Advertising Accountability

Metrics and Analytics around Video, Social Media, Broadband and Mobile

My notes from this session at Digital Hollywood.

William Lederer – CEO Kantar Video
Eric Forst – Head of West Coast Business Dev – MEC Interaction
Charlie Rahilly  - Pres of National Advertiser Platforms for Clear Channel Radio
Craig Macdonald – SVP Covario
Kenneth Papagan – Pres Rentrak Corp

  • Business problem is that 96 percent say that we need good metrics – right now it is not clear and not transparent on what companies are getting in touching all these platforms.
  • We need to be able to measure a single platform – what is the challenge of this?
    • TV is the most important platform. $60-80 billion dollar ad spend a year. Now with mobile or Internet – those exposures are additive. You will always use the best available screen. They are apples and oranges. The industry wants to call everything apples – but they are not. – KP
    • Tracking codes suck – all tracking codes suck. That is why it doesn’t work. Most large companies don’t understand data discipline. Most issues can be resolved via simple tracking codes. – CM
    • Agency structures – once agencies were pretty integrated – but that is now all unbundled. Every media plan starts with the group you are working with. – CR
    • Social Media – it comes down to data quality. We look for keyword matches and we end up with too much spam. How to make this actionable data. – EF
    • Data collection is the biggest single challenge. This should be simple. There is plenty of challenge around the ecosystem as the cause of this. Money goes to older media and the time people spend is in new media. There is a complete mismatch here. – WL
  • Network aggregation --- is this real?
    • There are a 100 ways to see a piece of content. There is a dire need to track a piece of content across all platforms. The more we move to a server based media the better we can do this. – KP
    • Should be attribution analysis. “We are spending a bunch of money on each of these channels … clearly there are inter-relationships between these channels”. How do I get the data organized? How to do cross metrics? – CM
  • Millions of hours of content that people can hear – but you cannot tag it so easily. If we can make this searchable then we can figure out more of what people are looking for.
  • Online and mobile video will be the most researched medium. We are going to soon have the ability to make metrics against video.
  • Some metrics – Do you post a lot? Do you get pull? Do you just comment a lot? The importance is the eyeballs on the conversation. This is how they measure conversations and authors.
  • We need to redefine reach.
  • Everyone is a bunch of tags (not a person). Companies understand relevancy of its product for the person based upon those tags. This is called Social Targeting.
  • Notion of a basket of one – KP thinks there is a basket of currencies – engaged viewer is better than a disengaged viewer. Basket of currencies is not just dollars.
  • There is certainly a social currency. How is the company liked in the social media? 9 out of 10 companies – we tell them to start social media with the support part of the company.
  • The media companies may have this metric information but they might not be willing to share it.
    • Media companies like to hear the good parts of the stories and not the bad.
    • Will this info be used as weapons?
  • Tools to use?

Merging Content with New Technologies

Content Reinvention with the Next Generation of Tables, eReaders, and Mobile Devices

My notes from this session at Digital Hollywood:

Sarah Lumbard – Sr. Director, Product Strategy and Development / NPR Digital Media
Bill Jensen – Director of New Media / Village Voice Media
Mark Ghuneim – CEO / Wiredset
Lee Shirani - Google
Richard Gingras – CEO / Salon
Russell P. Reeder – CEO / LibreDigital – Moderator

