“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).
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.
"Both Nielsen and AOL are pushing toward a more TV-like ad model," describes Adweek, hoping to go head-to-head with TV ad buyers and cull some of those mammoth TV budgets.
AOL has announced it will offer advertisers guaranteed audience delivery for online video advertising campaigns bought across its properties. This is the first time that online gross rating points (GRPs) – based on audience demographics, rather than clicks or impressions – are being used as the basis for advertiser guarantees on the Web. AOL will leverage Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings reach, frequency and GRP measurement to determine how well it delivered ads to the desired target audience. As the digital content NewFronts (a digital upfront) approach, AOL is the first major publisher to use a TV-based guarantee model for its online video inventory. Online video ads are one of the fastest-growing formats: eMarketer predicted a 52% increase in online video ad spend for 2011.
“As marketers and advertisers increasingly shift dollars from traditional television advertising to the Web, partnering with Nielsen puts AOL in a unique position to offer a more cost effective mechanism for reaching targeted audiences and a better or equal brand lift, reach and recall,” said Ran Harnevo, Senior Vice President, AOL Video. “AOL has a significant volume of high-quality content valued by advertisers and we are excited to take the lead on showing marketers the value and differentiated results we can guarantee.”
“With online video increasingly playing a role in traditional TV Upfront buying and selling, consistent cross-platform metrics are becoming more and more critical to proving the true value of advertising on a site, in terms that are familiar to brand marketers,” said Steve Hasker, President, Media Products and Advertiser Solutions, Nielsen. “This is the first time that online GRPs – based on audience demographics, rather than clicks or impressions – are being used as the basis for advertiser guarantees on the Web. We are pleased that AOL, the first major publisher to use an audience demo-based guarantee model for its online video inventory, turned to Nielsen’s highly accurate reach, frequency and online GRP measurement to drive increased confidence in their platform as a brand medium. We look forward to working with them to demonstrate their ability to effectively deliver on their clients’ goals.”
AOL will host clients at its Digital Content NewFront presentation on April 24 in New York, NY, and will premier significant video opportunities on sale to marketers and advertisers. AOL offers a rich online video platform with original programs including “Sessions,” “Heidi Klum on AOL,” “Moviefone’s Unscripted” and “The Engadget Show.”
Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings launched in August 2011 providing the first-ever Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited GRP for online advertising campaigns of any size with metrics similar to those used for TV advertising, enabling cross-media planning and analysis. Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings is part of the Nielsen Campaign Ratings suite, which provides a full range of premiere advertising audience measurement.
Kantar Media has released its final tallies for 2011 ad spending across media, and the results are a mixed bag. They suggest that advertisers value TV, are losing faith in consumer magazines and newspapers (no news there), and are on the fence about digital advertising.
Surprisingly hard hit were Sunday magazines (like Parade, The Boston Globe Magazine and the New York Times Magazine). Presumably this is because print newspaper subscriberships are down, and readers tend to cut out the expensive Sunday editions to save money, before they cancel daily subscriptions.
Big winners: Spanish-language media, and TV syndication.
Spanish-language TV was up 8.3% year-over-year, versus 2.4% for TV overall. Spanish-language magazines were up 24.9% YoY, defying a 0.4% decline for all magazines.Syndicated TV was up 15.4% over that 2.4% for TV overall (due in part to the astounding success of “The Big Bang Theory” which hit syndication in Q3).
The Year Overall
Total advertising expenditures increased an unimpressive 0.8% in 2011 and finished the year at $144.0 billion. Ad spending during the fourth quarter of 2011 dropped 1.0% versus the year ago period, the first quarterly decline since the end of 2009. Since reaching a post-recession peak in Q3 2010, advertising growth rates have slowed sequentially for five consecutive quarters.
“The contrast of resilient TV spending and waning budget allocations to other traditional media was plainly evident at the end of 2011,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at Kantar Media Intelligence North America. “Some mature digital media formats were also touched by the year-end tide of reduced spending. Whether this is an isolated occurrence or an early sign of digital dollars moving more quickly towards emerging and unmeasured digital platforms bears watching as 2012 unfolds.”
