Friday, 8 November 2013

Tablets and Phones will be MORE important than TV for Advertising by 2016. Who just said that? Nielsen.

Stunning, possibly earthquaking, report today from Nielsen, the general bastion of all things TV.

A survey undertaken in July/August of this year amongst key advertising buyers, is really causing a stir of seismic proportions. Especially because it comes from such a trusted source - Nielsen.

What they're forecasting is that Tablets and Phones will be more important than TV for Advertising. More important in only 3 years. That's being wrapped in a concluding notion that consequently, 'multi screens' advertising has, and will, become more important for advertisers. Which in some ways is a half-way house and promoting way of doing both - for now.

What's causing the stir, is that the survey was conducted with The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), with almost 99% (a score as high I've never seen) of wait for it, clients, media sellers and Agencies, reporting that Tablets/Phones will be more important than TV in 2016.

Indeed, most of those surveyed (86%) rank the mobile phone as more important for advertising than TV today. That's advertising importance and yet still, advertisers spend more on traditional TV by miles.

64 billion Dollars goes on traditional TV advertising in the US and mobile only gets 3.4 billion. So decisions are still being made, badly.

You'll get all the charts here

The Nielsen link is here 

And what we've got here is the start of a dramatic shift. 

Traditional media companies, advertisers and agencies recognising the importance of digital advertising in a comparable way to TV advertising. That hasn't happened before in officialdom.

And the credibility of the survey, must now be without question unlike perhaps, others that have gone before. Or so it has been argued but not any more.

This could change everything.

Netflix sign a 4 series deal with Marvel. Original content is king.

Netflix announce a deal with Marvel to bring 4 new original online series.

They are four live action series, each with 13 episodes for online broadcasts in 2015. Called "Daredevil", "Iron Fist", "Jessica Jones" and "Luke Cage" and will be rich storytelling - as you might expect from Marvel.

Equally, they will be 'on demand' so all the series episodes launched together as one with a clear aim of developing Netflix further in the family market. Kids will want to see these and they'll only see them on......Netflix.

Last year, Netflix did a TV rights deal with Disney for programming launching in 2016 and Marvel are owned by Disney. It's a big move for Marvel in the online TV space and represents another big move for Netflix.

Great news too for online production companies as Netflix use their cash to develop their own content. It would be difficult to see a similar deal work with a traditional TV station, for example.

Original content will drive the Netflix model on.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Christmas TV Ads have started but we already have a winner. Stunning spot from Lego.

So the Christmas Ads have started then and we already have a winner!
This is going to be hard to beat.....

A classic piece of Advertising from Amsterdam's 'we are pi'. 
Great copywriting, smashing kids voice and like any Dad out there, you just get it. And Lego is what the Dads buy ("When I was your age son....").

'Let's build'

Dear oh, dear I just want to go home and do this with Jack (8) right now. Because it's a little piece of magic, not about the product itself, but rather about the benefits. I'll keep harping on about that as being key to good advertising.

Bang on the money magnificence. 
This will sell Lego.

Twitter debuts on NYSE today at the high 26 Dollars a share.

The Twitter IPO starts on NYSE today.

Trading will take place starting at 26 us Dollars a share which is at the top end. But as predicted, it's being talked up and up to allow early investors turn a profit. One spread betting company IG, today in The Guardian, are predicting a +70% rise to 43 usd......

In the words of Mandy Rice Davies, well they would, wouldn't they.

Everybody is bullish so a gain is the most likely outcome here today.
It will be the 3rd largest IPO this year but the average one day rise (or 'pop') this year is +17%.

So there's a play on the day but after that....remember Facebook.
There's a lot of bulls out there looking for a quick gain.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 7th - Early trading, shares to go to high of 50 Dollars, drop back to circa 45 Dollars. Huge gains on the day circa +75%. IG were right) 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Amazon announce 2 new original series. Another threat to traditional TV.

Original online content is growing, to compete with traditional TV, just as expected.

Following Netflix with 'House of cards' and others, Amazon have announced two new original series which they're producing.

Alpha House, a comedy about US Washington Senators (with John Goodman), goes out on November 15th on Amazon instant. It is written by the great Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame.

Betas, a series about social media start ups (yep, could be good), starts at the end of November. Silicon valley friends have their moment in setting up a new Social Media play. 

Both have 11 episodes. They've also 3 kids shows in production.

This is the first time Amazon have produced their own original Series and no doubt, follows Netflix. It allows the online broadcasters to compete for viewers with good, quality programming and is great news again, for the online digital video sector.

But it's more bad news for TV.

Already being hit as viewers switch over to online low cost, programming on subscription, as well as, an ongoing obliteration of their audience by Social Media, now they have a content challenge. Their only hope was to retain viewers because of the content traditional TV offers and even this, is being eroded.

Furthermore, Netflix and Amazon are sitting on big cashpiles, and we understand that they're going to compete to buy broadcast rights for live events - notably big sporting occasions. TV will not be able to compete with them here either.

Even as content providers, the recent YouTube deals show that online broadcasters, as YouTube is, are prepared to pay TV stations less for their content. So that revenue stream, small as it might be right now, is definitely reducing.

And as sure as night follows day, Advertising money follows audience. More and more of it is going online.

Yet, TV Stations persevere in the hope that terrestrial broadcasting will "see off" the continuing online challenge as they try to spin "good news" that's just not credible. They continue to live off in some cases, huge state aid, instead of getting into the space, embracing it and being prepared to re-formulate their model. Like newspapers have been prepared to do.

