Yahoo to "Air" Reality Program "The Runner"?

Media shift and fragmentation continues.

527"The Runner", a reality show developed by Mark Burnett but never aired by ABC may now be distributed online via Yahoo.  This could be a major step for "online TV" and is just further evidence of the vast changes on the near horizon for media. 

Link to story at iMedia

Link to story at WebProNews

Technorati tags: Runner, Mark Burnett, Yahoo, Online Media

Google and Yahoo Take Aim at Television

523Google and Yahoo are making aggressive plans to move beyond the browser screen to the television screen.

From the New York Times - "The two companies, already the most popular services for searching and organizing the vast information on the World Wide Web, want to perform the same function for television, which will increasingly be delivered over the Internet.

Indeed, much of the innovation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where top executives of both companies are speaking today, revolves around video gadgets of all sizes that connect online to new programming services."

Full NYT article

Yahoo! Go unveiled at - See Yahoo's presentation on how this new product will enable you to tie together your PC, your TV and your mobile device (including cell phone).

More at Reuters

Technorati Tags: Google, Yahoo, television, Yahoo Go, CES

Windows Vista Unveiled

520from Reuters -

Chairman Bill Gates took the wraps off its next-generation operating system known as Windows Vista on Wednesday, displaying features aimed at positioning the software giant as the entertainment hub for a future of digitally connected homes.

Among the features of the much anticipated upgrade to Microsoft's flagship operating system is one that will allow users to plug their digital cable directly into their PC to watch and record high-definition cable content.

Link 1

Link 2

Technorati Tags: Windows Vista, Bill Gates, Microsoft, Vista

Windows Vista is a registered trademark of Microsoft.

As the 30-Second Spot Fades

From the Wall Street Journal -

"It finally sank in on Madison Avenue in 2005 that the 30-second commercial is fading as a means of hawking products and services. Ad executives will be busy in 2006 trying to figure out what to put in its place.

Good luck to them: Audiences are splintering off in dozens of directions, watching TV shows on iPods, watching movies on videogame players and listening to radio on the Internet. All these activities cut out the usual forms of sponsorship and take place when and where consumers -- not media executives -- choose.

The upshot is that any advertiser with an urgent message needs to start planning now to reach consumers in new and unexpected ways. Some already have. Here are some of the strategies more advertisers will be trying in the coming year..."

Link to full article (free).

Technorati tags: advertising, television, television spots

The Future of Television

517_2From Toronto Sun television critic Bill Brioux

Excerpt - "You say you want a revolution? Hold onto your remote. In 2006, the TV revolution is set to explode. Everything appears to be in play -- advertising, programming, delivery, technology, ratings -- even the concept of TV networks. Listing magazines are disappearing like, well, neighborhood video stores. Among the changes to look for in 2006..."

The story goes on to cover (from a Canadian perspective) changes to expect in programming, HDTV, advertising, disappearing networks, etc.

Link to full story.

Technorati Tags: Television, Toronto Sun, Bill Brioux

Congress Approves Plan for Digital TV Conversion

512It looks like Congress has set the date of February 17, 2009 (a date falling between the Super Bowl and March Madness, perhaps coincidentally) as the fixed target for all broadcast television stations to be converted to digital signal.  Initially the date had been set for the end of 2006, but the penetration of digital TV sets has been slower than expected. 

It's estimated that there are 70 to 80 million analog television sets now in use that are not attached to cable or satellite services.  Anyone left with an analog set not hooked to cable or satellite will require a digital conversion box in order to pick up over the air local broadcast stations.  Congress plans to allocate $1.5 billion to help viewers with the cost of conversion.  People who don't convert or hook to cable or satellite will go dark as the current analog frequency band is auctioned off to wireless and broadband companies wishing to expand their services.

The surprise here for most of us is that there are so many sets in the US without cable or satellite services, the viewers being limited to local broadcasts on VHF or UHF only.

Here are a couple of news stories if you're interested -

USA Today

Boston Globe

a la Carte Cable TV Ahead?

510Kevin Martin, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission told lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday that the agency now thinks cable companies should stop forcing people to subscribe to bundles of channels and give them the option of choosing individual channels. 

Link 1

Link 2

Opinions on this issue tend to be greatly divided.  The face of broadcasting is changing, which usually means there will be winners and losers.

Many Christian networks are opposing a la carte since they don't want to lose households when people switch from a bundle to selecting individual channels.  Other conservative groups support the move to more choice in cable as a way for families to block channels that carry programming they consider offensive.  Then there are those who think that the whole concept of channels is outdated and soon to be extinct.

The trend in media is solidly toward more choice for the consumer.  That's the main reason I think a la carte will ultimately happen.  The opponents are swimming against a stiff tide.  But in the short term there may not be enough political will to get it done, especially if Congress is convinced consumers would have to pay more under an a la carte structure.

technorati tags: Kevin Martin, a la carte cable, Federal Communications Commission

One Second TV Ads?

467From Media Works / Ad Age  about Belgian product OneSecond Breath Gel -

"... with a limited budget, OneSecond needed some fast-acting media to launch in Belgium, and Duval Guillaume and Initiative came up with an appropriate media strategy. To launch OneSecond, Initiative booked TV spots that lasted just one-second -- a literal interpretation of the brand name."

Link to the Media Works article.

The article doesn't discuss the cost of a one second ad compared to a thirty second, but it's safe to assume it's not 1/30th.  The article also doesn't really speak to the effectiveness of the strategy.  But, it was a creative idea.

To view the one, two, and ten second TV ads click here.

Info about the product from the OneSecond website - "OneSecond is a sugar free mouth refreshing gel. The gel dissolves instantly in your mouth coating your palate leaving a long lasting freshness. Its high flavour concentrations will go through your nose and help clear it if you have a cold or hay fever."

The Future of Media?

Table1 My son-in-law sent me this link to an intriguing flash video production about changes in media looking backward and then forward.   Check out Robin Sloan's flash documentary at LightOver Media on how the current global media will change by 2014 and how media events will be systematically changed based on how we want to perceive them.  It's about 8 minutes long, but worth the time.


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