Measured Ad Spending By Media
Television continued to lead the ad market in the fourth quarter. Network TV expenditures jumped 7.7% year-over-year and were helped by strong pricing for football, a baseball World Series that went the maximum seven games and the launch of “The X Factor” singing competition program. The rate of Cable growth eased during Q4, finishing at +2.4% as higher demand from restaurants and retailers was offset by reductions from consumer packaged goods. For the full year, Network TV decreased by 2.0% while Cable rose 7.7%.
Spanish language TV ad spending surged 19.1% in fourth quarter, paced by higher sell-out levels at over-the-air networks. For all of 2011, the segment increased 8.3%.
Syndication TV benefitted from higher spending by department stores and health & beauty brands and saw expenditures soar 11.0% in Q4. Full year spending advanced by 15.4%.
Spot TV expenditures fell 8.7% in the fourth quarter but the more significant indicator was that November and December spending were each down, despite easy comparisons against diminished, post-election spending volume of a year ago. Full year Spot TV spending dropped 4.5%.
Free Standing Inserts achieved healthy gains in the fourth quarter with spend rising 3.0%. Although manufacturers have been distributing fewer FSI coupons, retailer promotion pages have increased significantly and this contributed to the improvement.
Ad expenditures for measured digital media declined in the fourth quarter. Paid Search budgets were 6.4% lower versus a year ago with continuing reductions from financial, insurance and local service advertisers. Display investments decreased 5.9% in Q4, dragged down by smaller budgets from auto manufacturers, telecom providers and travel companies. For the entire year, Paid Search declined 2.8% and Display increased 5.5%.
Magazine ad spending eroded at year end. Consumer Magazines declined 5.2% in the fourth quarter due to deep cutbacks in auto, food and pharmaceutical advertising. Total year expenditures were level compared to prior year. Outlays in Sunday Magazines fell 9.8% in Q4, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines, and were down 7.2% for all of 2011.
Local Newspaper ad expenditures fell 3.9% during the fourth quarter, hurt by the reallocation of retailer advertising budgets to other media channels during the key holiday shopping season. Full year spending was 3.8% lower. The losses in Newspaper spending are consistent with reductions in the amount of space sold.
The pace of spending in Radio media also sagged. Local Radio expenditures were down 3.8% and National Spot Radio plummeted 13.9% in the fourth quarter. The telecom, financial service and automotive categories were prime contributors to these quarterly decreases.
Measured Ad Spending By Advertiser
Spending among the ten largest advertisers in 2011 reached $16,061.6 million, a 2.8% decline compared to a year ago. Among the Top 100 marketers, a diversified group that represents over two-fifths of all measured ad expenditures, full year budgets were down 0.2%.
For the ninth consecutive year, Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser with spending of $2,949.1 million down 5.4% compared to last year. While TV is still the foundation of its advertising media buys, P&G’s 2011 budget allocation saw share gains for magazines at the expense of TV.
AT&T was the second largest advertiser in 2011 with expenditures of $1,924.6 million, a decline of 11.7%. Media budgets were severely curtailed during the fourth quarter when the company abandoned its attempted acquisition of T-Mobile, triggering large breakup fees and a huge earnings loss. At Verizon Communications, full year ad spending was $1,636.9 million, a decrease of 11.8%. After a string of quarterly budget cuts dating to early 2010, Verizon sharply boosted its spending during the last quarter.
The largest growth rate among the Top Ten marketers was posted by Chrysler, up 36.2% to $1,193.0 for the full year. The increase was driven by marketing introductions for several new or redesigned models, coupled with the improved sales climate for new vehicles. In contrast, General Motors lowered its 2011 outlays by 16.1% to $1,784.1 million. Q4 media budgets dropped 24.7%. As factory support has been trimmed, GM dealers have been bearing a larger share of the overall marketing effort.
L’Oreal investments in 2011 rose 18.1% to $1,343.5 million as the company expanded marketing support for the L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline and Garnier brand lines. Comcast (+11.3%, to $1,577.2 million) and Time Warner (+5.8%, to $1,279.4 million) also posted full year spending gains.
Measured Ad Spending By Category
Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 3.3% in 2011 and reached $81,629.2 million.
Automotive was the leading category in dollar volume and finished 2011 at $13,890.4 million, up 6.3%. Category spending growth became increasingly bifurcated during the year with Tier 2 and Tier 3 dealer budgets continuing to expand and Tier 1 manufacturer expenditures flattening.
