When Old Media Companies Don’t “Get It”

copyright

U need 2 know about your digital rights

As illuminated in this Wednesday, June 2nd’s New Media New Marketing commentary (starting at 1:58) on TheTVNews.tv, the news article linked right below this paragraph makes me a bit crazy regarding the many broadcasters and entertainment companies that still “don’t get it” about engaged consumers, mash ups and extraordinary value of free, viral (word-of-mouth) promotions.

CNET: Yahoo, Facebook (and EBay) side with Google (YouTube) against Viacom

Of course, Yahoo and Facebook are normally rivals of Google/YouTube. Leave it to Viacom to use a $1 billion copyright lawsuit to give them all a reason to bond… leaving Viacom out in the virtual cold. Perhaps Viacom doesn’t think Google has deep enough pockets to defend itself? Right!

This reminds me of a rant that I wrote in Videography magazine almost 10 years ago when then CEO of Universal, Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (now CEO of the Warner Music Group) “declared war” on Napster. Old media company histrionics are repeating themselves.

Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, Bronfman has somewhat changed his tune. In fact, the Wikipedia entry says, “In 2008, The New York Times reported that Warner Music’s Atlantic Records became the first major record label to generate more than half of its music sales in the U.S. from digital products.”

If you have any interest whatsoever in the subject of digital rights, I want to HIGHLY RECOMMEND one of my favorite books on this subject, Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity. It’s written by now Harvard, formerly Stanford Law professor and Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig. It gives a brilliant, must read (IMHO) historical overview of the evolution of digital rights and how we’ve been through all of this before including but not limited to the birth of the VCR, cassette tapes and FM radio. Cultural & creative freedom are well worth being well-educated about, as well as defending; and this is the book that will help you do that. Trust me. This book is definitely worth the read.

Finally, if you are not familiar with my mention in TheTVNews commentary of the Hitler/Constantin Film (a German film production/distribution company) and their idiotic removal of the “Downfall” video clips with Hitler getting upset over mundane things like the leak of the new iPhone, here’s your historical reference via TechCrunch.

Mind those digital rights, please! And if you’re working for a big media company, please play nice with the other kids. We live in a new era of cooperation. Your customers are your friends! Get it?

Conan O’Brien Gets “The World Has Completely Changed.” Do You?

(Note: Read & scroll down please. Two [2] cool video clips below…)

I gotta love the fact that social media has become so powerful that a TV comedian like Conan O’Brien is having very tangible personal experiences that not only wake him up to the fact that “the world” as he says, “has completely changed.” But, as he illuminates in the video clip below from an interview at Google, his social media realization is in stark contrast to how far the execs at NBC apparently are from understanding how social media works (i.e. the audience has new powers). Duh. 😉

Of course, this is just one example of the fact that dramatic changes that are upon us due to the explosion of social media.  More video “evidence” is detailed in the 2nd video clip below.

Also, please note that when you click “play” on the Conan YouTube clip below, it is set up to play starting at the segment at 15:27 where he describes what happened to him because of Twitter (about 3+ minutes total) in the aftermath of his fall out with NBC when they gave “The Tonight Show” back to Jay Leno (“the other gentleman”). At some point, you may want to watch the whole 48-minute clip. It’s quite funny.

Now… especially if you are still wondering about the importance of social media—but probably, in any case— I highly recommend the following visually dynamic and informative YouTube video, “Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh)” from the authors of the book, “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business.” This video is a freshingly-updated version of video that’s been around for a while. It’s packed with eye-opening statistics and relevant perspective, including, for example:

“Social Media is not a fad, but a fundamental shift in how we communicate.”
— Erik Qualman

Yes, the changes are that big.

Do you “get it” or are you still sitting on the edge of the social media “pool” thinking about jumping in?

Online marketing & advertising illuminated via a visit to ad:tech SF

As discussed in this Tuesday’s New Media New Marketing report on TheTVNews.tv (video immediately below), I took advantage of a press pass last week to spend a day at the very alive and vibrant ad:tech SF online advertising conference. It was very stimulating as well as a bit overwhelming, as most good conferences are. (Note: Examples and references are linked below.)

