Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

PBS changing commercial-free approach

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

PBS will begin adding commercials to its shows this fall, according to the New York Times.

The public television network, which has always named corporate sponsors and underwriters at the beginning and end of programs, plans to insert “corporate and foundation sponsor spots, promotional messages and branding” into four breaks during “Nova” and “Nature” on Wednesday nights. The new approach would eventually expand night-by-night, PBS officials told member stations at its recent annual meeting in Orlando.

Some shows, like “Masterpiece Theater,” might not be interrupted, but generally the network would go from uninterrupted programming to having no longer than 15 minutes of programming without a commercial break, The Times says.

The current block of sponsor acknowledgements between shows can stretch for eight minutes and cause viewers to look elsewhere, the report points out. The new approach would eliminate downtime between programs.

On the other hand, part of PBS’ appeal is uninterrupted programming, and some suggest the change could hurt donations, which are increasingly important in the face of pressure to cut government funding.

TV’s robust ad sales tied to Facebook

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Broadcasters, including networks and cable channels, expect to increase advertising sales by $600 million to $800 million, or even by $1 billion over last spring in this year’s upfront sales for the coming season, The New York Times said Sunday.

The increase, which includes cable channel revenues edging closer to networks’, is in part attributed to discussion of TV moments on Facebook and other social nets.

“TV is about creating ‘water-cooler moments,’ only now they don’t take 12 hours till you’re at school or the office,” said Carolyn Everson, vice president for global marketing solutions at Facebook. “They happen in real time.”

Marketers in categories like cars, fast food, movies, retailing and telecommunications have been increasing ad budgets in recent quarters, the report says.

Networks took in about $500 million to $700 million more in the 2010 upfront market compared to 2009.

Cable channels this year could bring in $9 billion to $9.2 billion, an increase of 10 to 15 percent from their upfront season last year and close or equal to what the broadcast networks are expected to sell, The Times said. (The story doesn’t give a total figure for over-air networks.)

Hispanic television nets could bring in $1.9 billion — up 11.8 percent from last spring.

Turner cable tying ads to shows’ content

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Time Warner has spent four years developing the ability to place commercials written to play off of a precise moment in the story of the show they run in for its Turner channels, Ad Age reports. The idea is to “make … commercials more indistinguishable from the programs they … interrupt.”

“Turner is ‘tagging’ specific moments in movies and series, trying to find dialogue, action or themes that echo a message an advertiser might like to promote, and then creating related ad vignettes that’ll appear in the spaces between when a program segment ends and a commercial break begins,” the magazine says.

The Turner cable project is targeting advertisers in programs on TBS, TNT and Tru.

For example, an ad that shows men hitting golf balls at a range would be created to run during TNT’s “Men of a Certain Age,” in which the lead character played by Ray Romano is trying to make the Senior Tour.

Over at AMC, they ran commercials for Unilever products during “Mad Men” last season that copied the style of the show and, like the show, were set at an early 1960s-era ad agency.

A source told Ad Age that the Turner cable unit has invested a “seven-figure sum” building new software and hiring staff to tag specific segments in movies and TV shows run on the various channels.

Viewers are 25 percent more receptive to ads that play off of  a show’s content compared to standard commercials, research conducted for Turner found.

A viewer “could be zooming through” with a DVR, but if the advertising looks like the content the viewer tuned in to see in the first place, “they are trained to stop and watch it,” said Linda Yaccarino, exec VP and chief operating officer of Turner Entertainment ad sales, marketing and acquisitions.

TV gains in popularity, influence

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Ads on television are the most influential and TV is Americans’ favorite medium, Deloitte’s fifth annual “State of the Media Democracy” report finds.

In part thanks to high-definition broadcasts, Americans “are coming back to television in a big way. They’re enjoying TV more than they were three years ago, and they’re watching it more,” Jim McDonnell, a Deloitte principal, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The survey asked consumers to rank their top three types of media, and 71 percent of respondents ranked TV first, followed by the Internet (46 percent), music (35 percent), books (32 percent) and movies (25 percent), according to THR.

“Eighty-six percent said TV ads influenced them most, followed by online (50 percent), magazines (46 percent), newspapers (40 percent) and radio (27 percent). Billboards, in-theater commercials, ads in video games and other categories were further down the list.”

People watch TV on multiple platforms, and smartphones are particularly gaining in popularity. The study report says 33 percent of American households now own a smartphone, up from 11 percent only three years ago, and 40 percent of responding consumers who don’t have a smartphone said they are likely to buy one soon.

The study also found that social media has been a boost to TV viewing, because people don’t want to be out of the loop when online friends discuss programs.

“Consumers are not only watching television, they are talking about it, and those conversations are frequently taking place in real-time online and via IM/texting,” said Phil Asmundson, vice chairman and technology, media and telecommunications industry leader for Deloitte.  “By embracing the Internet as a platform that encourages audiences to participate in discussions about their favorite programs, television is maintaining its hold on the American public. …

“And, because television has embraced the Internet and social media so effectively, the traditional television advertising model is alive and well,” Asmundson added.

The study also found that print magazines remain popular, and that cloud computing is emerging as a potential consumer entertainment storage and access solution.

Deloitte said its survey assessed media consumption preferences of nearly 2,000 consumers, ages 14 to 75 years old.

TV commercials to be turned down

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Congress has finally passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act — the CALM Act — regulating the volume of television commercials. And, eventually, not anytime soon of course, the volume will be cut.

“The act directs the Federal Communications Commission to regulate volume levels in a manner that has already been embraced by the Advanced Television Systems Committee, an industry group,” the New York Times says. “The FCC has a year to take action, and then the affected television providers have another year to comply.”