Miscellaneous Retail, which is comprised of all retail segments except Department Stores and Home Improvement purveyors, was the second largest category with 2011 expenditures of $10,019.5 million, up 4.0%. Robust ad spending during the critical year-end holiday season bolstered results.
Insurance registered the largest growth rate among the Top Ten categories with a 13.5% gain to $5,519.0 million. Aggressive competition among auto insurers to gain market share continues to drive media budgets higher.
Financial Services totaled $9,059.9 million of spending, a 3.6% increase. Growth has been fueled by the credit card segment, offsetting continued weakness in ad budgets for investment products and retail banking.
The Telecom category lost ground as 2011 expenditures fell 5.8% to $8,649.0 million. Declines were most pronounced among the leading wireless service advertisers. Aggregates expenditures from TV service providers also slowed.
Top Spending Advertisers Within Select Media
The top ten TV advertisers spent $10,115.4 million in the medium during 2011, down 0.8% from a year ago. This group accounted for 14.9% of total TV expenditures by all advertisers.
The ten largest Internet advertisers invested a total of $2,360.6 million in paid search and display campaigns, up 10.0% versus a year ago. Despite fragmentation on the web, the group accounted for 10.9% share of all Internet ad dollars.
The top ten advertisers in Hispanic Media spent $1,403.6 million during 2011, an increase of 29.2%. This group accounted for 24.7% of all Hispanic Media expenditures, the largest Top Ten share concentration of any medium.
This is becoming an oft-told tale—the paid-for but unseen ad.
As eMarketer describes, “ad impressions” are treated synonymously with ad views, but findings from comScore and ad verification provider AdSafe Media reveal that raw impressions do not deliver the value advertisers believe it does.
comScore analyzed the display ad campaigns of 12 major brand advertisers, and found that on average, 69% of ads were in-view (meaning, a user saw 50% of the ad or more for at least one second). The larger the website, generally, the greater the percentage of in-view display ads. The top 50 sites for each brand’s vertical had the highest in-view percentage at 77%; that percentage declined to 70% among the top 500 sites, and to 61% among the “long-tail” sites, after that top 500 cutoff.
Publisher ads were more likely to be in-view than those from networks and exchanges (the other two inventory sources). Just 24.3% of publisher ads were never in-view, compared to 45.5% of platform and exchange ads and 41.3% of network ads. Clearly, publishers know their field.
The size of an ad unit also affects how frequently an ad is in-view. comScore found that leaderboard ad units (728x90 units displayed across the top of a page) were in-view most often: 74% of the time. Medium rectangles were in-view 69% of the time, and wide skyscrapers (spanning vertically down the page) had the lowest in-view rate (66%). That is because users must often scroll down the page to see these ads in full.
The uptake is that a significant number of all display ads served never make a branding impact. The digital ad industry is attempting to rectify the problem with its Making Measurement Make Sense (3Ms) initiative. This initiative, led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). The initiative calls for a set of standards across the industry and the need for a true measure of ‘viewable impressions’.
Proving that The Los Angeles Times has a sense of humor, LAT and Nerdist Industries have announced creation of “Hero Complex: The Show” an original entertainment news program for the new Nerdist Channel on YouTube.
Nerdist Channel debuted on Monday (April 2, 2012), and is the latest venture of Nerdist Industries, a multi-platform creator of genre and popular culture content. Nerdist “Has emerged as one of the most respected tastemakers in genre entertainment,” said Times Director of Entertainment Advertiser Marketing and Hero Complex General Manager Jeff Dellinger. “’Hero Complex,’” an LAT blog, “is one of the leading sources of all things geek, and creating a show for their new channel presents exciting opportunities to extend our brand with the audience that matters most.”
If a YouTube channel seems—well—well, unfitting for the LAT, a quick check of the Nerdist channel reveals targeted local ads (e.g. for a Jeep dealer within 10 miles), plus banner and video ads for the upcoming film release “Battleship” and the small business website provider Getyour.net.
Set to debut the week of April 9, “Hero Complex: The Show” fittingly brings The Times pop culture writer Geoff Boucher together with a who’s-who of fanboy superstar talent on the channel, including the Nerdist himself Chris Hardwick, Neil Patrick Harris, the Kids in the Hall, Harry Knowles, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Rob Zombie.
