Xfinity and Disney/ABC Television Group have announced that Xfinity TV customers can now access three new authenticated TV+ products – WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior — at home or on-the-go — via a suite of new apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and online at WATCHDisneyChannel.com, WATCHDisneyXD.com and WATCHDisneyJunior.com.
The three new WATCH products are the first-ever to provide authenticated users with both access to live, linear network streams as well as an extensive offering of advantaged window “on demand” episodes.
Xfinity TV customers, who subscribe to Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior networks as part of their monthly video service, can now stream these channels live online and via the convenience of their iOS devices. In addition, Xfinity TV customers can view a variety of top series including “Good Luck Charlie,” “Shake It Up,” “Phineas and Ferb,” “TRON: Uprising,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” from Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior on these new WATCH products, on Xfinity On Demand, Xfinity.com/tv and through the Xfinity TV app on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch and Xfinity TV Player app on Android-powered devices, anytime.
The free Watch apps include a simple, kid-friendly user interface that brings the current online viewing experience to the high-resolution, Multi-Touch displays of iOS devices. Once a user downloads one of the WATCH apps or visits one of the WATCH websites, they will receive sign-in instructions to verify their Comcast Xfinity TV credentials, allowing them access to their favorite Disney Channel, Disney XD or Disney Junior programs on their device(s).
Non-authenticated users of the WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior services will have access to a limited number of “on demand” episodes each month.
Later this year, Xfinity TV will also integrate all of the content available through WATCH apps on Xfinity.com/tv as well as on other viewing platforms. Today, Xfinity TV offers more than 75,000 TV shows and movies, including a variety of kids and family programming, across Xfinity On Demand, Xfinity.com/tv and the Xfinity TV and Xfinity TV Player apps for iOS and Android, respectively.
The launch of Watch Disney Channel, Watch DisneyXD and Watch Disney Junior, as well as the recent launch of WatchESPN with Comcast is part of a long-term, comprehensive distribution agreement between Comcast Corporation and The Walt Disney Company that was announced in January, 2012. The agreement will deliver Disney’s sports, news and entertainment content to Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers into the next decade on televisions, computers, tablets and handheld devices. The new agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms using the latest technology and cloud innovation.
For the first time ever, Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers will be able to watch ESPN, ABC or Disney shows live or On Demand and across multiple screens. The companies also agreed to collaborate over the term of the deal to create new, innovative viewing experiences for Xfinity TV customers.
A new survey commissioned by MGH, an integrated marketing communications agency, found that 32% of survey respondents change the channel as soon as a political advertisement airs and during political news coverage, and nearly half (47%) of viewers will change the channel or mute the TV during a negative political ad.
The Baltimore agency commissioned the survey to find if consumers change their viewing habits during election season.
As usual, the vast majority (88%) of respondents said they are turned off by negative political advertising. But as usual, the negative ads work.
Younger millennials aged 18-24, skewed higher in some measures:
- Forty-five percent change the channel during political news coverage.
- Thirty-nine percent change the channel as soon as they see a political advertisement.
- Twenty percent are more likely to watch programs online, and 19% are more likely to record programs they want to watch to avoid commercials.
"This year's election is gearing up to be a tight race, and with tens of millions of advertising dollars being put toward mudslinging political television ads, marketers need to pay attention to some of these statistics to make sure that their consumers aren't changing the channel on their clients," said MGH President, Andy Malis. "During election years, television advertising space is limited and more expensive, so advertisers need to get creative and integrated with their media campaigns to ensure their message is getting through the clutter."
The key takeaways, according to MGH, are that marketers have the potential to lose more than one-third of their potential audience if a political ad airs – and nearly half if a negative political ad airs – in the same commercial block as theirs. Additionally, marketers that target the younger millennials may have an even tougher time reaching this audience through TV ads.
Still the spending is high, and a report released in March from Borrell Associates forecasts that out of the $9.8 billion that will be spent on political advertising for this year’s election, $5.6 billion will go toward broadcast TV and $939 million toward cable TV advertising. The New York Times estimates that at least $50 million worth of ads will appear in swing states in the next several weeks, about five months out from the election.