Don’t dismiss older consumers, NBCU says

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

NBC Universal is telling advertisers that old folks spend money more than they think they do and they should be targeted with advertising.

By “old,” they mean people aged 55 to 64, a new demographic group dubbed the “AlphaBoomers.”

“Every seven seconds someone turns 55, and once they do, they are eliminated from the highest-end Nielsen demo measurement: 25-54,” Allen Wurtzel, president of research and media development at NBCU, told Mediaweek. “It is the fastest-growing demo group in the country and now numbers 35 million people that account for close to $2 trillion in annual spending.”

AlphaBoomers  have a median household income of $69,000, dwarfing that of those under 25 ($27,000), better than the 25-34 group ($58,000), and close to those 35-44 ($75,000).

Wurtzel and NBCU want Nielsen to make the older demo group official and start counting it in ratings, but the entire industry needs to accept the idea to make it worthwhile.

“Wurtzel [said] the goal of creating the new demo as part of industry currency is not to impact program development to people in that age group, but to get advertisers to realize that people in that demo make buying decisions similar to younger demos,” Mediaweek said.

Interactive TV ads offer ‘endless’ opportunity

Monday, October 18th, 2010

The next big thing in television advertising, interactive ads, could be ready to take a big leap.

Media Daily News says Canoe Ventures already has “request for information” ads on such cable networks as AMC and Style, and is developing an iTV product involving polling and trivia questions. “The opportunities for an advertiser are endless,” David Goetzel writes.

Viewers with iTV capabilities could take part in live votes on shows like “Top Chef” and an advertiser could sponsor the results, for example.

“[R]esults of studies Canoe conducted … show interactive advertising is effective across three metrics: recall, opinion and purchase intent,” the article says.

Canoe’s request-for-information ads boosted unaided brand recall by 132 percent on average in testing, the company said. “Also when a poll runs during a show with an attached sponsor – followed by a related spot in the next break – results showed better unaided recall (167 percent higher) than if the spot did not follow,” Online Media Daily said.

“Canoe is owned by the six largest cable operators and licenses its technology to deliver iTV ads to national cable networks. … Ultimately, Canoe wants to run iTV ads in tens of millions of homes that have digital cable.”

TV rules as advertising slowly recovers

Monday, October 4th, 2010

As advertising rebounds worldwide, television is the one old medium fully recovering while newspapers continue to fail and others show meager growth, The Economist says.

“First, its power to monopolize attention is undiminished,” the magazine says. Online and mobile video are growing but have nowhere near the presence of TV. Newspapers have largely moved online, where they make much less money. But TV viewing has risen – up to 158  hours per month in the first quarter of the year, two hours more last year.

And, TV works better. “Search engines and online banners are not nearly so good at making people aware of new products,” The Economist says. “Nor do they offer emotional experiences. Television’s ability to build brands by surrounding adverts with gripping content is unsurpassed. Online video is still not a serious competitor, partly because viewers are less tolerant of ads, partly because much of it is poor.”

Social network marketing is seen as one threat to TV, but so far what’s being spent on it is hardly measurable, the magazine says. Keith Weed, the head of marketing at Unilever, “forecasts a drift from paid advertising to ‘earned’ media, including Facebook, as companies learn to build brands through discussion.

TiVo, DVRs don’t hurt TV advertising

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

A Duke University study concludes that the use of DVRs and TiVo has no effect on television advertising or buying habits, Triangle Business Journal reports.

DVRs and TiVo record TV shows, allowing viewers to fast-forward through commercials. There has been a fear that this would spell doom to TV advertising.

But, for starters, the study found that 95 percent of viewers still watch TV live. Secondly, those who do fast-forward through commercials still watch the screen to see where the show re-starts, so they are exposed to advertisers’ messages.

The investigators found no difference in shopping habits between groups of study participants with TiVos and those without.

The study also found that people are watching more TV because they can record shows.

Nielsen changing the way it counts viewers

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Nielsen, the television ratings service, this week said it is making “fundamental changes in the way it calculates its so-called ‘average audience’ ratings — long the currency of the $80 billion TV advertising marketplace,” Media Daily News reports. “Perhaps the most significant of the changes is that Nielsen will begin including duplicate viewing of all program telecasts in its average audience ratings, a move that could undermine one of the core tenets of Madison Avenue’s media planning theory: unduplicated reach.”

While the absolute amount of duplicate viewing that currently takes place via the Internet and various devices such as digital video recorders and video-on-demand services currently is small, it is expected to grow over time, and potentially could dilute the meaning of audience reach,” the report says.

“It’s unlikely that any repeated program content viewing will deliver repeated commercial viewing,” Don Seaman, vice president-director of communications analysis at MPG, told Media News Daily. “Once again, the metric is favoring the content providers and probably overstating what the actual commercial impact really is.”

Nielsen spokesman Gary Holmes said it’s much ado about practically nothing. “The estimate is that it will increase viewing under 1 percent,” he said. That figure is the amount Nielsen estimates the inclusion of duplicate viewing done via DVRs will have on the absolute size of average audience ratings. The impact of viewing TV programs online currently is negligible.

In another move drawing fire, Nielsen is eliminating overnight access to its live-only local TV program ratings, which covers around 70 percent of local U.S. television homes. “For the better part of 50 years, advertisers have used live-only as their currency,” Media Daily News says. “In the last few years, Nielsen has added new streams of program data to account for time-shifting. But few, if any, advertisers made deals on these other metrics.”