(On that tip we are seeing a general rise in ad avoiders with new data showing adblocking is growing in popularity. We will come back to this in the next few weeks.)
But Wollf sort of misses the point on digital – the future of TV and digital are inexorably intertwined. The new players like Netflix and Amazon rely on broadband. BT Sport has turned off the service through the TV aerial and are now giving Chromecasts to their customers
This slightly overexcited piece looks at the background, newish players like Sling and how the US are trying to restrict the power of then cable companies.
And in Europe the push towards quad play has put O2 in play – with Sky a likely suitor although a merger with 3 is
possible. now underway Much of our thinking around Quad play remains valid and we continue to believe that the media rights for the Premiership will show us what the new landscape looks like.
The latest entrant seems to be Discovery - who own a stake in Eurosport – and in turn are owned by John Malone, whose Liberty empire now own Virgin. Who have complained to Ofcom about the way the TV rights are handled- pointing out that fewer Premier League are shown in the UK versus top level games in other countries. So they look likely to bid for some rights too. Who else will get involved?
One piece of friction around TV is the fact the data isn’t that useful at the moment – research designed to facilitate trading around mass audience TV programmes doesn’t give the granularity now needed. Nor does it embrace newTV options like Netflix etc. The UK research people are moving ahead with new data on cross device viewing and on demand, which should be available soon.
Whilst the industry plays catch up, the pace of change continues. Yahoo – who have hired a lot of people with TV experience – are to show a Simon Cowell talent show focused on the DJs on the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) scene.
The money involved in EDM is huge, but whether Simon Cowell can add anything remains to be seen. And how a digital platform handles this type of content will be interesting.
Whilst the Mary Meeker money chart (showing money has yet to follow audience onto mobile) remains burnt onto the retina of many, we are seeing TV spend migrate to digital. As the Omnicom quote from late last year showed, the rise of online video is being driven by a recognition that moving some money from TV to digital makes the campaign more efficient.
Facebook have partnered with Nielsen in the US to hammer this home. But whilst shaving 10%+ from TV budgets helps drive those quarterly numbers, the ambition is for more. Much more. With the upcoming Superbowl we will see a change as Facebook push brands to use their video player, rather than just sharing the YouTube video across Facebook. The way Facebook have built their player makes it much more prominent in the News Feed than a YouTube video. And they have auto play too. Whilst Facebook haven’t shared any research – yet - it seems the Facebook player is much better at getting engagement.
Mashable have more on this, pointing out that Buzzfeed has switched most of their video they share on Facebook from YouTube to the Facebook player. Of course it still makes sense to have your video on YouTube and, with Twitter Video imminent, brands will need to get really good at using all the channels.
If you want to dig deeper this is a good look at some of the video tactics you can use between YouTube and Facebook, which gets into some more detail on how Buzzfeed does this. And long time YouTube fan VC Mark Suster explains his thinking on how to build a successful YouTube business.
This is an area we are fascinated by and we would love to find some brands to partner with to explore this huge opportunity. If you are interested, get in touch.
Our coverage of retail changing sparked lots of conversations, with the general point being that people have changed their behavior whilst shopping and retailers and brands have yet to work out how to respond.
The best example we know is still Shopkick where they have significant scale and solve a problem for both retailers and users. This video of one of their key people is a must watch.
Another retail brand we admire is Nordstrom. We use them as examples in Digital Transformation workshops often – not least for the way they have organized their Labs to drive real innovation. This Harvard Business Review article celebrates their digital strategy.
One of our mantras is that brands need to find a way to solve a customers problem whilst solving their own business problem. Most marketing failures are when something achieves just one side of this equation. Starbucks are another brand we often focus in in workshops as they are really really good at this.
Most of their innovation improves their business process and makes their customers happy. The latest example is wireless charging for customers smartphones. Now they just need to sort the coffee.
The biggest investment in retail currently is around grocery deliveries with Amazon and Google pushing ahead in the US and Instacart is now valued at $2bn. The Wall Street Journal has gone back to look at Webvan which IPOd in 1999 and was worth $8bn before it imploded. With mobile now mass market, many of these dotcom busts are being recognized as great ideas launched too early.
Despite them being so unfashionable we are still convinced QR codes have a future and the Chinese are showing how they should be used. Alibaba have invested in an Israeli firm that is focused on this space.
Flurry point out that the end of the PC is coming, but spend any time in a Starbucks or other coffee shop and you can see that the laptop is still the device of choice for some people for some tasks at least some of the time. The same applies in most offices, so smart brands build experiences that work across devices – so WhatsApp now have a desktop product. And we love the fact they use a QR code to connect your mobile to the desktop service.
It is still possible to have a good idea and go viral overnight. It’s not always a good thing as the story of the Glitter ecommerce firm shows. We tweeted this and were followed by two more Glitter sites within minutes.
Talking of Twitter we met a smart analyst who is convinced Twitter is doomed until they change leadership and direction. We tend to disagree but accept that the product needs to evolve to make it easier to use for civilians. Our solution would be around Twitter lists and this post shows how someone uses them very effectively.
In our Vertical Stack work on GAFA the lack of a Facebook hardware play is probably the biggest anomaly. But as Home showed they do have ambitions in hardware and it now seems Facebook came close to investing in Xiaomi. That would be a very interesting collaboration.
This is a good look at how Google continue to innovate around search. Quite long but very thorough, it’s a must read – as are the follow up articles.
We believe that getting really good at using the emerging platforms is a vital skill for brands as there can be real competitive advantage here. Here are 10 good examples of campaigns on WeChat. What can we learn here?
Not so quick reads
There are some good reports around at the moment that are worth digging into;
And the clever people at WeAreSocial have put together a hugely detailed document of stats around mobile social and digital. Essential stuff.
Finally – we are out and about again and next week I am speaking at a fascinating event about Programmatic and Branding organized by the smart people at Infectious. My bit is around the huge opportunity for creative that works with programmatic – drawing upon all that data to make more relevant and more effective ads. If you work at a brand and are interested in this area we may be able to squeeze you in – let me know.
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If you could do with some smart thinking or doing around any of the subjects we cover then do get in touch
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