Friday 19 February 2016

What we're listening to. Thin Lizzy 'Live and Dangerous'

Ah, Thin Lizzy, an Irish band that sorta' kinda' made it worldwide and this is THE Lizzy Album to get, 'Live and Dangerous'. 

Released in 1978 (recorded in 76 in London and Toronto) it's one cracking live Album.

What I bet you don't that 'Bluey Huey' listed as the harmonica player on the Album notes, is none other than Huey Lewis and you'll hear him on 'Baby drives me crazy'. 

We know Huey was a huge friend of lead singer, Phil Lynott and for a fact we can tell you that he has visited Philo's grave in Dublin many times since, at St. Fintan's Cemetery Sutton (where in fact as I write, my Mum and Dad are buried too). 

Lewis met when Lynott supported the Lewis band then called 'Clover'. 

Lynott died in 86 in Kew, although lived at his Howth home which we know (just over the bridge beside the beach, so there) largely from Heroin. He had two girls - Cathleen and Sarah - but 'Sarah' has to be one of the great all-time tracks for his daughter.

What you also didn't know....was that although considered Irish, Lynott was born in England albeit, schooled in Crumlin, Dublin. And that he was such a fan of Manchester United (and a friend of George Best), he became a shareholder.

There's a fairly famous landmark bronze statute too for Philo on Dublin's Grafton Street.

All the good Lizzy songs are here - 'Southbound', 'Jailbreak', 'Dancing in the Moonlight', 'The Boys are Back in Town', 'Suicide' but the real stand out track is the intro ("This is a number recorded by Bob Seeger") and into 'Rosalie'. 

This is blues and rock at its best and you mightn't know the record although it sold well. 

Worth a really good listen but listen to 'Rosalie' and then you'll know! ("Hey you're clapping your hands for me!").

And just for our Sarah in Streamabout, the terrific 'Sarah'.

Previous "listen to's" you'll also find on this blog.......Aretha Franklin Amazing Grace; Clapton 461; Massive Attack Blue Lines; The Clash London Calling; Chris Isaak At The Filmore; Bob Dylan Street Legal;Bad Company Straight Shooter; Jackson Browne Love is Strange; Lou Reed Transformer; Steely Dan AJA; Stones Black+Blue; Stephen Bishop Careless; Nils Lofgren Night after Night; Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells; Neil Young Harvest; Led Zep 4; David Bowie David Live; Van It's too late to stop now; Wings Band on the run; Rod Stewart Atlantic Crossing; Ryan Adams Heartbreaker; Santana Essential; Bob Dylan Desire; Roxy Music For your pleasure; Bob Marley Legend; Stephen Fretwell Magpie; James Taylor Sweet Baby James; Deep Purple Machine Head; Springsteen Darkness on the edge of town; Leon Bridges Coming Home; Eagles Hotel California; Jungle; Aretha Soul Queen; Neil Young After the Goldrush + Harvest; Zappa Overnite Sensation; Fleetwood Mac Rumours; Keith Jarrett Koln Concert; Doobies Southbound; Stevie Earle I feel alright; Tom Waits Closing Time; Pink Floyd Dark Side; Van Moondance; Eric Church Caught in the Act; Randy Newman Little Criminals; Elton John Madman across the water; Patti Smith Horses; Doobies Captain and Me; Steely Dan Can't Buy a Thrill.

Thursday 18 February 2016

Twitter drives online Video with 24 hour Video guarantee. Firstview.

Twitter, like everyone else these days, is driving online Video.

So much so, they've introduced a new format - 'Firstview' - giving advertisers 24 hour access to timelines with video. What it means is, that when a user goes onto Twitter in a 24 hour period, they'll see a sponsored video at the top of their feed.

It's the top spot, just one below an organic tweet, so it will be seen.

Only available in the US just now, but it's coming.

Video is driving Twitter.
Streamabout are driving Video.

We make them, we place them. 
And Twitter wants them. 

Wednesday 17 February 2016

100 million hours of video watched on Facebook every day. And most still get it wrong.....

Facebook are reporting that people are watching 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day. Yes, 100 million hours - nearly too big to contemplate. 

(Need help? Ask Streamabout).

A lot of it is on mobile and plays automatically (autoplay) silently to start in their news feeds. So a TV Commercial edit, just won't work and will be skipped - it needs to be relevant, engaging video that people want to click. Or that makes them want to.

