“TV of Tomorrow” gains traction

TV of tomorrow fast approaching (iStock) Last week Tracy Swedlow’s  annual “TV of Tomorrow” Conference was held in San Francisco where the “who’s who” of Interactive television gathered to discuss the future of television from broadcast to broadband including tru2way and TV Anywhere.

In past years’ conferences, you would have found the the few, the proud, the clinically-depressed-die-hards of advanced television platforms, geekgirls like myself , who have been trying for years to advance the cause of TV with social features, commerce solutions and true targeting capabilities.  And in the past, the legacy systems of the US cable infrastructure, the limitations of satellite’s two-way capabilities and the lack of scale in broadband hindered advancement in the space.  But this year, the conference came into its own as the industry showed market growth in a number of ongoing initiatives.   There is movement happening, money being spent and real players involved in the marketplace.

To set the stage for what’s happening in the interactive video space, here are some relevant statistics:

57% of Americans use their TV and PC simultaneously at least 1x a month (Nielsen)
20% of all tv viewers are simultaneously on their pc or mobile device (MRG)
78% of Teens and Tweens are online while watching tv and 66% are sending text messages while watching tv (ypulse/Pangea)

Of all the solutions bubbling up, here are a few that marketers can immediately take advantage of to leverage the power of video to accomplish a number of marketing goals:  Continue reading ““TV of Tomorrow” gains traction”

Priming the Pump for Broadcast

Priming the broadcast pump (Flickr via Philyook)This year’s Grammy awards recently demonstrated an exciting concept for a number of other award franchises (Oscars, Tonys, Emmys and on and on); that the “award show” is not dead but can no longer be played out in a pure broadcast silo.

According to Variety, 26.6 million people watched CBS’s 3.5 hour broadcast, marking a 35 percent increase from the 2009 show, it’s highest viewer ship in the last six years. While the trades blasted the overly complex structure and the lackluster MJ tribute, the audience was listening and watching on a number of other platforms that created community and pushed to the broadcast show.

Being with the slogan, “We Are All Fans;” this years Grammy’s sought to connect with the audience on a whole new level. WeAreAllFans.com was the Grammy’s “crowdsourcing” site which featured Twitter comments and videos reflecting the audience’s conversations and reactions to the broadcast in a 3D data visualization, a perfect way to engage the Grammy demographic, on their terms. Continue reading “Priming the Pump for Broadcast”

2009: To paraphrase Colbert, we called it.


This has been a big year of growth and change for the Lab. We’ve enjoyed the insight from our new president, John Ross, who is leading our retail practice (focused on the effect emerging media has on the purchase funnel). We’re also full steam ahead on new research capabilities and as always, our consulting work continues to provide relevant learnings.

This is also the time of the year when every news and entertainment show posts their best and worst of the year.  What the Lab’s more apt to do is take a look at some of the predictions we’ve made and see if they’re really landed.  Our 2009 Trends have taken some interesting turns: Continue reading “2009: To paraphrase Colbert, we called it.”

New media solutions for new mamas

Lab Director Lori Schwartz and SadieFor those who know Lab Director Lori Schwartz, it’s not a shock that she’d bring her love of emerging media home with her. Lori’s been an evangelist of advanced TV and video, interactive content, and industry partnerships for as long as anyone would listen.

So we were not surprised when she emailed from her Blackberry on the table minutes before giving birth; or that we got the first Facebook photo of Sadie within minutes of her arrival this past month.

And now, Lori is proving that like innovative brand campaigns, child rearing is also an excellent opportunity to integrate new media solutions. We’ve highlighted the use of new media previously for weddings, and for other important life milestones. But for those who are considering or who will soon make the leap into parenthood, here are some of the best bets from an “emerging media mama:” Continue reading “New media solutions for new mamas”

What will be heir to the Twitter throne?

What will be heir to the Twitter throne? (iStock/Twitter)(Originally published in iMedia Connection)

There is no easy answer to the question, What will be the next Twitter? Yesterday, it was Friendster and then MySpace; today we are hooked on YouTube, Facebook, and, undeniably, Twitter — our friendly neighborhood microblogging buzz juggernaut. So who has staying power and what is next on the horizon for big digital breakthroughs?

In the past, there was an apparent distinction between one-way media and collaborative media. Today, the lines have been blurred. Imagine complete communication with your social circle, no matter what website you are visiting, what project you are working on, what game you are playing, or which TV show you are watching. This is the true promise of social media.

