Bernies Blog
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Have registered for Foursquare. Been aware of it since launch, but did not rush in straight away. I'm fascinated by the location targeting opportunity. However, no businesses listed in my home town, St. Albans, 20 miles north of London! I'll have to experiment in London whiilst working which could be fun. I'm sure that this is the start of an interesting journey with Foursquare, and once they have acquired a wide commercial base of business customers there will be great targeting options. Personally, it could be a great fun tool to see what my friends are up to. Ooops, just noticed that Twitter have added location targeting today. Will this kill off Foursquare!

I attended my first seminar at The Hospital in Covent Garden, organised by Figaro Digital. Figaro are newish, set up in May 08 They publish a quarterly magazine, Figaro Digital. I was impressed. One of the great things about the digital sector is the collaborative approach amongst companies. Figaro demonstrate this very well, offering these seminars free of charge, while they build up their customer base and partnerships.

Their speakers included Matt Hunt UK MD of Adconion, http://www.adconion.com, They are a global online ad sales network. Evolving to capitalise on the opportunity their technical expertise and reach provides in content serving/distribution/syndication for publishers, to secure rev and market share in the online video advertising market as it develops, as well as selling/serving online advertising. I realised afterwards that I briefly crossed career paths with Keith Kaplan their President of North America, at Interactive Search Holdings. Small digital world! They work with Joost, who are pioneers in the online video content space.

Ad networks/serving businesses have been successful in securing a large share of the online advertising display market to date, and some notable examples have been acquired by Google (Doubleclick), Microsoft (aQuantive) and Orange (Unanimis) and there is every reason to expect that ad networks will be successful in video online given their expertise and drive, but I think they will be given a run for their money by the established TV networks and TV Buyers on their home turf.

Francis Turner of .Fox Networks, forecasted £65m this year for the UK Video Online ad market (In stream). However, put that in perspective with the total UK online ad market at £3.54b in 2009 and within that online UK display at £709.3m (IAB/PWC), and GroupM’s latest Jun 10 UK TV Advertising forecast for 2010 at £3.329b, there is an exciting journey ahead. As an aside, I noted recently a headline that Forrester is predicting video will be the fastest growing interactive advertising format in Europe over the next five years, with advertisers spending more than €1bn (£860m) on the medium.

Toby Crisp of comScore Inc presented an interesting overview of the UK online video market. YouTube dominate with 49% of audience share, over the remaining 51% distributed over a long tail after Facebook, BBC, ITV, BSkyB who are all making good progress. I asked Toby how he thought this might change over the next few years. His personal comments were that it depends on YouTube’s further success in developing distribution/rev share with content providers like UK Broadcaster Channel 4, Hulu.com etc, versus how aggregators/distributors (Adconion aim to be amongst them) and broadcasters develop their video online interests. The average length of video viewed online is now 5.1 minutes, which incidentally is the IAB’s definition of long form video, so it’s not just about user generated content anymore. Only 5% of mobile users view video online, but 14% of smart phone owners, a very lucrative and targetable audience of predominantly higher earners aged 24-34. 38% of all time spent online is now spent watching video content. Strong points for online video are convenience of how you view (easy to stop/start/pause) when (time flexible) and where (multiple or mobile locations). TV still wins out though in terms of pleasure of the viewing experience in both vision and sound on the big screen.

Both Robert Black of EyeWonder and Steve Doyle of InSkin Media presented their very innovative ad formats.The former has been bought by Lime Light, a large content service provider, and I expect that more of these businesses will be consolidated higher up the online video revenue chain over the next few years. Robert Black also chairs IAB’s online video committee, and has been championing audience research work (VAST –open source so able to work Agency/Broadcaster/Advertiser research) which originated from the IAB USA. I sold TV for several years earlier in my career, I know all about the power of sight, sound, motion, and subliminal messages for brands. Steve Doyle of InSkin summarised that online video offers all of these, together with long dwell times, interaction, positive engagement and brand metrics as well, a feast of opportunity, and great news for advertisers wanting to find out more about ROI.

Charlie Grive, MD of Brandcast Media, a versatile production business that has grasped online developments across the board presented his work and credentials. His innovative work with professional communities like Oncologists is inspiring.

I met some great people during drinks after (sponsored by Propellondon.com, recruiters for digital - thanks). It was interesting for me to consider updated views of a sector that I know well. Well done Figaro, look forward to the next one!

Read this article in last Saturday’s Times biz section, with hesitant but positive remarks by Martin Sorrell (WPP), regarding ad revenue growth and digital marketing investment in 2010. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article7052020.ece

Very encouraged by this, and also feedback from a senior international web publisher, who advised me this week, the time is now right to re-approach the market, things are picking up.

I pressed the pause button in 2009, on working with established digital businesses, as everyone was hunkered down, riding through the storm of the recession. I have been concentrating on new start ups, and reaching out to partners to work with me on larger accounts.