So Facebook are trying to get advertisers to think like that (and not to just use their TV Commercials). One way is the use of captions early in the video which Facebook say (rightly in our view) increases engagement alone by +12%.

55% of people who watch the first 3 seconds, who will watch then watch the next 10 seconds and 45% will go to the end. So that opening sequence is really key.

Of course too, advertisers can opt to pay for viewers only when 100% of the video is viewed (passes through the newsfeed) if they wish. But the 'sound on/off' argument needs addressing by advertisers and it needs a mindset change for online video especially on mobile.

It's not traditional TV broadcasting and advertisers need to understand that and more and more therefore, your Ad Agency is not best placed to advise you on video. 

It's a different medium, it's a growing medium and less costly than TV. But more importantly, it can be greatly more effective. After all, when did you last share a TV Commercial?

Tuesday 16 February 2016

The Television world has changed. Media meltdown from the markets.

Investors this week are re-assessing the value of TV.

The TV business is in trouble on two fronts - Firstly from disruptive technology that's ad-free (Netflix) and therefore, declining audiences (bringing less Advertising) and now, from the markets. A perfect storm.

Shares in Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, Fox were all hit last week, greater than the general market declines. Viacom for example, was -25% down, having reported declines in revenue, profit and income.

Disney, who are very diversified with blockbuster movies, even took a hit because of their dependence on TV. Time Warner took a hit because of its loss of subscribers/viewers. Yet, Netflix audiences surge to nearly 50 million in the US.

The problem with traditional TV continues, as viewers have now more (and better) options. 

Whether that's online broadcasting (Netflix, Amazon) or Apps (snapchat, vine) or spending time on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook) or Second screen viewing whilst watching TV - they're simply watching less. That means in turn, less advertising (because advertising money follows audience) and less subscribers (I use it less so why should I pay for it).

Audience ratings of prime shows (which you'll see peppered in this blog) are in steep decline with Nielsen reporting that 25 of the top 35 channels attracted lower audiences in 2015. Shows are in decline too. That's despite the TV industry trying to convince us otherwise through spurious data analysis.

According to The FT, "Wall Street has belatedly realised that the television world has changed. It is unlikely that the latest media meltdown will be the last" and indeed, that reporting will also be self-prophecy.

Of course too, TV is being replaced. By online digital video, something which Streamabout knows so well.

Monday 15 February 2016

Indy print closes. Rome burns. Newspapermen idle.

The UK Independent (Indy) which started in 1986 as a broadsheet, is to close its printed version and move exclusively online which may be, the start of the big digital switch for Newspapers. After all, all the costs for a publisher are in printing the physical edition whereas all the revenue growth is in online advertising. 

The Guardian for example, is losing £52 million a year which is not sustainable. 

The Independent was of course bought by Irish tycoon (and generally nice man), Tony O'Reilly in 1998. Anybody who watches Andrew Marr on a Sunday, might be interested to note that he was an Editor too.

So by saving the printed edition substantial costs, the Indy will still be able to generate good revenues in a profitable way online. It also gives them a real competitive model for Buzzfeed and Huff Post. A lesson here?

Indy printed will cease in March (20th probably) and then start to expand its digital version in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Already with a staff of 17, they expect to be joined by another 40, leaving sadly, some redundancies.

There's a simple fact. 

Newspapers as they stand, will continue to lose cover price (as news is 'free' online) and lose print advertising (down another -10% in 2015). Unless they re-invent themselves (and we can suggest a few ideas here!), the print newspaper will fall

However, the print newspaper can be used to switch readers to online which none of them do. It seems an obvious strategy to get their readers to move online and to keep those readers. Once online, they can sell those readers other stuff with "news" as the free "hook" to keep them there. You cannot charge for news anymore so let's forget paywalls.

Like selling readers 'click through' story shopping; recruitment portals; car sales; classified Ads; reports; sms updates...the list is endless. However, newspaper men are wedded to their paper editions and therein lies the problem. The smell of the ink.

They should not be, when the consumer, their readers, want something else (digital).

We would think that The Indy online now has new life and the potential to be an excellent big digital player. How's that for breathing life into a brand.

There's a lesson for newspaper men (and yes they are men) that like it or not, what's on your site is more important than what's on your Presses. Whingeing won't do it but brave moves will - in line with what readers want. 

Just like what The Indy has done.