Bottom line, the conference was healthy and online advertising in general appears to be growing at a robust rate. This was evidenced in an announcement unrelated to the conference, as I was getting ready to go, I learned that global package goods giant Reckitt Benckiser was doubling their annual online advertising budget to $40 million.

In addition, [added 4/30] eMarker’s CEO says Online Video Advertising to Increase 35 Precent in 2010 (video interview via Beet.tv).

One educational note was revealed as I first entered the press room. Their sign read, “Press, Bloggers & Twerps.” I commented that I had not seen twerps get press credentials previously. At this point, I was told apologetically that the sign was an error. It should have said, “Tweeps.” We are all learning. And, apparently there were only three tweeps deemed influential enough to get a press pass, but this was a “first” none the less.

Loic Le Meur

(cc) Kenneth Yeung - http://www.thelettertwo.com

A highlight for me was the keynote by French entrepreneur, Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic.com, who now lives in San Francisco. Loic accurately positioned social media as the third major wave of internet marketing. The first major wave, as he described it, was just having a website. The second wave was being savvy enough to be found on Google (search engine optimization or SEO). And, the third is now the ability to “earn” interactions via social media. He emphasized that social media is not about “campaigns.” It’s for listening and engaging.

Along these lines, I also appreciated comments by Larry Weintraub of word-of-mouth marketing agency, Fanscape, who explained that engaging in social media marketing has many more benefits than old world marketing. All with enormous value. Without embellishment, the four solid reasons to go social are:

  1. Marketing (another speaker said that “advertising” is now morphing into “marketing”)
  2. Market Research
  3. Customer Service
  4. Public Relations

In my opinion, none of these benefits should be under-rated.

You can watch Loic’s keynote via this link. The Hitler video which Loic included (amongst the dozens of other Hitler parodies based on the Constantin Films movie that I mention in the video above) can be viewed here, if it’s still up. It’s very funny if you are geeky enough to imagine Hitler expressing Steve Jobs displeasure over the loss of that famous iPhone G4 prototype.

Here are other examples of advertisers’ money moving to online video, as well as other links mentioned in my video report above:

BONUS #1: TWITTER ADVERTISING
Amongst the MANY smaller businesses exhibiting at ad:tech SF, I was interested to learn that Twitter is now not only being used for social media engagement; but beyond Twitter’s own advertising expansion (the potential of which Andrew Goodman calls “huge”), there is also now a Twitter-specific “contextual, targeted” independently-run Twitter advertising platform called 140 Proof.

BONUS #2: BRANDS AS PUBLISHERS a.k.a. Content Marketing
Here’s a link to a great set of links that further illuminate the “brand-led online video” trend which is also called “Brands as Publishers” by this page’s author, thought-leader, publisher, John Battelle, and “Content Marketing” by others. Checkout It’s All About Publishing, a.k.a. it’s all about content. 😉

And, as I’m sure you know, there’s “more to come.” Including an inside track on branded YouTube channels that I’ll be covering in a new blog post and video report soon. I met with Google/YouTube at ad:tech and an announcement regarding this development is expected in, roughly, mid-May.

(Request: If you watch the video above on YouTube or Facebook, please comment etc. And while you’re here, I would appreciate any comments and/or feedback that you may have. I’d love to hear from you.)

Thanks for reading!

Google TV Ads, Cisco Feeds MSNBC, & Interactive Marketing Agencies: A Fresh Perspective

Another week, another Tuesday segment on TheTVNews.tv. This week, I aggregated three new online video news stories that I think merit your attention. My video segment is below, and below that are the Google TV Ads video demo, more comments, and links to all the sources. Please let me know what you think.