Time will tell if these viewers actually do tune out as they claim. Viewership was very strong during the GOP debates. ABC claimed big ratings for its “Your Voice, Your Vote – Republican Presidential Debate in New Hampshire” broadcast. Nielsen tallied 6.25 million viewers, including 1.73 million Adults 25-54 and 1.40 million Adults 18-49. The ABC debate topped the Fox News Channel’s December 15 debate with 1.31 million viewers.
According to January figures from The Pew Research Center for The People & The press, it is true that fewer Americans are closely following the campaign than four years ago. Cable TV leads among sources at 36%, but the Internet is next to last at 25% and has not grown in significance since 2007. So, those younger-skewing voters who claim to get ad-free news online might be exaggerating, or simply disinterested. Just 20% of those younger than 30 claimed to follow the campaign closely, down from 31% in 2008. But because younger voters skew Democrat, they may prick up their ears as the conventions and election near.
Equation Research conducted the survey in April 2012 on behalf of MGH. Equation surveyed 1,000 adults aged 18+ who had seen at least one political advertisement recently, located in states where presidential primaries had taken place.
The broadcast press is abuzz about the “first truly digital Olympics.” But should ad buyers be robbing their TV budgets to run banners on NBCSports.com? Maybe not. As PaidContent reports, online consumption of the 2012 Olympiad will not be as widespread as NBC predicted: That according to research from the online sports broadcaster Perform Group, in their Global Sports Media Consumption Report 2012.
Perform Group surveyed sports enthusiasts worldwide, to find that:
- Only 9% of UK sports fans and 16% in the US plan to view the Olympiad online
- Just 3% of UK fans and 7% in the US plan to watch any Olympic content over smartphones
- 64% of Brits and 71% of Yanks will watch via regular TV
Interestingly, 70% of Chinese intend to watch the games online. But as WebProNews describes, research groups in every country but China concentrated on a representative sample from all adults, while in China, the survey was taken amongst “tech-savvy” consumers in major municipalities.
BBC Sport in the UK plans to broadcast or stream 2,500 hours of the games across TV, Internet, mobile and tablet forms. And the International Olympic Committee plans to stream the entire event across YouTube. Finally, all 32 sports at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London will be streamed live at nbcolympics.com, as the New York Times reported in April. As PaidContent observes, “we will believe actual online viewing habits when we see them.”
comScore, Inc. has released a report called “Surviving the Upfronts in a Cross-Media World,” which it says is an actionable guide for success in navigating the cross-media landscape during this said Judy Bahary, SVP, Marketing Solutions at comScore.comScore examines the maturation of the online video market as a supplement to traditional television advertising and the effectiveness of cross-media campaigns in television programming.
Rather than one robbing the other, “Our research shows an incredible synergy between TV and digital video formats when used together in cross-media campaigns, driving effectiveness levels higher than either medium used on its own,” said Judy Bahary, SVP, Marketing Solutions at comScore.” As the online video market continues to develop, we should see it evolve from its current supporting role to an essential part of media planning in the annual upfronts.”
The annual television upfronts are a familiar process for buyers and sellers of television advertising. Now in their second year, the digital upfronts are shaking up the industry in making the case for digital video advertising in long-form TV programming and short-form online video. But the concept of online TV audiences is relatively uncharted territory for most buyers, who are uncertain how to effectively allocate dollars across both TV and digital media.
In a simulation conducted using comScore’s cross-media databases, which contain media usage from multiple platforms for the same households, comScore discovered that the use of online video can build reach and effective reach when advertising dollars are invested in both TV and digital platforms. Reallocating 10% of an ad budget from TV to video boosted a campaign’s reach by 5%, and raised effective reach by 16%.
comScore also measured consumer response (e.g., a visit to the advertised brand’s website) following exposure to TV ads alone versus both TV and digital platforms. It found that consumers who were exposed to one ad on TV and one online were 28% more likely to visit the brand’s website than those exposed to one ad on TV alone. In fact, the impact of two exposures – one on TV and one digital – was almost as high as the impact of two exposures, both on TV. “This reinforces the wisdom of overlaying a digital plan on a TV campaign to boost reach without sacrificing persuasion—especially when one considers that digital is generally less costly than TV,” says the report.
