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.
Microsoft Corp has announced the general release of its NUads on Xbox LIVE. Among the first buyers are Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile USA, which are developing NUads campaigns to stream on Xbox LIVE this fall. NUads advertisements transform standard 30-second TV spots into actionable experiences using the power of voice and gesture controls of Kinect for Xbox 360.
Engagement is what makes the ads different, said Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox LIVE Entertainment and Advertising. "We developed NUads to breathe new life into the standard 30-second spot. With NUads, brands can get real-time feedback from audiences, making TV advertising actionable for the first time."
Microsoft released a sneak peek of some of the first NUads that will air on Xbox LIVE this fall, including Toyota’s "Reinvented" ad campaign that premiered during Super Bowl XLVI, and which promoted the reinvention of the 2012 Camry. The ad marked Toyota's return to Super Bowl advertising. Today, Toyota is reinventing that campaign for Xbox LIVE, adding a layer of interactivity enabled by NUads. In this version of the "Reinvented" ad, Toyota asks viewers what they would like to see reinvented. Viewers can then respond using Kinect-powered voice or gesture controls. This gives Toyota valuable feedback it can use for its next campaign.
At first glance—a little underwhelming, according to Adweek. NUads on’t seem to innovate beyond TiVo and Cablevision ads that allow viewers to request more information from or respond to questions from advertisers, or even buy things. Still, with NUads, viewers can respond with hands or voices, rather than just remotes. “I would hope the launch of NUads leverages the platform,” Brandon Berger, chief digital officer of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide told Adweek. But Microsoft counters that it cannot ask TV advertisers to create Xbox-specific spots: NUads can be created from an existing TV spot.
Good enough for Toyota. "The creative possibilities of NUads are endless. We can take a 30-second TV spot and customize it for NUads to get an immediate response from Toyota's customer," said John Lisko, executive communications director at Saatchi & Saatchi LA for Toyota. "It allows customers to participate with our advertising, which is really exciting. The interactivity of NUads is leading the industry and changing the way we're connecting with our customers."
Also good enough for Unilever, which owns the Axe brand. Following on the successful campaign for the launch of Axe Attract for Him and for Her, Axe — called Lynx in the U.K. — will be one of the first brands to turn the digital ad into a NUad with Xbox. The creative centers around a cops-and-robbers setup with the tagline, "Nothing will ever be the same again." Using the new format, Lynx will ask the audience if the Lynx Effect should be given to girls. Viewers will have the option of voting "Yes, of course" or "No way" using hand gestures or a simple voice command.
"NUads and the gesture- and voice-based Kinect technology have great potential for creativity. What we're seeing now is at the very early stages of what we could do. And as always, we're keen to continue to explore more ways of inviting our consumers to get involved with our brands," said Babs Rangaiah, vice president of Global Media Innovation at Unilever.
Microsoft Advertising is claiming a younger, male-skewing and decently-wage-earning demographic for its Xbox LIVE advertising. Some figures:
•61 percent male
•39 percent female
•70 percent 18-34
•20 percent 35-44
•88 percent have a household income of greater than $30,000
•37 percent have a household income of greater than $100,000
- BET Networks (winner of the '2011 Best App Ever' award for its 106 & PARK App) has launched the BET AWARDS 12 App for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices available for download immediately. The BET AWARDS 12 App includes historical moments from the show's twelve years, including hundreds of videos, thousands of photos and details on every nominee, winner and honoree. A brand new co-viewing experience, “The Lineup,” challenges users to predict the order of the performers before the show starts. Scorecard updates happen in real time during the BET AWARDS 12 LIVE broadcast July 1, 2012 starting at 8 P.M. ET, and users with the most correct guesses will be entered to win unique prizes including a celebrity gift bag, autographed t-shirts and the Official BET AWARDS 12 Microphone.
- Critics had their doubts, but they always do. “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” has stubbornly defied lead-actor exodus and 10-year ennui to become, once again, the most-watched show in the world, receiving the prestigious International Television Audience Award for a Drama TV Series at the 52nd Monte Carlo Television Festival on June 14, 2012. This is the fifth time the series has been awarded this honor in the past seven years based on stats from Eurodata TV Worldwide for the highest ratings worldwide in 2011 across five continents. CSI star Ted Danson was on hand to accept the award on behalf of the series. The International Audience Awards are presented jointly by the Monte Carlo Television Festival and Eurodata TV Worldwide to reward programs that delivered the highest ratings worldwide in 2011 across five continents in three categories: Drama TV Series, Comedy TV Series and Telenovelas/Soap Operas. “CSI” gathered more than 63 million viewers worldwide, surpassing the nominated shows in all three categories and making it the most-watched show in the world.
- CBS is claiming high gains among young-ish women. CBS’s “The Talk” delivered its highest ratings among women 25-54 rating since February while posting across-the-board growth from the same week last year, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for the week ending June 8. “The Talk” averaged 1.7/6 in households, 2.29 million viewers, 1.1/7 in women 25-54 and 0.8/5 in women 18-49. The women 25-54 rating was the highest rating for “The Talk” since the week ending Feb. 17, while the women 18-49 rating was the best since the week ending May 4. Compared to the same week last year, “The Talk” was up +21% in households (from 1.4/4), +24% in viewers (from. 1.85m), +38% in women 25-54 (from 0.8/5) and +33% in women 18-49 (from 0.6/4).