"No one gets the kind of nerd culture coverage that Geoff Boucher is able to get, nor at his level of quality, which one could only describe as amazetastic," said Hardwick. “Were I smaller, I would stow away in his pocket so that I could be present for his one-on-one interviews with the actors, directors and writers that I idolize. Since I'm not, I've somehow tricked him into doing the next best thing: capturing it on video. I am incredibly lucky that Geoff has decided to port the genius of Hero Complex over to Nerdist Channel." (Among Hardwick’s offering: a countrified song about mucus membranes called “Holes.” “Tubes connect your holes to your holes to your body/Makin’ sure of what comes out and where.”)
The first of 15 planned episodes of “Hero Complex” will feature a one-on-one interview with legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott, who created much of the visual language of contemporary science fiction with "Blade Runner" and "Alien" and this summer returns to the genre with "Prometheus." The director of "Gladiator," "Thelma & Louise" and "Black Hawk Down" will discuss his past, present and future in cinema, from his painting studies with David Hockney to his intriguing thoughts on another "Blade Runner." The second and third episodes will feature "Star Trek" icon Leonard Nimoy and Eisner Award-winning comic book writer and cartoonist Ed Brubaker ("Captain America," "Criminal") respectively. Available on both Nerdist Channel and Hero Complex, each show will offer Boucher’s unique perspective and voice on a broad range of topics, from the newest nerd crazes to films with massive cult followings to the most appropriate way to swing a cape while wielding a pen.
“Living in Los Angeles and watching the explosive growth of Hero Complex and appreciating what it has come to mean to genre fans, fanboys and fangirls everywhere, it gives us tremendous pleasure to announce this joint effort with Geoff Boucher, Hero Complex and the Los Angeles Times. A common thread throughout our Nerdist Channel lineup is the authenticity of the people and properties we are collaborating with; Geoff and Hero Complex set the standard in that arena,” said Peter Levin, Chief Executive Officer of Nerdist Industries.
Hero Complex debuted in 2008 as the first major mainstream news site dedicated to the increasingly influential realm of science fiction, fantasy and superheroes. It has rapidly become one of latimes.com’s most popular offerings and won numerous awards. Hero Complex stories are now regularly published in The Times print edition and its ongoing expansion includes the Hero Complex Film Festival and screenings of fan favorites and upcoming releases with artist Q&A’s throughout the year. It also anchors a dedicated area for comics and graphic novels at the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (April 21-22), which continues to grow in scope and distributes special glossy magazines at San Diego & New York Comic-Cons and WonderCon.
- ABC.com is launching a five-part web series connecting the two “Body of Proof” episodes, “Going Viral, Parts 1 & 2,” the first of which aired last night (Tuesday, March 27, 2012). On the show the team faces a city-wide outbreak of an unknown virus and no one is safe, including the lead characters. The web series debuted last night on www.ABC.com/BodyofProof at 11:00 P.M. ET immediately following “Going Viral, Part 1,” and focuses on a press conference given by Dr. Kate Murphey (Jeri Ryan). The remaining web series follows a lead character’s personal experience with the virus and gain key insights into “Going Viral, Part 2,” airing next week, Tuesday, April 3 at 10:00-11 P.M. ET. Karin Gilford, SVP of Digital Media, ABC Entertainment said “We worked closely with show producers to create an entire story arc that connects these two highly eventful episodes. It’s a great way to maintain the suspense and enable fans to dig even deeper into the plot.”
- Following its recent launches over Roku and Boxee, iFood.tv will launch apps for Google- and Yahoo!-connected TV platforms, reports eContent. The site features online instructional cooking videos, and will translate its video portfolio into channels of streaming content. iFood.tv boasts a library of 25,000 cooking and recipe videos, and 150,000 text recipes. iFood.tv recently introduced an Android app, in addition to an updated iPhone app, which enable users to store favorite recipes and keep a picture diary of dishes they've cooked. iFood.tv also plans to recreate the channels it has built for connected TV as apps for tablets and smartphones.
- The six-month-old subscription-driven Newsstand section of the iPad App Store is “ringing up content sales for premium publishers,” reports min online. Min was reporting data from app analytics firm Distimo. The top 100 grossing apps the Newsstand section are seeing about $70,000 a month among them, with New York Times, TheDaily and New Yorker Magazine among the top grossers for iPad apps. (At $700 per month average, that is hardly cause for champagne.) Still, it’s a start. For February the five top-grossing Newsstand apps were The Daily, NYTimes for iPad, New Yorker Magazine, National Geographic and Cosmopolitan.