“What if your tablet or phone knew what you were watching on TV and presented bonus features without you having to lift a finger?” asks Microsoft. To kick-start the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft yesterday unveiled the Xbox SmartGlass, an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that connects phones, PCs and tablets with the Xbox 360 console “to make your entertainment smarter, more interactive and more fun.”
Users will, for example, be able to use a tablet to call up a play in the game "Madden NFL" and then play it on a TV screen, or, control websites on a TV using the tablet's touchscreen.
This solidifies Microsoft’s “head start in the battle for every screen,” describes The New York Times. Apple’s iPhones, iPads and and computers are well connected, but Microsoft has sold 67 million Xbox 360 video game consoles and has more than 40 million active Xbox Live members. The company claims its video consumption has grown by 140 percent each year on the Xbox since 2008.
Forbes calls Google and Apple “wild cards” in the connected TV race. “Google’s first connected TV got lots of attention, but little sales,” but it will try again this summer with models from LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio. Apple’s smart TV may or may not be out by the end of the year: Apple has been shopping hardware providers and contract manufacturers, but rumor has it the Apple TV will cost in excess of $1,000. The Xbox allows you to keep your old one.
IE for Xbox
Microsoft will launch Internet Explorer for Xbox this fall in all countries where Xbox and Xbox LIVE are available. Between the Xbox, the Kinect gaming platform and Xbox SmartGlass, Microsoft claims users will be able to surf the Internet voice control, and navigate using mobile devices for “an incredibly easy Web browsing experience on the television.”
Entertainment Via Xbox
Adding to the current catalog of customized sports, TV, movies and music apps from TV and entertainment providers, Microsoft is claiming that Xbox will become “your home for sports,” with NBA Game Time, NBA.com League Pass Broadband (U.S.), NHL GameCenter LIVE and ESPN, including the "SportsCenter" and "SportsNation" properties, plus NFL, MLB and NBA coverage.
Finally, Microsoft announced 35 new content partners (both audio and video) launching on Xbox over the next 12 months, which include Comedy Central Stand Up; Nickelodeon; Paramount Movies; The Weather Channel; and Univision, the Spanish-language channel (and the first Spanish-language channel on Xbox Live).
Rodale Inc.’s Men’s Health magazine has a number of instructional apps already, including "Eat This, Not That!" and a workout designer: But you could not read the magazine or advertise in it on the iPhone, until now. Beginning with the September issue of the magazine (available in August) special content will be developed specifically for the iPhone in order to create an enhanced viewing experience that is unavailable on other devices. Men's Health currently has several branded apps for the iPhone, but this new app is the first that allows the magazine to expand its digital publication delivery across iPhone and iPod Touch devices with more than 220 million users globally. Existing Men’s Health iPad subscribers will have access to the publication with no additional charge on their iPhones.
The app was developed using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, and Rodale claims this is the first iPhone application to launch on the Adobe platform in the United States.
“This brand prides itself on being first to market, so developing an iPhone version of Men’s Health quickly is a natural next step for us,” said David Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health and GM for Rodale’s Healthy Living Group and Rodale Books.
“Offering iPad subscribers a chance to view Men’s Health on their iPhone gives readers a new outlet to consume our content on-the-go or at the gym,” said Sean Bumgarner, Interactive Design Director for Rodale.
Men’s Health has had success with its digital apps before, as Folio describes. Its “Skin Care Center” was the 2012 recipient of the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) award for digital media, known as the Digital Ellie, in the personal service category honoring service journalism on digital platforms. Its “Eat This, Not That!” also won a Digital Ellie in ASME’s inaugural year of the awards, 2010. The brand offers more than 40 apps across the iPhone and iPad.
Men’s Health bills itself as the “go-to source for guys,” and is published 10 times a year in the U.S. by Rodale. The magazine has garnered numerous industry accolades, including being named by the Media Industry Newsletter (MIN) as the “#1 Most Notable Magazine Launch of the Last 25 Years.”
Triton Digital has released its monthly Internet audio Top 20 Ranker for April 2012. Slacker is up, CBS and Cumulus are down, and Pandora still leads.
