a Comcast box; that's five. And a router makes six. We've also got three TVs, a couple of laptops, a couple of iPads and a couple of iPhones … not to mention an iPod somewhere. And, oh yeah, an Amazon Echo ("Alexa, did I miss anything?" "You missed Chromecast.")
TCA Stand-Outs Large (Hallmark, Nat Geo) and Small (WGN, Up, El Rey)
One of the most interesting things about covering the cable days of the twice-yearly Television Critics Association tours is observing which networks or network groups most successfully grab the attention of the hundreds of reporters and critics attending their press conferences and which ones don't make much of an impression at all. The results can be very surprising.
The CFO/CMO Union
Will the CFO and CMO ever form a more perfect union? I recently saw a study produced by Ernst & Young and reported in the Wall Street Journal that claims collaboration between CFOs and CMOs is increasing. The survey also acknowledges that there is still a long way to go to establish a real partnership between their responsibilities, particularly as it pertains to "common practices and cultural differences." In my opinion a perfect union is unlikely but a better working relationship is not only necessary but critical to the success of a business. Let's explore.
Multi-Sensory Experiences for Brands
This week on Mindshare's Culture Vulture Live, Mark Potts explores multi-sensory opportunities for brands.
TV is from Mars and Video is from Venus
In a spring 2015 trend report Business Insider stated that video ad revenue will double in just two years and reach nearly $5 billion in 2016, up from $2.8 billion in 2013. Consumers' engagement online, over multiple devices, increases daily. As the landscape for what exactly constitutes "TV" or "video" changes rapidly, advertisers are racing to keep up.
The Macro Forces Behind Slow GDP Growth
Ever since the end of the Great Recession a few years ago, there has been much written about the lack of both economic growth and inflation. Much of this coverage mentions that the post-recession recovery is much slower than the recovery of past recessions of the late 20th century.
Early AT&T/DirecTV Merger Questions
Now that the consummation of AT&T's merger with DirecTV is done, how will this $40 billion-plus deal impact consumers from both parties and the TV world at large? Chances are you haven't heard much over that question up to now, in part because of how this deal was completed last week -- Federal Communications Commission approval mid-Friday afternoon, and AT&T putting out a press release, and only a release, of the consummation less than two hours later. That's way late for much analysis on the part of the business news channels or journalism in general.
Trevor Noah Hits TCA; Nat Geo Honors Cecil
In performance on stage Tuesday night and again in a press conference Wednesday morning, members of the Television Critics Association got to know the man they will likely honor in the years ahead with multiple TCA Awards in the category of Outstanding News Program – controversial comedian Trevor Noah (pictured at top), who will take over Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" on September 28. Noah, a smart and engaging guy who joined "The Daily Show" last year as a contributor, quickly and efficiently charmed the group, setting the stage for years of admiration and handily putting behind him lingering memories about a series of sexist and anti-Semitic jokes he tweeted a couple of years ago.
Is TV Currency Dead? Predictions from AOL Open Series
There is a lot of talk these days about the changing TV landscape, from the advancement of programmatic to the demise of dayparts, the Upfront and even our current currency. All of this made for a lively discussion at the recent AOL Open Series on Programmatic TV. The event featured a panel of media executives from across the spectrum including Dermot McCormack, President AOL Video and Studios; Jaime Power, Senior Partner at MODI Media; Dana Hayes Jr, Group Vice President of Global Partner Development for Acxiom, and Dan Aversano, Senior Vice President, Client & Consumer Insights at Turner Broadcasting. The panel was moderated by Dan Ackerman, Senior Vice President, Programmatic TV at Adap.tv.
Is the ESPN Bubble About to Burst?
It’s episode 24 of Media Unplugged with branding authority Tom Asacker and media strategist Mark Ramsey.
At Summer TCA 2015, Netflix is Everything
Is Netflix everything? It certainly seemed that way yesterday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel during the historic opening day of the 2015 Summer Television Critics Tour. In a quantum leap of participation, and perhaps as a reflection of its current position in the home entertainment marketplace, Netflix impressively filled an entire day with panels for current and upcoming programs, along with a session with Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos (pictured at top). And just like that, the scrappy streamer joined the ranks of CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and FX – the only programmers who consistently present full days of panels during TCA tours, at least those in the summer.
Stuart Elliott: A 'Gawkward' Media Moment
It probably won't be long before the gatekeepers at the world's dictionaries are asked to approve a new word: "Gawkward," meaning an embarrassing or discomforting situation drenched in schadenfreude, as when a website known for anything-goes posts that upset and provoke others gets a turn in the barrel.
The Generation Gap(s) in Digital Media
One of the less appealing characteristics of the more strident members of the digital community is their habit of suggesting that the world of media planning, buying and selling was ill-informed, ill served by its measurements and entirely unaccountable until they came along.
Media Execs' Priorities for New Media Marketplace
The rapid proliferation of new digital, mobile and social (DMS) channels has completely changed the way that companies are connecting with their consumers. DMS channels are increasingly becoming a top priority for advertisers when developing strategies and campaigns to target and engage their consumers. The opportunities and challenges that this shifting landscape presents have been well documented.