  • How to get content to audiences to successfully using these new devices. That is what this session is about.
  • When a company thinks about creating content on an emerging platform – how do they approach this?
    • We embrace each platform on their own terms. If the world thought that the standards would come between the environments, then they are wrong. We do quality testing at three different Starbucks that are near our office. Right now we have different solutions for each platform. We use our API for interacting with the underlying data. NPR has only been seven months on the iPad. We still don’t know what it means to have the NPR brand on the iPad. We have aha moments where we know we did it right and we have moments where we know that we did it wrong. We need to be on all the platforms and to do it well. We are very audience centric. If the consumer expects to listen to NPR then we will be there. Who would have though that people would be listening to NPR on their TVs? NPR has a two tier approach. We place big bets on platforms (iPad). NPR had a fan build the iPhone app to start. Whoa – we should build our own app. iPad/iPhone/Web for NPR are totally different. I think the iPad app is where we most embraced our brand. – Sarah Lumbard
    • Village Voice is transforming. At the end of the day it is about what kind of story you are telling. The one thing we have been able to make use of is our location based services. That is the best example of how Village Voice has changed. It is telling more stories and providing more content. 50 pieces of new content every day in each location. We have slideshows and multimedia. At the end of the day it is about the story you are trying to tell. Village Voice has a plan for the iPad – but we are not there yet. – Bill Jensen
  • TV has taken a lot of early positions with mobile. MTV has done well around social media. Focus on the narrative first and the uniqueness of the device second. We have tightly coupled solutions (live-live) – then we have uncoupled solutions where it deals with second showings. We knows events drive conversations. I think that TV is the forerunner in this area. If my friends are talking about something – I will listen to it. If it is a banner ad – I will ignore it. – Mark Ghuneim
  • When new technologies emerge is there a big R&D effort in larger companies? Need to identify this early. Look at Nokia, they didn’t and now they are toast.
  • Facebook is another platform. People discover what their friends are talking about via this site. – Sarah L.
  • How does Google think about new devices?
    • Looking at the web and Google’s approach – it has been about what their needs are and bringing an array of products and services to market. Google News is an example that brings 100,000 clicks second to companies. Android is a big strategic response. Trying to bring mobile apps more open. Want to create an open market for people to build apps. We have grown 70-80 million users. Consumers dollars are too precious. We give them the scale of a reachable audience that they can target. – Lee Shirani (Google)
  • How does Google help content creators?
    • Best directed at publishers … how do we bring our technologies to bear? Big part of our discussion around the variety of technologies that Google has at its disposal. We hope to share more about this in a couple of months. Google spends a lot of time on open standards. Our backing of standards like HTML5 and CSS is showing our commitment to an open Internet. Bringing some of the same functionality to an app framework – these are things that we want to enable everywhere.
  • How do you not over-invest?
    • I think you will over invest. We take a two tier approach – iPhone/Android as one tier and the others we will just focus on the most basic experience – Sarah Lumbard
    • It is a challenge to find a feature set that works cross-platform. HTML5 is thrown around as the wonder-pill for this.- Bill Jensen
    • There is so much media out there now and we can drill down into what individual users are doing to fine tune what we select – Bill Jensen
    • Swarming and swarm factors are important to understand.
    • You want to fish for transactions while those transactions are occuring – Mark Ghuneim
  • Every new device needs to launch with a considerable amount of content to make it. What do we think of grafting content from one device to another? Should we be thinking about creating unique experiences for each device.
    • It is a bit of both. The success of any medium is rapid experimentation.
    • It would be amiss to ignore the uniqueness of each platform. – You gotta fish where the fish are.
    • The audience are broken into two parts – couch potatoes and then the other 40 percent that are hyperactive and we want to build to the hyperactive folks.
    • People don’t listen too much via the computer (frowned on at work). iPhone is the thing that helped NPR.
  • Goals and metrics – what goals do you set for yourself
    • NPR – we look at people. We look to continue the discourse. It is all about the number of people that we are reaching.
    • Goals – If not saving $, building $, then you shouldn’t be there
    • Village Voice – Traffic and how much we spend on it ourselves.
    • Salon – We look at how we present content. New device platforms will not change the economics. Devices change how people interact with the content. What advertising opportunities does that give us. Subscription models do not work.
      • Android development is too tough – Richard Gingras

Phone and Tablet Apps as the Next Platform

Communication, Games and Commerce in Mobile, Social Media, Broadband & Music

Another session at the Digital Hollywood conference. Here are my notes from the session.

Stephanie Bohn – VP Marketing / Warner Bros. Digital Distribution
Sean Nolan – VP Online Operations and External Online Marketing / Rodale – Men’s Health, Running World, etc.
Jennifer Cooper – Founder and Principle / Rocket Spark Media
Paul Lee – Head of Digital Ventures / Playboy
Sun Jen Yung – Managing Dirctor Headwaters MB – Moderator