- AT&T AdWorks is integrating with Foursquare, for check-ins via mobile ads, reports Adweek. AT&T reached Foursquare second-hand, through the mobile ad firm Celtra’s partnership with Foursquare. AT&T AdWorks will begin testing the unit with an “unspecified retailer” in the next few weeks. Mobile ads featuring Foursquare typically appear as banners, but require consumers to check in to be shown a map of nearby locations of advertisers’ outlet. The Foursquare integration extends AT&T AdWorks’ store locator mobile unit, which Levi’s tested last year on its Curve ID jeans line, for which it claims a 10.3% boost in ad impressions.
- Seven out of eight ad agencies claimed their clients' social media spends doubled or were "up significantly" year-over-year for January, reports ClickZ News, which surveyed eight agencies. As Adam Donnelley, an EVP at MRM (one of the agencies surveyed) told ClickZ. "Facebook has managed to get more targeted and build broader reach, and that's clearly something coming up in conversations rather frequently." ClickZ was particularly interested in what ad units were seeing getting support from brands (e.g., Facebook Premium Ads; Facebook Marketplace Ads; Twitter Promoted Trends; Twitter Promoted Tweets; Twitter Promoted Accounts). Half the agencies claimed a majority of clients had purchased Facebook Premium Ads and Facebook Marketplace Ads, respectively, in the last 12 months; only one reported that more than a quarter of its clients had bought a Promoted Trend on Twitter in the last 12 months; all eight agencies reported that less than 25% of clients had tested Promoted Accounts, and only one stated that more than 25% of its clients had bought Promoted Tweets.
comScore has released the results of a study of web usage related to the 2012 National College Athletic Association (NCAA Tournament) based on data from comScore Device Essentials. The study analyzed browser-based (non-app) page views in the Sports content category, revealing that consumers dramatically increased their access of sports content across all three primary screens for web access – computer, tablet and smartphone – as they tried to stay plugged into the first 32 games of the tournament in real-time.
“The NCAA Tournament, like the Super Bowl or the Olympics, is one of those events where sports fans don’t want to miss a beat of the action – especially if they can’t be in front of a TV,” said Debbie Bradley, Sr. Director at comScore. “Over the past several years we’ve seen fans become more reliant on the web for NCAA tournament coverage, especially while they’re tied to their desks at work during the first round matchups. As media formats continue to evolve, we’re rapidly seeing America’s national college basketball obsession increasingly bleed over to other screens like smartphones and tablets. Given the emphasis large advertisers place on these events, it’s important to consider how other media channels can be leveraged to maximize a brand’s awareness and its communication with the consumer.”
20%of Sports Content During NCAA Tournament Viewed on Smartphones and Tablets
As part of the study, comScore analyzed computer vs. non-computer traffic (predominantly smartphones and tablets) for the Thursday and Friday of the NCAA tournament compared to the average of the three previous Thursdays and Fridays. The data showed that nearly double the percentage of Sports category content was consumed on non-computer devices as other content categories. For all time periods studied, the percentage of Sports category traffic coming from non-computer devices was approximately 20%while other categories had approximately 10% of traffic coming from these devices. Friday, March 16, the second day of tournament action, saw non-computer Sports category traffic peak at 22.1%.
During the first day of opening round NCAA tournament games on Thursday, March 15, total sports-related traffic jumped 79% compared to the average of the three previous Thursdays. In comparison, total traffic to all other web content declined 2%. The most significant gain in sports content consumption occurred via tablet at 94%, while smartphone activity jumped 83% and computer traffic jumped 77%. Friday, March 16 showed a similar story, though gains were not quite as steep as the previous day across all access screens, probably because of the greater interest in the tournament on the opening day. However, gains in both smartphones and tablets were notably higher than computers in relation to Thursday, which may reflect sports fans’ greater likelihood of being on-the-go on Friday, perhaps due to the increased likelihood of taking a vacation day or an extended lunch break at the local sports bar.
“While all-encompassing media events like the NCAA Tournament might eat into the content people typically consume, it actually appears that most usage is incremental content consumption,” added Bradley. “When the content is highly time-sensitive – such as with news or sports scores – there’s a greater likelihood of it being consumed on-the-go via mobile devices.”