The Ranker is a listing of the top-performing Internet audio stations and networks measured by the Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform. As Radio Ink details, the top five companies remain unchanged for March and April, and include Pandora, Clear Channel, CBS, Cumulus and Slacker. Based on measurements from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M. Monday through Friday, Slacker radio listenership jumped from 51,674 in March to 63,069 in April. Both Pandora and Clear Channel were slightly up, and CBS and Cumulus were down.
So not a lot of movement among the top five, but as Inside Radio describes, April’s Triton Digital Webcast Metrics report shows “in dramatic fashion” the hockey-stick growth internet radio listening has experienced over the last year. For the first time, Triton Digital measured more than 2 million “Average Active Sessions” among the top 20 webcasters in one month, representing a 71% increase over April 2011.
Pandora alone is up 119% to 1.37 million sessions over April 2011, and Clear Channel is up 94% to 246,000. Slacker is up 60% year-over-year (YoY) to 63,000
Webcast Metrics’ Average Active Sessions (AAS) are defined as “Total Listening Hours (TLH) divided by hours in the reported time period.” The “Domestic” Ranker quantifies listening done inside the U.S. based on log-based information provided by the station, this report is not MRC accredited. The “All Streams” Ranker merely verifies the quantity of streams without qualifying where they are being consumed.
Women’s lingerie maker Maidenform will use augmented reality (AR) to introduce its Comfort Devotion line of bras, panties and shapewear later this year, reports Marketing Daily. Maidenform will use technology from Aurasma, which provides image-recognition software.
Aurasma made news earlier this month with the June issue of Popular Science, the first monthly U.S. consumer magazine to “bring an editorial feature to life,” said Aurasma in a statement, by “[uniting] the physical and virtual worlds to deliver a unique and interactive experience for readers.” The June issue is the Popular Science annual Invention Awards issue, which profiles ten inventors of potentially world-changing technologies.
What Aurasma does differently from QR codes is that its image recognition software requires no code, tag or marketr at all. So the publisher can augment reality without sacrificing space or disrupting the reader. By aiming an iPad, iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet at certain pages in the magazine, readers can activate an "Aura" — an augmented reality action, such as a video or slideshow, overlaid on a static image. The reader can also use the in-app "screen capture" button to share the augmented reality experience via Facebook or Twitter, making it possible for others to see the digital overlay even without the magazine.
"Our June issue is already bursting with information, and this technology allows us to go ahead and overflow the riverbank," said Popular Science editor in chief Jake Ward. "It's for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to meet someone from our pages in real life. Aurasma has a very powerful effect on readers - it's like being able to step into the magazine's content and walk around."
Maidenform will use the Aurasma application for in-store displays and advertising to compare, for example, the racerback version of one bra versus the strapless version of another. The Maidenform product will not launch until December, but thus far, Popular Science is delighted with augemented reality. “The consumer wants more digital marketing,” Lucille DeHart, Maidenform’s CMO told Marketing Daily. “She’s very connected through all her devices. They empowers her to shop the way she wants to shop. So we need to be where she is, and give her that flexibility.”
Ace Metrix, which bills itself as “the new standard in television and video analytics,” has announced the completion of an $8 million round of financing from WPP, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Leapfrog Ventures, and Palomar Ventures. Ace Metrix will use the new funds to further accelerate its rapid growth, continue its focus on innovation and product development, and expand into new markets.
The company claims 25% of national television advertisers as clients, and is aggressively pursuing 100% growth through 2012. Just a week ago, Ace Metrix added Samsung to that client roster: Samsung has subscribed to the company’s Ace Metrix LIVE platform, which provides immediate delivery of Ace Scores and the 12,000+ associated data points for every ad in the competitive mobile devices category. Samsung also signed on to use the Ace Metrix PRE service to test ads prior to release, which gives Samsung the ability to adjust creative or media placement using detailed demographic, ethnographic, and psychographic data.