- Time Warner has added the Azteca America affiliated broadcast station to its New York City lineup (albeit on the relatively high channel 192 position). Azteca America's New York station is operated by the Azteca Station Group, which also operates Azteca America stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Miami. New York City is the second-largest Hispanic DMA in the country, after only Los Angeles. Within the Latino community, residents of Mexican origin are the fastest-growing group in the city. Time Warner Cable's New York City footprint serves over 1.3 million customers in four New York City boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and western Brooklyn), Mt. Vernon, Hudson Valley (Orange, Sullivan, Ulster Counties and parts of Dutchess, Greene and Delaware Counties), and Bergen and Hudson Counties in New Jersey.
In theory, TV ads and online video are two stops on the same campaign—but only in theory. What stands in the way, says eMarketer principal analyst David Hallerman, is "A fear of financial loss within the TV industry—broadcast and cable networks, and cable providers (which are often also ISPs)." That is what is behind tactics like broadband and mobile data caps (of which Comcast has been accused), and of authentication protocols that block cord-cutters from watching the tube online.
Still, predicts eMarketer, the growth in online video ad spending will surge past TV growth through 2016. It will surge by 54.7% this year, and slow to 18.9% in 2016; but that will far exceed TV’s 6.8% growth this year and 4.5% in 2016. But as it predicted in January, TV will still exceed the online ad spend in 2016 (albeit by a narrowing gap).
The current study presumes that us-and-them antagonism between TV and online impressions will continue unabated. But the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) announced earlier this week that it is pleased with the results of integrated cross-media campaign measurement, as the New York Times reported. This coalition includes such advertising powerhouses as AT&T, CBS, Discovery Communications, NBCUniversal, News Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Time Warner and Unilever. And they were evaluating cross-media measurements by comScore and Arbitron. CIMM commissioned the tests to determine how to measure consumption of video content in cross-platform ways, whether on TV, online or on mobile devices. So as far as Unilever is concerned, wherever an ad for its Dove brand runs, be it streaming on YouTube or running during a broadcast of “Glee,” it gets measured.
Also true, the study presumes that brands must integrate TV and online campaigns and events to be effective. They do not. Coca-Cola is skipping TV entirely with its over-the-top Coca-Cola.TV channel. It is using the Thismoment social media management technology to to target the online youth market in a social/mobile environment. A Paul McCartney one-time concert would have been a pay-per-view event a decade ago, but a May 10 outdoor concert in Mexico City streamed free via Coca-Cola.TV. Coca-Cola similarly streamed Vive Latino 2012, a three-day music festival in late March attended by hundreds of thousands in Mexico City, which featured four stages and numerous international acts such as Foster the People and Fat Boy Slim. So far, no ads built on either campaigns.
But Coca-Cola is not snubbing television—not by a long shot. As Information Week reported, the brand ponied up about $11 million for two Super Bowl ads in February; but hedged its bets by putting its iconic animated polar bears on TV for 100 million+ viewers, with invitations to visit www.CokePolarBowl.com on tablets and smartphones for more interactive content. So the brand ignored TV with the Mexican events, but blended with it for its US-based Super Bowl ads. And Coca-Cola has alredy booked its Super Bowl 2013 spots.
In short, the eMarketer study presumes that brands will be held hostage by the networks. Major brands will not. It presumes as well that networks are somehow terrified by over-the-top broadcasting. They have proven cautious, so far, but with heavyweights like NBCUniversal and Time Warner eager to prove their cross-media value proposition, the atmosphere in 2016 will be far less “us and them” between TV and online than simply “us.”
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 NBC Sports Group and Dial Global have announced a partnership to create the NBC Sports Radio Network. Beginning in September, the network will be distributed to radio stations nationwide by Dial Global.The network’s content will include hourly sports news updates, daily features as well as full-length shows.
NBC is becoming a sports powerhouse, owning the Summer 2012 Olympiad, which it will stream across several of its TV and web properties (and presumably, its radio network as well). Both NBC and ESPN are expanding their sports radio offerings, proving to advertisers that sports radio still has “legs.”
In addition to distribution on terrestrial radio stations, NBC Sports’ audio content will be available on a variety of digital platforms. Live shows will be streamed on NBCSports.com, DialGlobalSports.com, affiliate stations’ websites and other streaming services. On-demand short-form audio content will also be distributed online and through podcasts and other digital applications. Dial Global will be the exclusive ad and affiliate sales representative to the network.
“We are thrilled to bring the rich heritage of NBC Sports to listeners across national radio for the first time,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group, in a statement. “By adding radio to our broadcast, cable, regional, and digital assets, the NBC Sports Radio Network will give sports fans a new way to interact with the NBC Sports Group day in and day out.”