There is a lot of innovation that will take place over the coming years, and we will see new tools enter the market that have the power to make individual viewing experiences social. In the meantime, no marketing campaign or engagement these days can be created and sustained without considering the potential of making a social connection.

At the IPG Emerging Media Lab, we have identified five players that we feel will truly carry the promise of social media forward. But first, a look at the platforms that are bringing social functionality into their core reason for being. Read more.

At the Emmys: Fear and praise of new media

At the Emmys: Fear and praise of new media The Emmys came and went Sunday with a bit more bang, sex appeal, and just plan show biz than previous years.  There were no long political speeches or streaking or as Ken Howard stated, “[interruptions] by a congressman or a rapper” (my favorite line of the night).

What was evident this year was the presence of multi-channel plays to support the main broadcast in a way that encouraged community rather than just showing a display of new media savvy ( a current disease among broadcast shows –gotta have  a blog, a Twitter stream, a something-to-be-cool…with no strategy behind it).

Kyte, a mobile video service streamed live from the red carpet with Facebook and Twitter integration.  CBS, who had the broadcast rights,  allowed users to send in comments or vote in polling questions. E! Online also implemented some Facebook and Twitter integrations.  Continue reading “At the Emmys: Fear and praise of new media”

Emmys acknowledge role of digital platforms

Emmys acknowledge interactive (Academy of Arts and Sciences)This year I sat in on the blue ribbon panel for judging the final winners of 2009 Emmy Awards for Creative Achievement in Interactive Media for Fiction and Non-Fiction.  As a member of the executive committee for the Interactive Media Peer Group for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, it’s been a big year for interactive plays in all television content.

As announced earlier this summer, below are the 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards Nominees for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media: Continue reading “Emmys acknowledge role of digital platforms”

Fox finds new, savvy uses for Twitter

Fox finds new, savvy use for Twitter (Fringe, Fox)Yet another cute Twitter name for leveraging the micro-blogging solution has emerged this week with Fox’s “Tweet-peats” which refers to the behind the scenes tweets on about certain Fox  shows during repeat broadcasts.

Both “Fringe” and “Glee” stars and creators will initially participate and dole out commentary through Twitter while fox re-broadcasts those shows to set the stage for the fall season.  In a UK interactive television style, these tweets can be followed online but will also appear via a scroll near the bottom of the screen providing commentary on the episodes, revealing behind-the-scenes details and answering fan questions.   Fans can sign  up at Twitter.com/FRINGEonFOX and Twitter.com/GLEEonFOX to follow the event.

From a engaging an audience perspective, this is a brilliant strategy for stirring up interest in two shows that Fox has heavy hopes on for the fall season as well as seeing what fan chatter can be leveraged into a consumer research play. Continue reading “Fox finds new, savvy uses for Twitter”

Yet another Silver “man” lining

Yet another Silver "man" lining (iStock)The departure of Ben Silverman from NBC has stirred up a lot of news chatter that this hammers yet another nail in the coffin of the traditional production company. As co-chair of NBC Universal Entertainment, Silverman was responsible for bringing the same programming flair he originally brought to his company Reveille, with such big hits as The Office and The Biggest Loser, translating many foreign hits into popular US shows. Silverman was also known for exploring new ad models. Now he’s leaving the company to start up a new venture in partnership with Barry Diller’s media and Internet company, IAC.

Anytime you mention “360” these days as a description for a new content model (which has been part of most of the press today), you have to raise an eyebrow and think, oh lordy, Silverman wants to be a cross platform cool kid. As my dear colleague, brand strategy expert Brian Seth Hurst twittered, “repurposed distribution does not a cross media value proposition make.” Continue reading “Yet another Silver “man” lining”

Why Twitter has not jumped the shark

Has Twitter jumped the shark? (iStock)If I had a nickel for everytime someone asked me What is hot right now? I’d be twittering off my yacht in the Côte d’Azur.

In a recent meeting with some of my fellow digerati we were pitching ideas to get a client excited about  what new’s in the media landscape and all of them declared, Twitter is dead…it’s over. But I think there’s plenty of life left in our friend Twitter.

We are at an interesting crossroads with Twitter, Facebook and a lot of other overly hyped platforms. In many cases, it’s not about the solution itself but about how people are leveraging the data and behavior surrounding that platform and hence, their API’s (application programming interfaces – see my recent article on using APIs for content delivery). Continue reading “Why Twitter has not jumped the shark”