  • What are the interesting apps that you are seeing in the mobile space these days?
    • I like Adobe Systems – they are bringing exceptional content to the non-iPhone native environment, but obviously support IOS. Gaming is moving into the mobile environment with full featured games. As the technology moves forward, we will see a complete redesign of the gaming space. 10-12 years ago we talked about video and rich video – gaming industry will bring better graphics with more capabilities – Jennifer Cooper
    • TV – MLB app is the greatest app ever invented – Sean Nolan. His son only consumes via the mobile app market – not via TV etc.
    • Digital books (mainly for kids). – Stephanie Bohn – Toy Story 3 application was a great thing from Disney. They had brand going for it.
    • – tracks apps and statistics for Apple.
    • People are willing to pay to get into this space. The challenge for most media companies is that mobile is not a great investment today – but it will be in the future. – Paul Lee
    • Searchability in the iPhone store is tough, even if you are a known brand.
  • What type of business models work best in the mobile market for gaming?
    • Depends on the overall strategy of the game. The ‘Premium’ model works best as most people download the free apps rather.
    • If the game doesn’t work as a modular experience then you are going to want to give it a flat rate.
    • In game advertising is another model. Farmville is an example of this working.
    • Scale has to come into play and can you support the load that you are going to get if you are using virtual currency or credits?
    • There are so many models emerging in this space – the technical implications will dictate this.
    • Paul Lee doesn’t like the models in the mobile market. Economics are tough in mobile because you can’t have any whales (big spenders). You really need that in mobile and it isn’t there.
    • Mobile is a tough business and from a VC standpoint – Paul Lee doesn’t like the mobile models that much.
    • It is a scale business and it is a tough business – Stephanie Bohn
  • Media Tablets will have strong sales. Is there a market for iPad apps by itself or is it just an extension of the current iPhone market?
    • Paul Lee – Yes and No. Playboy is exploring it. Obviously the iPad offers some new opportunities.
    • The iPad sparked the tablet industry … something no one else has done. – Jennifer Cooper
    • The iPad won’t be the only game in town. – JC
    • This is the convergence that we have all been talking about for some time – JC
    • The economics don’t currently pay off to do an iPad app by itself. – SB
  • When you look at building mobile apps today – how do you look at Android and other platforms?
    • Android is interesting though carrier billing is not there. This is an affluent audience and they are used to getting things for free. Currently we look at the games as only for IOS and we will do Android some other time. – SB
    • It can be very expensive to port these apps – SB
    • Android is running ahead of IOS in the last six months
    • Android should hire someone from Apple – Paul Lee. Apple is just so much better. Android has a lot to do to catch up. They should redesign.
    • RIM just announced Playbook – it is supposedly a cross-over device. It will be more of an entertainment device. Maybe RIM will do something really creative.
  • In terms of iPhone apps – there are 20+ categories. What other verticals do you find interesting?
    • I’ve been asking Apple for years to create a comic category – SB
    • Warner Bros owns DC Comics and wants a better presence. – SB. In effect our app is a storefront to buy comics for your device.
  • Is the mobile market more exciting than the standard market?
    • Not sure if should be spending so much time on the mobile. Wired just reported that online is dead.
    • There has been a 7x increase in mobile users accessing their properties in the last six months – Sean
    • Every RFP is leading with mobile – companies are leading with mobile. If we don’t have a strong mobile offering then we are not going to be closing these integrated deals – Sean
    • In mobile – advertising is more attractive than commerce. – Sean
    • People think that the KPIs are better than mobile and they are not.
  • Promoted tweets from Twitter?
    • Twitter will evolve their business and is this the next big advertising model? They are half the size of Facebook in half the time. If you want to buy bulk – where did you go before this? Long term is redefined as a term. 12 months can be long term – JC
    • It is interesting, but I don’t think that is long term. Consumers are pretty savvy. Today you have to promote if you are being paid to advertise – SB “We will all be very jaded soon”
    • Tough model – Paul Lee
  • You don’t see a lot of video applications due to DRM. We want to have our content wrapped in more protective ways. Studios are looking at additional distributions. DRM is the priority. Piracy is rampant. DRM is something we think about everyday – SB

Digital Hollywood Fall Session – Valuing 3D Content

In this session:
Rob Hummel – CEO, Prime Focus
Seth Shapiro – Principal, New Amsterdam Media LLC
Warren Littlefield – Former President of CBS Entertainment
Lisa Farries – Founder of CMO, Inc.
Kris Brown – VP, Warner Home Video
Moderator– Larry Gerbrandt – Principal, Media Valuation Partners

Here are my notes from this session. I may not call out who says what here, but it is all from the panelists listed above.

