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February 26, 2010

Online Video: The Tipping Point Was Yesterday

This February ComScore released results for online video viewing that indicated 86% of the US online audience viewed videos online in December 2009, up 19% from the prior year. Compare the 178M online viewers to approximately 290M people who watched television in the 2009 season (Nielsen), and the growth is striking. Viewership has grown significantly, as has volume. According to comScore, the online viewer watched an average of 187 videos. So why haven’t brands and broadcasters rushed in?

The industry is hung up in a bit of a chicken and egg dilemma.
Chicken:
Broadcast and cable networks have loads of premium content, but don’t want to cannibalize the television audiences that drive their advertising revenue. Bandwith is expensive, and networks have yet to monetize their online content on a scale that could replace television revenue.

Egg: Large advertisers aren’t yet funneling massive ad buys into online video, because they can’t secure the reach that television provides, and the CPM rates are much higher than their television GRPs. To increase reach, historically advertisers have had to purchase space beyond YouTube and Hulu through networks, which haven’t guaranteed the contextual relevance or quality that television provides. Television equals a safe bet.

Analytics and measurement will move the industry beyond this impasse. A 2008 study by Doubleclick/Google clearly illustrated that video advertisements were significantly more effective than other forms of online media in driving brand favorability and purchase intent. An IAB case study found that online video was equally as effective as television in moving brand metrics. As a marketer, why would I have to dig for these results? Why aren’t there more case studies? Several video platforms offer advanced analytical tools to measure the effectiveness of campaigns- Omniture, TubeMogul, Visible Technologies. Someone brilliant will measure and share these results (both online engagement and offline brand metrics) broadly, and marketers will feel more comfortable with increasingly large spends on video. Larger spends will help drive more premium content.

A variety of monetization options can help fund more high-caliber content. Pre-roll, in-stream, and overlay ads are abundant. Subscription models like Netflix, pay-per-view, product placement, and Hulu’s choice-driven sponsorship are still in their nascency. (Thank you, H&R Block, for allowing me to choose pre-roll and skip in-stream ads throughout my favorite show.) Technology will enable more ways to syndicate and monetize, funding better content.

Potential sweet spots? If you’re a brand with a highly specific and elusive target audience, the targeting capabilities of online video should appeal to you. Smart brands of all sizes are using the latest tracking and analytics to uncover which creative is most engaging, and where audiences are falling off, with a depth of insight simply not offered by television. If you produce professional-looking video content for an attractive vertical or audience, (Beet.tv and Plum TV come to mind) now is an attractive time to monetize while larger networks and studios gain internal alignment and technology.

February 5, 2010

Augmented Reality and the Selling Cycle: Samsung Series 7 LCD

Filed under: Uncategorized — aimee @ 12:39 pm
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This week imediaconnection featured the 4 most interesting augmented reality apps. All evoked “neat!” but one is remarkable because it addresses a real consumer barrier in the selling cycle, and should ultimately drive sales.

Ever wandered the LCD aisle wondering “how large a TV do I really need?” and “will this really fit?” To launch the Samsung series 7 LCD TV, Samsung developed an application that allows consumers to visualize the television in the room they plan to place it. Here’s the video on how it works:

Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find the actual application on the Samsung website or through search! Any information on the developer and location would be greatly appreciated. What do you think the most useful uses of AR are?

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