Targeted TV ads ‘three years away’

30 10 2007

When Abe Peled, the brains behind News Corp.-owned set-top box software and conditional access specialist NDS, speaks some of us sit up and take note.

In an interview with the Financial Time, Peled claims that technology which allows advertisers to target viewers according to their viewing habits is about three to five years off deployment on pay TV platforms. As he’s in the business of selling such solutions, it’s no surprise that he’s beginning to talk up their potential. From a man who’s driven much of the technical innovation underlying some of the world’s most successful pay TV platforms, he probably knows what he’s talking about.

For anyone interested in how this is playing out so far, head over to Israel, the report states, which Jerusalem-based NDS is using as a test bed for next gen STBs, just as it did with the Sky platform in the U.K. for 1st gen interactive TV and DVR rollout.

On a related note, could it be mere coincidence that on the same day this interview appeared, Virgin Media, the cable platform arch-rivals of Sky, chose to release the news that it is to offer targeted advertising from next year. But wait for it, the killer quote, by self admission from the company’s content division CEO Malcolm Wall: “There is an issue of measurement. TV is very measured, but for VoD it isn’t there right now.” The technology isn’t there, or Virgin Media hasn’t yet committed to implementing it? Go figure…

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Pyro.TV brings online video to Facebook

29 08 2007

Online video aggregator and rich media publisher Vibe Solutions has integrated its Pyro.TV portal with Facebook, offering the social network’s 24 million users access to a range of video content from networks such as ABC, NBC, Comedy Central and CNN.

Facebook users can embed a version of the Pyro.TV player in their profile and customise channel line-ups.

The development follows last month’s announcement that Pyro.TV had partnered with video search engine Blinkx.

In related Facebook news, online measurement firm Hitwise reveals that the social network is now the 10th most-visited site in the U.K. and is ranked 20th when it comes to diverting onward traffic to retail sites.





Traffic stats within TV sites

2 08 2007

A welcome innovation from metrics firm Hitwise, which is now measuring trafic not just to TV sites, but also within.

Here are the most recent figures:

Top Visited US Broadcast Network TV Show Websites (Week ending July 28, 2007)  

Rank   Network   Website                            Market Share Of Visits
1       FOX         The Simpsons                              21.90%
2       CBS         Pirate Master                                7.15%
3       NBC         America’s Got Talent                      6.88%
4       FOX         American Idol                                6.19%
5       FOX         So You Think You Can Dance           5.81%
6       FOX         America’s Most Wanted                   4.23%
7       NBC         Deal Or No Deal                              3.17%
8       FOX         Hell’s Kitchen                                 2.69%
9       ABC         Greys Anatomy                               2.21%
10     NBC         Age of Love                                   1.85%

Source: Hitwise Rankings based on market share of US visits among custom category of television network websites among six major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The CW and MyNetwork) for the week ending July 28, 2007 (Sunday ­ Saturday) from the Hitwise sample of 10 million US Internet users.





ComScore June 07 numbers, U.K.

31 07 2007

ComScore reports that 63% of the 15+ population used the internet during June, with an average of 35 hours per user spent online during the month.

Despite clinging to the prized number 1 to 3 rankings, Google,  Microsoft and eBay all lost a modest amount of reach during the month, while Yahoo! showed growth of just 1%. But the fastest growth of all came from Mozilla, which released an update to its Firefox broswer during June.

Of U.K. broadcasters, Channel 4 put in a strong performance with unique visits climbing 39%, believed to be as a result of online viewing of the latest iteration of Big Brother; the second biggest gain for any U.K. web property for the period reported.





ComScore refines online metrics

29 07 2007

Web measurement firm ComScore announced last week that it is to refine its methodology, splitting out heavy, medium and light users – reports the Financial Times.

The 20 per cent of internet users who spend longest online will be defined as heavy. The remaining audience will be defined as 30 per cent medium and 50 per cent light, using the same time-based criteria – the report states.

according to ComScore’s analysis of US web traffic, heavy users on average spent almost 97 hours online during May. The average time spent online among the light 50 per cent of the US web audience was just 3.6 hours. But when this is reported as an average across all US web users, ComScore’s figure rises to 28.8 hours.

Heavy users also visit a much larger number of websites and view more individual web pages than the “light” 50 per cent. If widely adopted, ComScore’s reforms could encourage advertisers to look beyond the most popular websites and seek out those visited by harder to reach medium and light internet users.





New U.S. industry group aims to create standards for downloadable media

29 07 2007

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The Association for Downloadable Media (ADM), a new cross-industry organisation counting Apple among its founder members, has been launched with the aim of producing common standards for measurement and advertising for audio-visual downloads.

Despite growing consumer use of podcasts, video podcasts and other types of downloadable media, to date it’s been difficult to make these accountable to advertisers. It’s hoped that the ADM, which will have close ties to the American Association of Advertisers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, will help create a more consistent landscape for advertisers and sponsors, thus increasing monetisation of the sector.





What’s holding online video advertising back?

26 07 2007

Wave, after wave, after wave of research suggesting that consumers (especially younger ones) are spending more time watching video online; tet the ad $ have been slow to move in. Why?

Take Procter & Gamble – the biggest advertiser in the world – which over recent years has accelerated the amount of spend away from traditional media and towards online. What aren’t the rest getting?

Well there’s the small problem of measurement, for starters: Nielsen/NetRatings may have made a bold announcement about standardisation, yet implementation is still some way off.

Meanwhile, eMarketer claims 2007 is the year where ad spend on online video will rise by 89% . What are we waiting for?

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In a word (or several): the big trucks rolling into town.

It’s unlikely the effects of new launches from the NBC Universal / NewsCorp. ‘newsite’ launch, Comast’s major web drive, Joost out of beta and the BBC’s non-public service iPlayer launches will be fully felt at least until next year. Which is why next year the figures for ad spend suddenly start to leap. Advertisers need proof-of-concept, not stuff for shareholders.

Then there’s honing understanding of the type and duration of advertising which will work with online users.

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The same eMarketer study, suggests existing approaches remain fragmented and confusing. The one thing that’s overwhelmingly clear, the ad-funded model is here with us for good, as only a tiny minority of users are prepared to pay for online video:

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More granularity still when it comes to exploring consumer attitudes towards the context of accompanying ads:

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And then re-posing questions concerning ad durations:

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