  • We are spending a lot of time of the 3D convergence.
  • We have been so focused on the money making aspects of 3D, but we should also focus on the customer experience.
  • Parallels between 3D development and HD development. 3D has a slight advantage.
  • It is difficult to introduce new technologies – Larry Gerbrandt
  • Standards usually get quickly resolved out there in the marketplace. We already know that 3D has been adopted. Some people might say that 3D movies are fad – but it is going strong and consumers are still paying for them.
  • How quickly will consumers adopt this technology?
    • In the last three years – 5 billion dollars in 3D receipts – it is not a fad. It is here to stay. 3D theatricals woke up the industry. We are rapidly finding that this experience can be brought to the home. The MLB playoffs costs another 500 to 600 thousand dollars to produce in 3D – but they felt it was worth it. It is expensive. It will come down eventually. This is a significant task to get the 3D product. We are going to need more 3D product to be created to take care of the new channels coming up. 3D needs more than unicorns and rainbows – something that worked for HD just because people wanted to watch. – Warren Littlefield.
    • 3D golf is an amazing experience. 3D works well in wide shots that don’t move a lot. That is golf. You have a separation of the player from the background. – Larry Gerbrandt
    • Great expectations for passive TVs. I think there is a challenge for active TVs. I am not sure that people are going to want to spend the money for all the glasses. All these new TVs coming that are magnificent. You have that wonderful experience and it is such an immersive experience. I believe that prices will come down. There are a little under 5million 3D TVs in homes worldwide right now. – Lisa Farries
    • There is incredible potential with 3D. For TV, we did a 3D CGI and they only had the 2D renders and it came out good. It is more difficult to create for TV rather than for theater. 3D TVs boost the illumination of the show. It is not cheaper to make things for TV but we have studios that are willing to pay the price to get this accomplished. One studio will not spend more than 1 million dollars on a title to convert to 3D. It takes a lot to convert to 3D and is not for low budget movies. The things that are going to take the lead are sports in 3D. Other titles for movies – it costs 6-7 million dollars to convert to 3D. If you do it right 50-100K dollars a minute to do right. People want us to do 3D lite – something cheaper. This is not possible. 3D on the TV is more magical than 3D in the theater.. – Rob Hummel
    • The tools available today for the 2D to 3D conversion is like 15K/min to 15K/hour. – Warren Littlefield.
    • Prices are coming down for the hardware.Majority of HD TVs will have 3D capabilities. We will all be getting 3D TVs whether we want them or not. We know that we have an excellent product. TV, Games, Sports – we know the demand is there but the base is small. The base is enthusiastic. They are willing to pay a premium. We have a steady and increasing amount of revenue. – Kris Brown
    • We converted, you are creating a new copyright . – Warren Littlefield
    • The more you become used to 3D the more you expect quality. In the beginning, when you first see it – you love the crap – Rob Hummel
    • Another backing can come from cable and satellite companies.Unlike theatrical, we have a number of companies that have steady revenue streams. The greatest box office is the one in your home. These companies don’t have to do a lot to supply 3D content to the house. These companies have a vested interest in supplying content to these customers. – Seth Shapiro.
  • Is there a positive ROI for an independent producer to do original 3D productions?
    • Discovery is going to launch their 3D network shortly.
    • TV is going to dwarf movies in this arena.
    • There is a huge opportunity for people – BTW – ESPN intermingled 2D with their 3D shots as they couldn’t get 3D from every angle.
    • As the sales go up there will be more demand. As the costs go down then the independent producers can get more involved. The cameras are going to need to get smaller and smaller. it is in the future – we are not quite there yet – Warren Littlefield.
    • Shooting in 3D is better than converting – due to costs – Rob Hummel
    • Need to look at the range of distribution – there isn’t one 3D commercial planned right now. There are other opportunities right now. Theaters are looking for alternative opportunities for 3D as they have bought this equipment. – Lisa Farris.
  • Bundles are good for the market (bundling titles with hardware). We have a hardware company buying a window. It makes it more likely that more content will be produced.
  • 3D is the killer app for BlueRay. – Warren Littlefield
  • Lisa hopes that if a movie is completely converted that there is something telling the consumer that it has been converted.
  • Rob Hummel stated that there were 47 shots that we actually filmed in 2D for Avatar that were converted to 3D and that it wasn’t a good idea to inform the end user of this.
  • Once we see commercials in 3D then we will know that 3D is really here to stay.
  • 3D is a slang word – should be stereoscopic conversion. – Rob Hummel
  • Rob thinks it should be left to the critics. Some 3D convergence can be good and some can be bad.
  • There will be a lot of 3D experiences for the end user. CBS offered the NCAA basketball tournament – and people paid for the tournament to be viewed in the theaters. CBS did it because they wanted feedback from the consumers. They didn’t just sit there, they were out of their seats cheering. We will have better and better 3D experiences.
  • When will be see primetime drama in 3D?
    • It will come very very soon – Warren Littlefield
    • When Battlestar Galactica did their offering in HD – then everyone had to have it. The name brand product does 3D, that is when we will see that this will drive the home 3D experience. – Warren Littlefield
  • TV Graphics are challenging in how 2D and 3D each handle graphics differently.
  • 3D will have a major impact on the BlueRay market. BlueRay is performing extremely well. When you see a major feature like 3D – then buy rates are going to go up. – Kris Brown