1. Great Video Demo of Google TV Ads

Seth Stevenson of SlateV.com did a wonderful job of demoing Google TV Ads for the rest of us. I’m sure you will agree that he proves his point that, yes, anyone with the technical chops to produce a 30-second TV spot and set up a Google AdWords account, also now has the opportunity to be a media buyer and place those TV spots on carefully targeted cable TV networks in the time slots of your choice.

I’m impressed and ready for a client who wants me to do this for them. I’m highly qualified. Are you reading?

Here’s the SlateV Google TV Ads demo for your viewing pleasure:

By the way, for those of you doing the math, not familiar with Google AdWords campaigns, and figuring that, hey, that’s about $1.30 per website visitor… please keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for AdWords customers to pay $4, $5 and up PER click. And the visitors he “acquired” via this campaign were coming to a strange website URL with no identified service or product being offered.

2. Cisco Feeds Its High-End Teleconferencing System to Rachel Maddow and MSNBC

In what is said to be “a news media industry first,” Cisco has partnered with MSNBC to provide  The Rachel Maddow Show’s New York and Washington D.C. studios with its branded TelePresence technology. According to Cisco, “TelePresence offers what traditional broadcast interviewing technology often lacks: a truly two-way, visual connection between the studio host and remote guest with virtually no audio lag time.”

To me, that’s an interesting tech story, not only because of the “no audio time lag,” but also because of further in-roads being made by a traditionally IT industry player providing hardware services to the broadcast TV industry.

Click here to see for yourself.

For more details and illuminations of the interactive benefits of TelePresence, Beet.tv has a video interview with Charles Stucki, VP & GM of the Cisco’s TelePresence unit.

3. Forrester Research Predicts the Future of Marketing Agency Relationships

Anyone in the marketing or advertising business knows that all marketing agencies are being forced to cross “boundaries” that traditionally defined specific niches. Now, Forrester’s latest report, “The Future Of Agency Relationships: Marketers Need To Lead Agency Change In The Adaptive Marketing Era” sets the stage for overlapping, multi-discipline agencies and the ways we all will be doing battle (or not) in the future.

But if you don’t feel like plopping down $499 for the report, I highly recommend Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim coverage of the report, Forrester Predicts the Interactive Agency of Record Will Die. Beal reveals the main types of agencies discussed and some of the top level data including this quote which gives you a flavor of the sophistication being required in today’s marketing agency market:

It is not enough for adaptive agencies to understand market research, ethnographic, or behavioral data. To fully understand customers, and to leverage that knowledge to improve customer experience, requires agencies to understand the interplay between the various types of data, and crucially, demands the ability to turn the data into actionable intelligence.

Stay tuned. The landscape continues to morph at a record-setting pace. Keep on dancing… and keep your seat belt fastened. 😉

Top 5 Online Video & TV on the Web Mega-Trends

On Tuesday’s edition of TheTVNews.tv, I talk about how hard it is to keep perspective on how fast things are changing, when things are changing this fast.

To help put some perspective on at least some of these changes, here are five key online video “Mega-Trends” that I think are worth noting—each illustrated by a current news story from the past week with at least one relevant link for your browsing pleasure.

Please let me know if you like this post and/or if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

1. Online Video Just Keeps on Growing.
The latest example: CBS and NCAA set a record for broadband viewing: 3.4 million viewers watched the opening round on computers. That was just on just the first day of March Madness, the national collegiate basketball tournament. CBS and the NCAA put video of all of these big games, held around the country, online at a website they call March Madness on Demand (mmod.ncaa.com). Read more at the Washington Examiner >>

2. Social Networking Usage Surges Globally
The Nielsen Company is reporting that the audience for social networks is growing at a whopping 29% year-over-year. Driven largely by Facebook, the GLOBAL average user’s time spent social networking more than doubled from just more than 2 hours/month in Feb 2009 to nearly 5.5 hours/month in Feb 2010. Interesting, Italy tops the specific country list at nearly 6.5 hours/user/month and the US is just over six hours per user a month. And this doesn’t even include YouTube as a social networking site, which it is (at least in part). I promise you that this trend will continue. The public’s appetite for making connections online and sharing blog posts, digital pictures and videos is just ramping up. Read more details on Mashable >>

