Bernies Blog
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    

I joined Matt O’Neill, President of Ad Monsters and his terrific Team this week, at their conference focused on online operational issues (http://www.admonsters.com)

I have some previous history here, as an early Ad Monster from my time at Ask.com, a few years ago now. But I’ve not been to one of these conferences in a while, but I know it’s a great place to find out what’s going on.

Recently, I’ve been mentoring new Start Ups in different sectors (gamification; social; mobile; e-commerce; email). However, I can also provide consultancy on people, revenue and process issues for digital businesses, and decided to attend OPS with a view to keeping my knowledge updated, particularly for digital publisher clients.

In Peter Slaughter’s session, Operations Director at The FT for 28 years, he said only his knowledge from the last three really counts now. I’m sure that he was vastly underselling himself. But, technology has changed and is rapidly changing his business and his role within it.

So what conclusions did I draw from the day?

Well the online business is even more complex and operationally intensive now, with additional revenue areas like Social, and new formats like Tablets and Smart Phones to take account of.

Rob Beeler, excellent Master of Ceremonies for Ad Monsters commented that managing display online could take between 20-40% of budget overheads, whilst takes TV takes 2%.

There are multiple suppliers to consider in multiple sector areas and additional services like compliance and verification (DoubleVerify).

No one talks about Search; Google handles that all very well on behalf of partners.

Mobile and Video are still nascent, but growing exponentially. Really interesting mobile presentation by Russell Buckley, CMO of Eagle Eye Solutions, and an inspirational Key Note Opening from Jonny Shaw of Naked Play, ripping up the marketing rule book for mobile advertising, everything is about play now. I see a few logistical problems translating this philosophy across multiple platforms.

There is great focus on display advertising, (real time buying or programmatic buying). Yet, outside of Facebook, banner display revenue is flat, and most good video content is sold outside of automated exchanges.

Great to see one example of updated serving systems presented by Ken Parnham MD of OpenX, and also to hear an Agency view from Richard Wheaton MD Neo@Ogilvy on how they manage the difficult process of display for their clients. Quality still counts.

It’s not just about ad inventory, data is valuable too now, but heavy lifting to manage and value this.

I heard about Yieldex, a technology product that improves the accuracy of forecasting and management of direct sales inventory.

Fru Hazlitt of ITV presented the great work they are doing with Apps, 2nd screens and deeper customer partnerships, but this is all at an early stage. No mention of ZeeBox and other apps launched recently, this will take a year or two to feed through, and it will be interesting to find out more about this later on.

I learnt about Facebook’s vast inventory. Their currency is people not impressions, (no pixels to measure this). Their sell through is low, so I bet they are disappointed that General Motors has announced that it is pulling out of Facebook display, the day before their IPO. Facebook sits operationally outside of other display measurements, as do other social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn.

Oh and Twitter Tweets are worthless if not seen within 15 minutes according to Adaptly.com.

Doubleclick, now owned by Google, is still an important player, but I did not get a sense yet of a seamless process solution across different platforms to support their publishers. So, a lot of hard work to hold together the operational cats cradle on an on-going basis.

It’s going to take a major game changer to streamline operational processes across online, perhaps with converging developments in TV/Internet, or something we cannot yet imagine!

There must be opportunity for consultancy in this area, and will think about revisiting this for Q4 kick off.

In this emerging multi screen world - who controls who?

£35.00 seemed reasonable to hear about technology convergence development between TV, devices and social media. I knew the audience would be primarily drawn from the tech development sector, as it was held at Innovation Warehouse in Smithfield, London, a new digital start up hub. I did not recognise any TV people that I know. Tony Fish of MashUp* did a good job playing Devils Advocate.

The Speakers were:

Anthony Rose - Co-Founder and COO of Zeebox - www.zeebox.com

Anthony was previously responsible for iPlayer development for the BBC and worked on the YouView project. The development and broadcasting community is keen to see what he comes up with. He has spoken at various conferences this year, and I was pleased to meet him and hear about his work. Anthony's business is due to launch an innovative service this autumn. The free zeebox app automatically syncs your iPad, phone or computer with your TV, shares your viewing and shows you what your friends are watching in real time. You can connect and chat around any TV programme, interact with live shows and get more info about any person, thing or topic on air. You can even buy anything on screen with a single click. We call this "augmented TV".

David Bloom - Commercial Director of IP Vision - www.ipvision-uk.tv

Owners of Fetchtv.com, www.fetchtv.co.uk. An additional set top box offering consumers on demand options, BBC iPlayer access and distribution of some Sky services.

Tom Weiss - CEO of TV Genius

A TV recommendation engine, a personalised, digital TV/Radio times

The discussion was about who owns who in a multi device world. First run broadcast material (also plus channels and first re-runs), remains a very valuable commodity, with TV audiences ever stronger. Broadcasters are firmly in control of TV screens. But who owns who on second devices, tablets, mobiles etc? Again, so long as the rights are in place, and the distribution deals are well negotiated, I cannot see how content owners cannot win out on time shifted viewing and personal scheduling of their content. But others, like all the Panel member companies, will build up subscription revenue streams from their new services, maybe ad revenue too, particularly as social ad revenue grows, but others like FaceBook, Google +, Twitter etc will do well here.

I'm sure that Advertisers and their Agencies are reassessing engagement during ad breaks now that some consumers are multi tasking with tablets and mobiles at the same time. Consumers are savvy about fast forwarding through recorded content. I would seriously look at reducing ad minutage/sponsorship idents in prime time, recoup losses by increasing prices, and create even more relevant ad breaks for consumers to engage with, plus work on new innovative interactive options for Advertisers on 2nd screens.

It is more than 10 years since digital TV launched in the UK, and my service provider, Sky EPG is looking rather dated. In my house, with big sports fans, Sky is essential. The SkyPlus service was a step forward, but has not kept up with consumer demand, for example limitations on watching a third programme whilst 2 others are being recorded on the living room TV, and woe betide the person who deletes an item to make space to record what they want to view, as storage is limited! So loads of room for improvement, which might come from Broadcasters, after all it was the BBC who brought us the iPlayer, and Sky that has brought so much innovation over the past 20 years, or perhaps it will be that new Broadcaster, Google?

The discussion touched on Google's intention to move their tanks further from the digital market (13% share of global advertising 2011), into the 46% share of global advertising that TV currently enjoys (source Carat). Google are extending their assets further with the recent launch of User friendly Google+, their social product. Search was not considered to be a suitable tool for finding content, as consumers are more likely to be put off by not finding what they want, hence the development of services like ZeeBox, but I'm sure that Google is working on something similar.

Tess Alps, CEO of ThinkBox, the central marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, is right to be wary of "Greeks bearing gifts" with regard to her recent open letter to Eric Schmidt CEO of Google, http://bit.ly/nAxEjV. From no fault of their own, except their superior technical genius, Google does tend to marginalise partners. I once worked for Ask.com, then Google's largest global search partner, later on trumped by AOL. Both partner organisations now have a much smaller share of their respective markets, but still revenue growth through their Google partnerships. Google have signalled their intention to become a original content producer, (they are already a Broadcaster via YouTube). They have the expertise to design access tools to update the entire ecosystem, that's if innovators like ZeeBox and others are not run away successes first.

The latest TV Wall technology was mentioned, as this was unveiled at IBC in Amsterdam recently. It's certainly created quite a buzz.

IBC: Wall-sized displays suggest higher-def TV

I don't think there were any conclusions drawn from the event, but I enjoyed the discussion about existing and upcoming disruption, and hope that they follow this up in a few months time.

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!

.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