Just two weeks ago, Ace Metrix introduced Ace Metrix TARGET, which allows advertisers to identify specific key audiences and access creative ad performance data for their ads and their competitors. Ace Metrix TARGET adds a layer of granular intelligence to Ace Metrix LIVE. TARGET leverages the same methodology and scoring dimensions of Ace Metrix LIVE, but augments it with specific demographic, ethnographic, and psychographic profiles. As Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix described, TARGET provides “Exceptional detail and surprising degrees of comparability about how ads perform among critical targets such as technologists, automotive intenders, gamers, and business travelers– for their ads and their competitors’.”
“Ace Metrix continues to impress us with their ability to push the envelope on innovation,” said Pete Sinclair, Managing Director, Leapfrog Ventures, and Managing Director Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners remarked that “Ace Metrix delivers highly valuable and actionable analytics to the $71B TV advertising sector and the emerging video advertising segment. This is a substantial market opportunity and Ace Metrix has taken the leadership position.”
ur services by many of the most respected brands in the industry – a list that represents the top 25% of national television advertisers," said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. "We are on track to continue our 100% growth rate through 2012 and this new financing will allow us to further extend our portfolio of products and services to key adjacent markets while scaling our business infrastructure and sales and client services teams to meet the demands of our clients.”
- This matters, if “social TV” takes wing. Ad Age has identified new TV shows with “top Twitter stars,” using data from social-media analytics company Networked Insights. The five most-followed actors on Twitter include Dane Cook who will star in NBC’s “Next Caller,” Matthew Perry (?!) on NBC’s “Go On,” with Anthony Anderson (“Guys With Kids,” NBC), Robert Buckley (“666 Park Ave,” ABC) and Max Adler (“Last Resort,” ABC) rounding out the five. The five most-followed women include Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project,” FOX), Ashley Greene (“Infamous,” NBC), Sophia Bush (“Partners,” CBS), Reba McIntire (“Malibu Country,” ABC) and Meagan Good (“Infamous,” NBC). Dane Cook, star of NBC's "Next Caller," has by far the most Twitter followers (more than 2.8 million) of anyone carrying a new series.
- There will be two “Silence of the Lambs”-inspired shows on TV, according to Indie Wire. Lifetime is developing “Clarice,” based on the character portrayed by Jodie Foster in “Lambs,” which will cover her early career (before meeting Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter). No announcement as to air dates, but “Lambs” fans can watch “Hannibal” on NBC this fall, which follows the yet-to-be-caught Lecter as he dines on strangers and helps FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) solve crimes.
- Actor Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”) will host, and singer Jennifer Hudson will perform when CBS covers the “Boston Pops Firework Spectacular” on July 4 10:00-11:00 P.M., live ET/delayed PT. This is the second year for Boston-area native Chiklis to host the broadcast, now in its 39th year. Hudson will perform some of her biggest hits with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart. The entire concert will be broadcast in HD (high definition), courtesy of Liberty Mutual Insurance. In addition, the final 20 minutes of the broadcast, featuring the spectacular fireworks display, will be presented commercial-free by Liberty Mutual Insurance.
- ABC will debut its true-crime limited series “Final Witness” beginning Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00—11:00 P.M. ET. Each episode examine one case from start to finish, taking viewers inside the murder from the victim’s point of view. A hybrid of documentary and drama, “Final Witness” features interviews with real-life witnesses, prosecutors, law enforcement, family and friends, along with riveting dramatization that thrusts viewers into the heart of each crime. Shot around the world at the actual locations with cinematic style and infused with an indie-band soundtrack, ABC promises that “Final Witness” creates an Unforgettable look at the human psyche at its darkest. In the series premiere, “The Kids Aren’t Alright,” the program revisits the cold-blooded murders of almost every member of the Caffey family in rural East Texas.
- A French court has dismissed a copyright lawsuit against Google and YouTube, a case that “has parallels with the long-running struggle between YouTube and Viacom in the United States,” reports the New York Times. France’s Tribunal de Grande Instance declared that YouTube has made adequate efforts to remove programming like “Heroes” and “Grey’s Anatomy” from YouTube, for which France’s TF1 owns French broadcast rights. TF1 sought $176 million in damages and (humiliatingly) must pay Google’s $100,000+ legal expenses. Google lost a similar suit in Germany and Italy, while in the US, an appeals court has revived a copyright suit brought by Viacom.