Net Neutrality and media: Why you should care.

I’m often asked: “What exactly is Net Neutrality?” Boiled down, it’s the philosophy that, however we personally use the Internet, it carries no restrictions or tariffs based on the content we access. Essentially is it the principle that carriers (ISPs) are precluded from restricting or prioritizing access to data based on the content that the data comprises.

Think of it as the postal system. The government is not allowed to open and read your mail to see if one letter is more important than another.  As long as the postage is correct for the weight of the envelope, your letter gets delivered.  Priority Mail would be analogous to upgrading your bandwidth.  Like going from Dial-up to Broadband.  But at no point is the content of the envelope considered in how your mail gets sorted or delivered by your mail carrier. Continue reading “Net Neutrality and media: Why you should care.”

iPad: Point/Counterpoint

The iPad has struck a nerve, stirring up a ton of controversy… Is it the next great device or an overhyped Apple toy? Check in with the Lab to see our first installment of our new series: “Point/CounterPoint: Whose Side Are You On?” Featuring Lab Director, Lori Schwartz and Lab CTO, Scott Susskind.

iPad: Game changer or iPod Touch for Boomers?

iPad (Courtesy of Apple)The IPG Media Lab team weighs in on Apple’s release of the much anticipated iPad device.

Is the iPad a game changer?

Scott Susskind, IPG Lab CTO: I don’t know if I would consider it a “game changer.”  However, I do think it raises the bar.  We saw several tablet devices this year at CES that leveraged the Google Android platform that have some similarities to the iPad.  However, the iPad will quickly leapfrog the competition due to the maturity of the iPhone OS and breadth of the existing application ecosystem. The heavy lifting was already done. It allowed Apple to focus their efforts on smoothing out the user experience for this form-factor as well as developing special ports of business apps that make it an attractive device for the workplace.

That said, I think it will be a short-lived lead.  As the Android App ecosystem matures, the marketplace will swell with a variety of Android-based devices Devices that will either compete directly with the iPad, or fill smaller, niche markets that would be too costly for Apple to support through multiple hardware versions.  And since the content (and app) distribution model will likely be based on an open ecosystem, I would wager that the lion’s share of the market will be non-Apple inside of a few years. Continue reading “iPad: Game changer or iPod Touch for Boomers?”

The new age of media distribution

The new age of media distribution Being a veteran attendee of CES, it is inevitable that each year someone asks me what I thought was the most amazing thing I saw at the show. And each year, I can usually point out one interesting piece of tech that fits into that category. Year after year there are invariably a few items that cause we merry geeks to circle around them ooh-ing and ahh-ing with avarice in our eyes.

This year, however was different. What struck me most this year was not to be found in a piece of super-slick technology (though there were a few), but rather something surprising. The industry as a whole seems to have undergone some radical rethink and rallied itself around a few core technologies and concepts. Rather than the chaotic grab-bag of offerings that we are usually presented with, something has galvanized the industry to get their products into some sort of alignment.

Could it be the sudden revelation that what really matters is the content? Continue reading “The new age of media distribution”

New secret Microsoft tablet revealed

Microsoft Courier unveiled (Gizmodo)Late last week Gizmodo revealed details about a secret Microsoft tablet codenamed “Courier.” The mockup video and photos show a dual-screen, book-shaped device about the size of a small business planner. Though historically tablet computing has not been a particularly hot topic, this sleek device has a number of features that could potentially be a game-changer for the software giant.

Based on the video expose and leaked images, the device sports a slick multi-touch interface. Tasks and apps can be manipulated via fingertip or stylus and flicked between screens a la-iPhone. The Courier supposedly supports WiFi & 3G as well as fully functional browser. The tablet also is expected to sport a camera and an inductive charger that would allow you to simply drop it onto a charging pad rather than tether it up to an AC power supply or cradle. Continue reading “New secret Microsoft tablet revealed”

2009, the dawn of the connected TV?


Broadcom announced this month that LG Electronics had selected its BCM3549 Media SoC (System on a Chip) as the core for its new line of connected HDTVs. The new LG models will feature their Netcast Entertainment Access which provides viewers access to broadband content and services including Netflix and media widgets right through the TV screen.

This announcement further supports the prediction that 2009 will see the dawn of the Connected TV. Although, to be fair, Sony has had a broadband TV solution since 2007 through their Bravia Internet Video Link. The BIVL, which provides a wide variety of hyper-syndicated & premium content to certain Bravia models, is a small broadband-connected device that connects to the back of the set. This year Sony is scheduled to begin shipping the Bravia XBR9 and Z-Series which have the BIVL module integrated in the TV. Continue reading “2009, the dawn of the connected TV?”

The role of IT in new media marketing

techmediaMedia agencies are increasingly engaging their information technology (IT) leaders to assist in new media strategies for their clients. The shift from long-understood media distribution channels to the murkier, more transient ones that comprise new media is forcing media agencies to re-align their core competencies with IT disciplines.

Why IT?

Content is information. Regardless of the form the content may take. With few exceptions, it is created, modified, distributed, displayed and stored as information.

Media is technology. By definition Media is the physical layer supporting the content. The medium by which this information is communicated.

In today’s digital ecosystem, the perception that the two are mutually exclusive is obsolete: Enter IT. Continue reading “The role of IT in new media marketing”

Best and worst of CES 2009

Best and worst of CES 2009 (iStock)When exploring a huge show like CES, it’s inevitable that you will discover that not all manufacturers give equal thought to their products.  Some will shine with obvious innovation. A great many will barely register above a yawn.  And some will leave you shaking your head in disbelief.

Here are just a few that fall into these categories…

Continue reading “Best and worst of CES 2009”

CES 2009: Windows 7 gives CE brands a home

Device StageCES 2009 Las Vegas.  In a crowded section of the Microsoft booth, show attendees vie for position to get a first glimpse of the soon-to-be-released Windows 7.   Though the list of new features is plentiful, one in particular is sure to become the CE manufacturer’s best friend.

The new feature, dubbed “Device Stage” is a user interface that is automatically launched when a recognized device is attached to the system.  The interface provides a brand-customizable set of visual assets and actions contextual to the connected device. Continue reading “CES 2009: Windows 7 gives CE brands a home”