3. Online Video Advertising Is Poised for Growth Thanks to Analytics
Beet.Tv posted a very interesting video interview with Mike Bologna, director of emerging communications at GroupM, the giant corporate parent of the WPP advertising and media agencies. Bologna sees formerly cautious advertisers jumping into online video thanks to the availability of browser and viewer use statistics, or analytics as we call user tracking on the web. This valuable info is drawing more advertisers into becoming willing to leverage the power of online video. Here’s the Beet.tv clip so you can hear Bologna’s insights from “the horse’s mouth”:

4. More High Quality & Professional Resources Are Being Committed to Online Video
Here are just two of the many examples of this trend. Again, both announced within the last week:

  • NYTimes.com has launched a new daily video program called TimesCast that features behind the scenes footage of the Times editorial team at work, mixed with coverage of the day’s headlines. TimesCast is now at the top of the right column on http://video.times.com Here’s a direct link to Monday’s edition >>
  • The leading tech blog, TechCrunch is upping its video content creation capabilities by hiring Evelyn Rusli, an anchor from Forbes video who made over 200 appearance on Fox News in the “Forbes on Fox” segment. In it’s typically cheeky fashion, TechCrunch announced, Welcome To Evelyn Rusli, Whom We Stole From Forbes

Of course, these are just a couple of examples of the way that important players are continuously making important steps to increase the attractiveness and viability of their online video offerings. That said, I think both NYTimes.com and TechCrunch are good examples to watch. Both are attracting both a significant volume of viewership as well as meaningful advertising revenues.

5. Major Internet Players, like Google, Are Creating New TV Hardware To Put More Online Video on Your TV
We all know that Google is a software king whose reach goes way beyond being king of the hill in search to include Google Apps (like Google Mail), Google Buzz, they own YouTube, and more. And, then there’s the Google Phone manufactured by HTC. Well now, there’s Google TV.

As the New York Times reports: Google and Partners Seek TV Foothold. Expected to bring a  new kind of Internet video experience to living rooms everywhere, Google TV is a new kind of set top box that is being created in partnership with Sony and Intel. It uses Google’s Android operating system and will compete Internet video boxes like the Boxee Box, Roku, Popbox, and the innovative Sezmi system that I profiled a few Tuesdays ago on TheTVNews.tv.

As you can tell and probably already know, Online TV / Video is not just one thing, but the trends above are clear. This “toothpaste” is not going back into “the tube.” (pun intended)

And, underneath all of this is what you might call “The New Rules of Communication” that the Web has inspired. To be successful, whatever you are doing online, you can’t just be a “broadcaster,” you need to be truly interactive and authentically engage viewers and visitors in such a way that you create real relationships with them. That’s something most TV companies still need to learn… which is good news for the rest of us.

Speaking of relationships, I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below with what you like or do not like (and rate and comment on the YouTube clips if you are so moved). I’d love to hear your feedback. I’d love to hear your ideas for what stories you’d like me to cover on TheTVNews.tv or on this blog. What would be most useful to YOU? Thanks!

My Top 5 List of Top Whatever Lists: Happy New Tech New Year 2010

Tis the season of lists. Too many lists? Maybe or maybe not, depending on whether or not you are looking for some perspective, or maybe some bottom line insights about trends and/or tips on how you or your organization’s tech, social media or just plain ole marketing priorities should be focused for the coming year.

My high hopes are that the following list of lists (and grand perspectives) will help you make 2010 the best yet:

5. Super Geek David Pogue’s Pogie Awards
My favorite NYTimes tech writer’s picks for gadgets, apps & such include the killer Firefox extension READABILITY and a very funny (to me) iPhone app that let’s you safely text while walking, by using the iPhone’s built-in camera.