Tapping into the NBC Sports Group’s mix of national and local assets, the NBC Sports Radio Network will provide stations both national and regional sports content. Listeners may hear hourly sports updates, long-form shows and features hosted by national NBC Sports voices, NBC Sports Regional Networks on-air personalities, or NBC affiliate sportscasters, depending upon location. Specific programming and commentator details will be announced at a later date.
This partnership expands upon the existing radio relationship between Dial Global and NBCUniversal, which includes NBC News, The Weather Channel, NBC Olympics and more. Earlier this year, NBC News partnered with Dial Global to create NBC News Radio—a 24-hour radio news network distributing news reports and content to over 700 stations nationwide.
Time will tell, but Patch, AOL’s platform of local news, information and engagement sites, yesterday announced that May of 2012 was its most successful traffic and revenue period in the company’s history.
Patch served a record 11.7 million users in May (comScore data), representing a 14% increase over April (10.3 million users) and an 11% increase over its previous traffic record (10.6 million users in August 2011). But 11.7 million users does not seem much, in terms of monthly internet traffic, and Patch has been a troublesome child for AOL. While it added 33 cities to its portfolio in May of 2011, but was burning through $40 million a quarter in October. Still, it endures, and news of Patch’s May performance follows the recent announcement by AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong that Patch will generate between $40 million and $50 million in revenue this year - quite a turnaround.And Patch has outlasted the Gannett Company’s hyperlocal offering, “Metromix,” which shuttered in January. Patch attracts national advertisers like Verizon and Walgreen’s, alongside local restaurants, realtors and law firms.
Some facts about Patch:
- This 14% month-over-month growth outpaced the comScore Regional/Local category as a whole, which grew only 3% over the same time period.
- Patch had a 12% increase in engagement (visits per unique visitor) from April to May. Within the top ten regional-local properties, this represents the highest increase in engagement month over month, and ranks Patch as the second highest in engagement among those properties.
- With an average site age of just over 18 months, Patch is now the #5 regional/local property on the web, from #10 when it first entered the rankings in December 2010.
- Patch’s total revenue was 14% higher than its previous record (November of 2011). This represents a 17% bump in revenue over April of 2012. Patch has already booked for 2012 130% of its total 2011 revenue.
- Patch also recently announced the launch of Patch Partners, a program to offer exclusive benefits to its local advertisers and resources for business owners at large.
“We are extremely gratified to see these measures of the traction we have gained in our communities and in our business since our launch just over 3 years ago,” commented Jon Brod, CEO & Co-Founder of Patch. “We are laser-focused on continuing to serve our users and advertisers with high-quality content and impactful products, and building upon our success to date in innovative and engaging ways.”
Launched in 2009, Patch is managed by professional local journalists, photographers, and salespeople who live in the regions they serve. The hyperlocal platform is designed as an online destination for residents to get involved in their communities. Patch is now in over 850 communities in 23 states plus Washington, D.C.
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.”
Good news from BPA Worldwide, the print and digital circulation oversight group. The BPA board passed a number of rules changes at its May 2012 meeting, which it has just released. All rules are in effect immediately. The short story is that tagging website traffic will become easier, digital subscriptions will be easier to prove, and subscribers will not be tasked with having to fill in a new form to renew (which runs the risk that they do not bother).
Audited Web Traffic Using Tags: Due to advances in technology, the Board took strides toward a truly “tag neutral” approach with respect to reporting audited website traffic data. BPA is now making more options available to members to participate in BPA’s web traffic audit process.
“The change was prompted by the member feedback,” Glenn Hansen, president and CEO of BPA Worldwide told Folio. About 700 of 2,000 member companies used the Nielsen tags. "The question to the other 1,300 was what’s preventing you from doing this? Some had said they were using other analytics providers. The two that were named more often than not was Google Analytics and Omniture.”
Specifically, BPA no longer requires its members to use the BPA proprietary tag powered by Nielsen. It can now work with, for example, including Google Analytics and/or Omniture SiteCatalyst tags. Members may begin reporting Google Analytics data as of July 2012 after completing a simple set-up process.
Reporting Apps: As of December (BPA’s last board meeting), BPA determined that only App downloads could be reported on BPA Brand reports, as there was not enough recipient information to report qualified subscriptions/copies delivered through Apps on circulation statements. But, media owners have developed App registration (free) or payment (paid) gateways, which BPA believes is sufficient proof of qualified circulation.
Business and Consumer Magazines
Pre-Populated Electronic Qualification Forms: BPA will allow publishers to pre-populate electronic subscription forms (web, email, text) with a previous year’s data. The maximum age of the previous demographic data cannot exceed three years in age and the subscriber must be asked to review the data and press a single confirm button to agree the information is correct before completing the renewal.
Digital Request, Electronic: At the December 2011 meeting, the BPA Board ruled that subscriber access to digital copies (by downloading the issue or accessing it online) may be used to substantiate a renewal to continue receiving a digital subscription. The rule requires minimum access for a six-month reporting period: but because most members analyze either May or November issues, media owners found they were not getting the benefit of subscriber access in the months of June or December, effectively losing two months out of the year. The Board amended the rule to maintain the original access requirements, and the six-month period, but the six-month access period will now end with the analyzed issue, and, in so doing
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.