Two of these are Ad Monsters, the online operations experts and Generator, the consulting arm of i-Level.com.

With growth forecasted for the UK economy in the 2nd half, I’m hoping that established digital marketing businesses are preparing to invest, and see this as an opportunity to move forward with them.

Yesterday, I visited the Streaming Media Europe conference/exhibition in Hammersmith for the first time.

The start of the day was comic, with two lines queuing up to register, one for this conference and the other for Internet Librarians. Obviously they were confused as a couple of Librarians realised that they were in the wrong lecture theatre seconds just before the first speaker stood up. I thought it was funny, and I missed Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, the moderator’s, reference to the Twitter hash, and did not join in. However, I would have found it hard to tweet, as the keynote speaker William Cooper, of informitv.com set off on such a fast paced review of how we got to where we are. He talked about how online video is challenging and also complimenting traditional broadcasting, causing market disruption. He referred to the challenges of delivering online video on all platforms. I wanted to hear more about the convergence of the Internet/TV in the living room, but he left this for another time, and questions were cancelled due to late start. I hope to catch up with him to find out more.

Guy Phillipson of the IABUK informed us about the numbers for the first half of 2009, with overall media markets down 16.6%, the Internet up 4.6% but slower growth over previous years, but video, defined as pre-roll, up 195% at £11.4M, just 4% of the total UK internet market in this period, so small, and a low base for growth, but rays of hope in very tough economic times. I searched the IAB USA stats, digital video (not sure if the definitions are the same as over here) is also 4%, as in the UK, at $477m, but only a 38% increase over the first half of 2008. There was a 5.3% decline in the total size of the USA Internet market in the first half, so the UK market has performed positively, especially as Guy pointed out that the UK is a middling player in broadband size terms. Jack Wallington of the IAB talked about standards, and formats that work/don’t work, obvious things like frequency caps, and gave some good examples of innovative ads, I particularly liked the Discovery Channel Orang-utan Island from Carat. Guy told us about UKOM, a new industry agreed standard for Internet audience research, available in summer 2010, monthly in arrears, demographic data from 35,000 people at home and work. A big achievement for everyone involved. It is ironic though, with so much real time information available online, that we apply traditional media research to make sense of it all. It will be interesting to see how this develops out.

After this I toured the Exhibition. I talked to Brightcove, Unicorn, VideoPlaza, Adswizz, Twofour Digital, Tremor, Global Mix, Ooyala, Craze, ims AG, yospace.

An interesting selection of digital video businesses, with potential for partnership, development and investment with Luca Media

I understand better the finance chain, between CDN’s, video online platforms, ad platforms, and cross platform connections with Advertisers. Competition is opening up in these sub sectors, with many specialist companies represented here identifying new opportunities in this growth sector.

I enjoyed meeting everyone, and will watch developments closely.

The Ethics of Blogging

About 10 days ago, I participated in a Webinar on this subject. The audience, primarily American, was focused on this subject with the FCC pronouncement on guidelines for blogging imminent. These have now been released, http://ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm. Basically, you must disclose if you have been paid or received free goods termed “blog – ola” from anyone you endorse by writing about them. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111083779.

Product reviews on ecommerce sites who receive a free product in return are illegal in the USA now. It seems consumers are mostly unaware that companies have been paying individuals to write favourably about their products online. The legislation appears to be aimed at Citizen Bloggers rather than professionals, with the aim of providing consumers with accurate purchasing information. http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/10/ftc-bloggers/.

The FCC acknowledges that bloggers may be subject to different disclosure requirements than reviewers in traditional media. So, as I venture further into the wonderful free blogosphere I will tread carefully, as, of course, all Bloggers are Citizens and maybe also, like me, professional digital people as well, so the lines and rules are blurred. What will this mean for future sponsorship of my blog, and product placement in my video blogs? I think I am still in mostly unchartered waters here, and conscious too of organizations reaction to blogging, but do not want to be put off by this fear. After all, the great thing about the web is freedom of expression, transparency and democracy. In the meantime it might be useful to review disclose policies http://www.speedofcreativity.org/2009/10/05/fcc-mandates-disclosure-for-bloggers-receiving-freebiespayments/

The webinar participants discussed whether these guidelines will interfere with the development of blogging as commercial entities, and whether it is necessary to legislate at all, but clearly the FCC thinks it is.

Last week Ofcom published it's digital blueprint for the UK. Interesting to see the potential for Big City TV, and also plans to improve local news. Interesting for me, as in my pre digital phase I started out working for a regional TV station for London. TV news is hardly local, with broadcasts covering large regional areas. A great opportunity here perhaps for regional press publishers to step in. Although some have been amalgamating titles covering a wider geographical area to cut costs in the current brutal recession. Surely this is the wrong strategy to compete with the Internet's ability to deliver information and news right down to a postcode. Perhaps a short-term essential move.