This is possibly the strangest mashup collaboration for original programming yet—of a TV producer, search engine provider, and an online security company.
Anthony E. Zuiker, creator of the CSI franchise (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and its New York and Miami spin-offs) and his production company Dare to Pass, and Yahoo! have announced that casting and production will begin on “Cybergeddon,” a “groundbreaking motion picture event which will bring to life the growing threat of cybercrime.” Zuiker has engaged Norton by Symantec to leverage its technical credibility and security insights to help inform and guide the narrative.
As for Yahoo!, “We’ve got eight out of 10 people online touching Yahoo.com,” claimed Yahoo’s VP of originals & video programming Erin McPherson. She was speaking at the 2012 TV Summit earlier this week, in a new-media panel discussion (reported via MediaBistro). “We call ourselves the ‘fifth network’but we’re TV on steroids. We’re creating a TV consumer experience but adding social and mobile.”
"’Cybergeddon’ is the evolution of the crime genre,” says Zuiker. “Through an invaluable partnership with Norton and embracing the forward-thinking vision of Dolphin Entertainment [a key financier for the project], ‘Cybergeddon’ will be a motion picture event released through Yahoo!’s global online distribution. Instead of opening 'wide' at 5000 screens, ‘Cybergeddon’ has the potential to premiere on 50 million online screens all over the world at the same time. This global distribution model is the future of storytelling with unprecedented scale."
“Cybergeddon” will launch globally, first on Yahoo! this Fall, as a series of installments to roll out sequentially. “Cybergeddon” will engage Yahoo!’s worldwide audience of 700 million unique visitors, through an immersive storytelling, social media and gaming experience.
Yahoo! claims to have 21 out of the top 25 most-watched online series, and 61 million unique visitors per month, citing comScore data. Yahoo! has made strides in original programming by teaming up with what it calls “world-class storytellers” starting with “Electric City,” its first original scripted series announcement earlier this year and most recently the roll out of a new comedy slate.The channel debuted February 23 on Yahoo! Stream, the company’s streaming media platform. First among its advertisers was Progressive Insurance, with its comedic ads starring “Flo.”
“When you think about what HBO did for television and what Netflix did for video rentals, they were trailblazers of their time," said Dolphin Digital Studios CEO, Bill O’Dowd. “By bringing together a group of visionaries such as Anthony, Yahoo!, Dolphin, CAA and Norton, you can expect that ‘Cybergeddon’ is going to break new ground for how consumers experience entertainment around the world and across multiple platforms.”
Throughout the creative process, Zuiker engaged Norton by Symantec and its team of experts to inspire, guide and inform some of the technical aspects of cybercrime, including its investigation and prosecution, and to provide real-world insights into how people can protect themselves from digital threats.
comScore today released data from the comScore Video Metrix service showing that U.S. Internet users watched nearly 38 billion videos of online video content, and 7.5 billion video ads, in February. Hulu ranked 9th of 10 for online video content, but for video ads.
For content, Google Sites(driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com) ranked first, with 147.4 million unique viewers in February, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 60.9 million, VEVO with 52 million, and Facebook.com with 43.6 million. Hulu took a respectable 951 million, with viewers catching up on TV series and watching streaming movies. The average viewer watched 21.8 hours of online video content, with Google Sites (7 hours) and Hulu (3.8 hours) demonstrating the highest average engagement among the top ten properties.
Hulu also delivered a record-high number of video ad impressions, with more than 1.5 billion. Hulu also delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 48, while ESPN delivered an average of 26 ads per viewer. Google Sites ranked second in ad impressions with 1.1 billion video ads during the month, followed by Adap.tv with 706 million, BrightRoll Video Network with 683 million and Specific Media with 611 million. Time spent watching video ads totaled nearly 3.2 billion minutes, with Hulu delivering the highest duration of video ads at 650 million minutes. Video ads reached 50% of the total U.S. population an average of 49 times during the month. comScore in its calculations defined video ads as include streaming-video advertising only, and did not include other types of video monetization such as overlays, branded players, matching banner ads and homepage ads.
Other notable findings from February 2012 include:
- 83.8% of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
- The duration of the average online content video was 6.2 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
- Video ads accounted for 16.6% of all videos viewed and 1.3% of all minutes spent viewing video online