4. Google’s 2009: A Glimpse of the Web’s Next Decade
At least at the moment, as Google goes, so goes the Web. And, if you haven’t noticed, Google is hardly standing still. In fact, they have been innovating their butts off. So, if you’re not tuned in, you should be; and this post by Mashable is packed with eye-candy charts that help make staying up to date more fun.

3. YouTube Is the Top Social Media Innovation of the Decade
Also, via Mashable, and also not technically a Top Whatever list, I’m including this post because I think the importance of YouTube is about as important as it gets. For one thing, YouTube is frequently omitted from lists of social networking sites. Come on! This thoughtful article explains why I’m going to be posting a whole lot more video in 2010 and why I think you should too.

2. 8 Things Every Geek Needs to Do Before 2010
This post is beyond practical, it could literally save your life (technologically speaking). No kidding. Have you backed up lately? Have you edited your privacy settings and pruned your feeds? This is important stuff (via leading tech blog ReadWriteWeb) that can help make your whole year better.

1. 2000s Decade Recap – Business and Technology (video below)
Originally called to my attention by the TechCrunch post Video: A Decade Of Tech Highs And Business Lows, the 3:22 video below puts the past unprecedented decade in perspective, and given the magnitude of the changes, from the dot-bomb implosion through ground-breaking iPhone innovations and social media explosions, I think it’s worth taking at least 3 minutes or so to reflect. Don’t you?

As the Grateful Dead sang, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”

May the Tech Highs continue, and the Business Lows not so much.

Google Gets Simple, Elegant in New Tech Videos (Google Real Time Search & Google Goggles)

I like clear and simple. I heard Steve Jobs quoted today as saying that simplicity is “the ultimate elegance.” I especially like simplicity when it’s used to describe complex new technologies, and so much the better if that simplicity is being offered on YouTube, via video clips that are less than two minutes in length.

Thus, the two-clip salute below to Google and two major new (complex) technologies that are designed to make our lives simpler.

The first is real time search. A hot new trend that’s featured in the #1 spot on the American Express OPEN Forum post, “5 Trends That Will Shape Small Business in 2010.” Don’t look now, but the web has taken on a whole new dimension:

The second video demonstrates something even more powerful, Google Goggles, which searches by objects using your cell phone’s camera rather than text or voice to initiate the search. I like the tweet description that I just read by @faris: “Seriously – no messin’ – Google Goggles is an entirely new paradigm of human computer interaction – ‘hey Internet – what’s that?’ ”

Let’s let Google explain it visually in two minutes:

Yes, I hear that Google Goggles WILL be coming out for the iPhone.

And, come to think of it, Google always did get simple. Just think of their home page.

What do you think? Are these exciting new technologies? Are these videos any good? I’d love to hear your opinion, view and/or feedback.

Major Trend Alert: Shared Links Can Trump SEO for Internet Marketing

NYTimes "share this" imageLink sharing inspired by social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn is nothing new. But fresh data published in Sunday’s New York Times by Brad Stone in his article, “Share The Moment And Spread the Wealth” reinforces the fact that this trend is continuing to gather momentum. It is doing so even to the extent that it has become equally important and now sits side-by-side with SEO (the historically dominant technique for building website traffic via Google) as a strategy for increasing the visibility for your website.

This underscores the powerful points made by some of my favorite thought leaders. Whether you call it building your “Tribe” as Seth Godin does or creating a “World Wide Rave” as David Meerman Scott articulates the opportunity, I have to say that whether you are a marketer or just a business owner, social networking has now crossed a major trend line. If you didn’t consider it essential before, now there is no doubt (at least in my mind) that social networking that encourages link sharing must now be considered a mission critical component of every company’s marketing plan.

For this reason, ComBridges’ is increasingly offering more social media marketing services in a variety of formats, including contract, consulting and even mentoring/coaching. Click here to request a free consultation.

FYI, I’m also very excited to let you know that I will be covering social media marketing and related topics in our upcoming EBiz Express Teleseminar series. Be sure to subscribe to our “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter if you want to be invited. The guests/co-presenters will be awesome, and we are keeping this educational series very affordable.