This week further news is due on broadband/internet developments.

These reports are welcome news, full of opportunity and development and hopefully great for businesses like Luca Media.

Bought my son, age 20, an ITouch for Xmas. As he is permanently tuned into his music, I thought he could do with an upgrade. Wow, it was the best present since his first Game Boy/Pokomon way back. It is so much more than a touch activated IPod, the gaming applications and broadband internet access make it one cool toy, and mobile too. Only limitation is that internet access is only available through fixed broadband accounts, and wifi areas. It was fascinating to watch his glee as he caught up on facebook one minute, gamed with someone internationally the next, checked out his semester schedule via email, viewed his fav TV and listened to music. It's the IPhone with extra cool applications. I want one now! I'm wondering if I need a laptop anymore. I have a desktop at home that I can prepare presentations on and download to memory sticks. I can email and surf using the IPhone. Apparently the IPhone is not great for accessing MSN Hotmail accounts though, funny that!

Last night I tuned into a great webinar, organised by the Click Z Network, and presented by Dave Evans, an Author on social media amongst other things. It was a very informative overview of how social media enhances the branding awareness, consideration and purchase cycle through word of mouth, and how powerful this can be in B2B and B2C markets for both positive recommendations of products and services, remembering that word of mouth can be negative too, Social Media is fulfilling Tim Berners Lee's original dream for the Internet, of a more collective, participative and less interruptive medium. He gave several examples of the type of experimental work that is taking place. The innovation is incredible, and very exciting. Before attending this, I had read a couple of negative comments regarding social media, here's a couple of examples:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/business/media/14digi.html?ref=business, http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/news/866193/Marketing-chiefs-play-down-value-social-networks/

It was so refreshsing to hear Dave's presentation. There is huge potential to develop business through the use of social media platforms. It needs dedicated understanding and management in it's own right, and it is very early days for this sector.

If you believe in marketing principles as I do, then marketeers will find ways to engage with consumers which will accelerate the social media marketplace rapidly over the next few years. I'm going to read his book over the Christmas/New Year holiday, so more later.

.foxnetworks.com 21st Century Growth Ad Monsters Adaptly.com adconion Agillic amazon andiamo.io AOL apps aQuantive Ask.com astia.org BallouPR BBC Online behavioural science Bladerston Capital blog-ola Bloggers blogosphere BookingBug.com Bootlaw Brainient Brandcast Media BraveNewTalent.com BSkyB buddy.com Channel 4 Charlotte Street Hotel Ciklum City Am Claire Paterson COADEC Codility CognitiveMatch com comscore inc Comufy comufy.com Cowboy Ventures customers David Cameron digital Digital London digital marketing digital revolution dot.com bubble Doubleclick Dreamstake.net e-commerce Eagle Eye Ebay Email Eric Schmidt Erply EU cookie legislation everywoman.com Eyewonder Facebook FaceBook FCC Fetchtv.com Figaro Flattr Forrester Foursquare.com FT Games General Motors generator global economic crisis Google Google+ Group M hive.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smarter_Planet http://www.coadec.com/ Professor Hargreaves http://www.level39.co/ https://twitter.com/IBMSmartCamp Hulu i-level IAB IBC IBM SmartCamp independent Innovation Warehouse InSkin Media Inspire Conference IP IPvision-uk.tv ITV jelastic.com kinetise Launch 48 location targeting technology Luca Media magick.nu martin sorrell MashUP* Microsoft Mind Candy momit.com MoshiMonsters Multiple channels Naked Play Neo@Ogilvy nest.com Netflix Now For The Long Term Ogilvy online danger online sales Online T's & C's online video Oodle OpenX Orange Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations Parag Khanna PatientKnowsBest people Policy Exchange; smart cities ; GLA; Catapault; Bristol Futures; UK Broadband: Camden Council; Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis Postmates process Propel London Proximity London PWC recession revenue Rory Sutherland secludit.com Seedcamp Shuttle Sky SkyPlus social marketing ROI social marketing systems social media Social networks socialbullguard.com Soundcloud Spotify Springboard.com Start Ups Stephen Shakespeare Stradbroke Advisors Sunday Times Tech Hub techallstars.com TechCity Techcrunch techcrunch Tess Alps The Europa awards ThinkBox Timesonline tiramizoo.com TV Genius Tweets Twitter Twitter.com Uber UCL; Sharing Economy; Love Home Swap; unknown unknowns; Uber.com; Airbnb.com; UK Trade & Industry Unanimis Unicorn Club upperstreet.com User behaviour VAST wakingapp.comClearreturns.com web security Webinar White Bear Yard wordpress WPP www.lucamedia.com/searching-for-unicorns Yieldex YouTube Zeebox Zeebox.com Zonerider