Category Archives: Multiscreen

The Year of Addressable TV Advertising

dean-black-arrowWired Magazine mentioned it first; 2014 will be the year of addressable TV advertising.

Trials of addressable ads are already taking place in the US. Pay-per-view cable channel Starz, working with cable operator DirecTV, has been using data about which subscribers use video-on-demand, to pitch ads for its shows. More importantly, it also uses the data to avoid streaming ads to existing Starz subscribers, to prevent preaching to the converted. The result is a 49 per cent jump in sales, compared to a control group, from households shown the targeted ads. HBO has been using a similar system to promote Game of Thrones.

Wired Magazine also just predicted that Facebook will own all mobile advertising, Why? How? Because they own a social network and have a wealth of data on consumer preferences and a predictive analytics team that can match ads with what consumers are most likely to click on.

Google and other outfits operate similar mobile ad networks, but Facebook is unique in its ability to target ads based on user demographics, interests, location, and activities involving everything from internet searches to online shopping. That’s the benefit of running a social network.

In this new ecosystem of advertising, its not enough just to own a vast source of data about consumer preferences, the other half of the equation, understanding the myriad of nuances for how best to utilize that data and serve up the best ad, is equally if not more important.

Take for example, the famous case of Target retail stores, who predicted a woman’s pregnancy before she knew it herself. This New York Times Article is one of the best stories out there at describing the trials and tribulations of addressable advertising, and just how Target retail stores, and their big data analytics team has discovered many of the secrets towards deploying effective advertising.

As Pole’s computers crawled through the data, he was able to identify about 25 products that, when analyzed together, allowed him to assign each shopper a “pregnancy prediction” score. More important, he could also estimate her due date to within a small window, so Target could send coupons timed to very specific stages of her pregnancy.

We are at the forefront of a whole new industry; Big Data, or more precisely, “Information Science”. Addressable TV advertising is just one niche of the big data revolution. Harvard Magazine does an excellent job of covering Big Data and how it will shape the future for most industries.

In marketing, familiar uses of big data include “recommendation engines” like those used by companies such as Netflix and Amazon to make purchase suggestions based on the prior interests of one customer as compared to millions of others.

But as of today, most advertising dollars continues to be spent on commercials for the big screen TV at home, and increasingly on ads for the second screen; including mobile phones, tablets, and other connected devices. And with this shift, there is a growing need to provide targeted ads for OTT and VOD content.

A recent deal has been struck between BlackArrow, a leading Dynamic Ad Insertion technology company, and Nielson, the leading television research, analytics and ratings firm, to begin offering on-demand commercial ratings (ODCR).

That’s where BlackArrow comes into play. By allowing the operator to switch out ads in VOD content on the fly, BlackArrow makes every older streaming episode an environment for the same ads that are now airing in CBS’ live broadcasts. As Nielsen’s ODCR scheme is designed to measure VOD deliveries that occur beyond the three-day window, those once-neglected views are now just as valuable as live ratings.

This Newsweek article provides excellent coverage about the BlackArrow Nielsen ODCR partnership and what it means for TV operators and consumers.

The Nielsen-BlackArrow pact comes as the networks increasingly look for ways to help wean viewers off the DVR, which makes commercial-skipping as easy as holding down a button while staring off into space. A far more advertiser-friendly service, VOD promises to add incremental value to linear TV buys. At the same time, viewers needn’t worry about running out of memory or forgetting to record a favorite show.

BlackArrow CEO Dean Denhart discusses this new landscape of addressable TV advertising with Fox News at the LA Cable TV Show.

Television advertising will perhaps reign supreme for quite some time, with relevant addressable targeted TV advertising coming to the forefront as one of the most sought-after technologies for both live as well as pre-recorded TV content. This is indeed the year of addressable TV advertising.

2014 Trends in Online Video

tv-trendsPatrick Hurley of Skytide has put together a work-in-progress whitepaper about the trends in online video viewing that can be expected for 2014. In these trends, he lists #1. Social TV will take off. #3. Quality of experience (QoE) will trump all. We couldn’t agree more on both of these aspects, these indeed are two of the more predominately driving features of bhaalu. Here is the whitepaper:

2014 TV Industry Key Driving Forces

key-forcesResearch from Deloitte indicates that new players in the TV industry can adapt with the changes in order to obtain compelling new business growth. And there are five key forces they have identified, which will be responsible for driving most of the growth in 2014. The five factors are as follows:

1.) Big Data – Big data not only means ability to capture, record and playback content in the cloud, but also the ability to be more specific in targeting advertising, as data about a users likes, favourite TV shows, recommended shows, and demographics allows for more sophisticated and intelligently targeted unicast based advertising.

2.) Second Screen – Tablets, Smart Phones and Laptops with ever increasing video quality capabilities are driving the growth of multi-screen. Most interesting aspect of the Second Screen phenomena is that it is actually driving growth of TV advertising revenue.

The firm adds that advertisers have also benefited from second screens, as  consumers can quickly find the product or service being offered on their handheld device, meaning they can get more information. This, suggests Deloitte, has increased the value of television advertising that was once looking like it  was losing out to Internet advertising.

3.) Spectrum allocation changes in Europe - Compared to other regions of the world, Europe has the least amount of UHF Spectrum allocated to RFID, which limits the amoun of Free to Air Television Channel Frequencies that are available. But seems to be changing now, allowing for many new UHF channels to be broadcasted.

4.) The commercialisation of UltraHD/4KTV – Technicolor has teamed up with Portrait Displays to create a colour certification process designed to guarantee the colour quality on any computer or mobile device display, and has awarded the first 4KTV Image Certification to Marseille Networks for its system on chip to deliver content on 4K televisions.