The ticking clock, just got a lot louder.

YouTube are changing their deals with TV Stations and Movie providers. But in doing it, they're encouraging that old no no. Media brokering.

YouTube is starting to flex its muscle.

In the past, it encouraged TV Stations and Movie makers to put their content up on YouTube in return for what was called a "sweetheart" deal. Basically the content provider (Movie Studios/TV Stations) got 70% of the Ad revenue in return. More favourable terms than other content providers got....but YouTube got good content.

Movie clips, TV programmes, etc.

Not any more.

As those content contracts are being renewed, YouTube are now offering them, 55% of the advertising, with YouTube retaining 45% - so down from the 70%

Basically these are now, the same terms YouTube offers everyone else - so no longer "special deals" for the networks anymore.

However, (I think this is most dangerous part,) YouTube have agreed to "cap" this share - to limit the YouTube take. So they'll take the 45% to a certain amount of money and after that is reached, the TV stations/Movie makers can keep 100% of what's left. Therefore, if the movie/TV stations (content providers) get more Ad money than the "cap", they keep it all. What's being called the "threshold".

So if the content producers sell more advertising at higher prices, they benefit in full. And this deal encourages them to do that. They will charge their advertisers more than they're actually paying.

In my mind, this is media brokering at its worst. An activity which has always been frowned upon, if not considered illegal, and certainly considered sharp practice. 

The traditional Ad Agency model of commission (and in this case, the TV stations can be considered Ad Agencies because they're "selling on" other media), is based on a % of the true media cost. An advertiser rightly expects that the Ad Agency to be paying the media the exact price shown on the invoice and simply deducting a commission.

If for example, an Ad is 100 quid, it's charged to the client at 100 quid, less 15% commission (or whatever the agreed commission is). Transparent, above board. 

In this way potentially however, if the same Ad is 100 quid, but the seller negotiates it for less, say 70 quid, and yet still charges the client the 100 quid, that's media brokering. You're charging more than you're actually paying.

Ad Agencies could have made fortunes (I could have) if we behaved as media brokers. Wholesaling media if you like.

And the same TV networks would be livid if they saw Ad Agencies inflating their prices to advertiser clients. Now they might be doing the same thing. In fact, it's a condition for Ad Agencies not to behave like that in the original Ad Agency licence agreements with the same media. And yet, it seems, that's now how media will operate in this deal - if they accept it.

In this YouTube case now, the advertiser would be paying a very probably, higher inflated price to the TV network for their YouTube advertising because the TV network will want to exceed the YouTube "cap". The more they get from advertisers, through higher pricing, the more they keep.

In order to "blur" these transactions, I'd expect to see the TV networks hide from transparency by "bundling" the YouTube airtime with other advertising as "packages". Which ironically, they in turn will probably try to sell on to Ad Agencies!

So if it's accepted, it's a very dark, dubious practice to say the least. And reflects badly on YouTube for suggesting it. For facilitating it. For encouraging it. 

If of course, I'm not misunderstanding it.
Doubt it.....

Monday, 4 November 2013

Blackberry deal is off. Shares start to tank again. The death spiral?

Uh oh, the Blackberry Sale has fallen through.

And its shares are tanking. Again.

It had hoped to sell itself to its biggest shareholder (holding 10%), Fairfax, whom were rumoured to have found difficulty in raising the finance for it. Blackberry is now looking to raise 1 billion usd elsewhere and CEO Thorsten Heins has stepped aside.

Although Fairfax have structured a financial 7 year deal to support the company, it won't be seen as enough.

Blackberry have already planned to cut 4,500 jobs, 40% of their work force.

Last month they reported a quarterly loss of nearly 1 billion usd but are sitting on cash of more than 1 billion which will get them through...for a while (another quarter loss like last quarter will do it).

One would expect though, that shares will plummet tomorrow.

And this is now, probably the start of what last year was termed, The Blackberry Death Spiral.

Newspapers see the Web as an opportunity for digital publishing. They're not sitting on their hands.

I've often said that the 'threat' of the web to newspapers doesn't have to be that - it can be an opportunity. 

One way, as I suggested in an earlier recent Blog, was to turn the huge online audience that newspapers get, into a shopping mall. Get the readers to buy and take a margin.

Another, is to create online publishing through dedicated 'imagazines'. The Irish Independent Group, Ireland's biggest newspaper publishers, are doing just that through a series of imags.

They create and publish online with more and more advertising support. Key to it is Video because it's one benefit that a newspaper publisher can offer online, which they can't offer in the printed version.

Their current edition called 'Lineout' ( gives you a sense of the effort, money and quality that is being put into them. This is actually, their 6th edition. 

Generally, this one is about Rugby (although there's lots of lifestyle features in it) and I've listed some of the video here in case you're interested, which Streamabout produced for them. What they've been able to do is to use their clout (unlike say, a start-up could) to call on big names like the Irish out-half, Jonny Sexton;

And the aspiring out-half, Ian Madigan;

Or legends like Tommy Bowe;

Or Conor Murray;

Or Peter O'Mahony;

And so on. And by having such high profile names (there's lots more in it), they can then draw in high profile advertisers who want to be associated with it. So it really works.

Lineout is only one in what is an ever-growing series of imagazine online publishing. The Independent also bring to bear a huge resource in editorial with really experienced people (such as Bairbre Power the Editor of Lineout) who understand how to put it all together.

And of course, by placing it on their site ( they instantly deliver views and impressions. Substantial views.

Newspapers are not sitting on their hands contemplating the threat of the internet. 

They are capitalising on it.