5.) The emergence of the connected TV receiver – IPTV is not the only driver here, cloud DVR’s such as bhaalu, also have a set top box TV receiver connected to the internet. Bhaalu is takes it one step further, as it is pioneering a Collaborative Cloud-based DVR.

Bhaalu is perfectly positioned to take advantage of all five of these emerging television growth trends in 2014.

Read more at:  Big data, second screen, spectrum, UltraHD, connected TV key drivers of 2014 TV industry | Rapid TV News.

VOD Versus DVR Industry Discussion

black-arrow-AdWeek-panel-2As the Fall TV season kicks off, several TV industry insiders provide a round-table discussion concerning how the TV landscape has changed over the past year. The event was hosted by MLB Advanced Media. Here are some highlights:

  • Video On Demand is in 60% of households and viewership has grown 40% in the past year.
  • Binge Viewing is an absolute phenomena, we have entered the golden age of serialized dramas.
  • DVR versus VOD: This topic was a big focus of the video. VOD is the preferred technology for monetizing, DVR gives viewers control over the box, which makes it harder to monetize. DVR puts immense pressure on the eco-system, because consumers are capable of zapping through advertising. Healthy advertising revenue stream is a critical component. The way to achieve is through robust on-demand offering.
  • Multiscreen is also changing the landscape, viewers want to consumer their TV content through mobile devices at any location, at any time convenient with their schedule. Video on demand and DVR technology offers that.
  • VOD has been around for a decade, but TV Everywhere is the shiny new toy getting all the attention.

For more perspective visit this article at the Black Arrow website, and/or watch the full video below.

Yahoo Screen Mobile Application

Re-imagining Video For Mobile with Yahoo Screen

Yahoo launched a new mobile application called “Yahoo Screen,” which runs on Apple iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The Yahoo Screen app will become Yahoo’s media content portal, offering a simple, swipeable user interface for browsing through the video channels.

yahoo-screenThe Yahoo Screen app allows users to browse through trending video clips, granular searches for specific programs, and includes gesture-based navigational controls – for example, swiping left and right skips between the episodes, while swiping up and down flips through channels.

The idea, the company explains, is to re-create the feeling of channel surfing on the TV on mobile. The navigation controls are on the left side of the screen, where you can scroll up and down through the available content channels, tap a search button, or access a side bar where you can navigate in between other Yahoo apps like Mail, Flickr, Fantasy Sports, and more.

To kick things off, Yahoo Screen has announced a deal with Viacom to offer clips from some of Comedy Central’s best shows, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. Along with an exclusive digital clip archive of Saturday Night Live, Yahoo Screen offers access to a lot of comedy video content.

More information from Techcrunch and Yahoo.

TV Remote Control Application Peel

peelPeel is essentially a remote control replacement mobile application with 25 million users, a content selection and device control platform blended into one experience. Peel runs on Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and all Samsung Tablets, as these devices have incorporated IR blasters into them, allowing for direct signaling to television screens. And we can expect more devices in the future to incorporate an IR blaster signal. According to Peel’s website:

We are today the world’s largest Tune-In platform for TV. The Peel products serve customers in 200+ countries worldwide. By 2014 Peel expects to be powering about 30% of TV Tune-Ins in the US and 20% of TV Tune-Ins worldwide.

Peel is furthering its relationships with mobile device manufacturers, and currently in the product development phase with three additional manufacturers.

Peel already has deals with content companies to serve up paid recommendations, and it’s also monetizing movie trailers and other preview clips that can be viewed within the app through ads and marketing relationships. “We are a revenue-generating company,” Krishnan said.

More information at GigaOm.

Google Announces Chromecast

chromecast-hed-2013Less than two months after launching experimental internet balloons into the Earth’s stratosphere, Google is once again taking another step toward dominating the digital world.  Last Wednesday (24 July), the digital media giant announced the release of its video streaming device Chromecast.  Compatible with laptops, tablets, and mobile phones (Android and iOS), the 5 cm-long gadget plugs into an HDMI port on an HDTV and streams video from the mobile device (acting as a remote) to the TV. 

Although Chromecast lacks the breadth of content (it’s currently only able to stream YouTube, Google Play, and Netflix) that other streaming devices such as Apple TV have, it comes at a fraction of the cost.  The thumb drive-sized device has a retail price of US$35 (S$45), compared to Apple TV’s price of US$99 (S$125).  With more streaming content expected to become available for Chromecast – such as Pandora – we shouldn’t be surprised to see it compete with the big dogs of video streaming.

However, Chromecast’s real advantage over other devices is its multi-screen capability, says Janko Roettgers:

“Chromecast synchronizes media playback across multiple devices, making it possible for you to launch the playback of a Netflix movie on your TV with the help of your phone, then turn off that phone and launch the app on your iPad to pause the movie. That’s simply not possible with [Apple TV's] AirPlay today, and it puts pressure on Apple to add more features.”

Google obviously modeled Chromecast’s simplicity after AirPlay, but, naturally, made improvements.  AirPlay only works with Apple products, and even then there are certain software requirements (I know from experience how frustrating it is to find a cool video on a Macbook and not be able to stream it through AirPlay).

Chromecast sold out on both Amazon and the Google Play store within a day of the release, and is still out of stock on Amazon.  However, Amazon will ship the device anywhere, so we Asian consumers must only wait until Amazon gets another shipment to have one of our own.

Referenced from CNN.com, gigaom.com, and asia.cnet.com