The Gestalt Of MediaOcean; TV And Mobile Together At Last

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November 14, 2011 – 1:44 am

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The Gestalt Of MediaOcean

Assuming the merger of Donovan Data Systems and MediaBank into MediaOcean passes regulatory muster, it's worth asking whether the combination will accelerate the adoption of online media buying methods to the TV space or if it will complicate those efforts.

The advancements in media buying have been fitful the last few years. Yes, there have been a lot of companies that emerged with the promise of "revolutionizing" the ossified process of transacting ad buying and selling. It’s hard to believe though that after 15 years since internet advertising became mainstream, that many of the orders for those ads are still done manually; some are still done by fax (What??!!!).

It goes without saying that when something has been done the same way for 60 years, it’s hard to introduce a new method. To be sure, Donovan has been chipping away at the old methods since 1967, but it wasn’t until the late 80s, as cable began to be recognized as a significant advertising medium that the business began to establish itself more widely. The company comes with existing agreements with agencies and TV networks. But in terms of coming up with an all-encompassing system for TV buying and selling, the use has been limited.

The competition between the nearly three-year-old MediaBank, didn’t seem to be helping the wider adoption of electronically-based TV ad buys happen any faster. If anything, this kind of competition prevents the adoption of a single standard as different agencies and networks cobble together a skein of software buying services.

Naturally, these kinds of technical match-ups do lead to fear of monopolistic practices. But there are still enough software providers available to reduce those fears. For example, Google will retain the power to challenge any other buying system as it expands its TV presence. That alone should reduce any concerns about MediaOcean exacting any anti-competitive pressures on the industry.

At MediaTel Group's conference, headlined "Why Aren't We All Trading Electronically?" this past week, Greg Koerner, CMO, MediaBank offered his vision of the new company as one that will help erase discrepancies that often occur through old-style manual transactions. He vowed that the company is committed to an open system, which would allow it to connect with others. Read more from MediaTel’s coverage of its event here.

The idea of openness and transparency is the stated hallmark of most online exchanges these days and the competition appears to be pretty healthy on that side. Needless to say, TV is different from online. But as more players emerge on the electronic TV media transactions business, many of whom will be expanding from current web-based businesses, that should help keep MediaOcean honest – and more importantly, speed the process of cleaner transactions without the threat of a single dominant player dictating the rules to everyone else.

Logitech's De Luca Google TV Mea Culpa

Google may yet be taken as seriously when it comes to TV as it is when it comes to online. But it has a lot of hurdles and missteps to overcome. Logitech, the maker of Google TV’s set-top box, known as Revue, hosted an Analyst and Investor Day this past week. CEO Guerrino De Luca took the opportunity to address where things have gone wrong, starting with the admission that the companies simply launched Google TV way before it was ready, according to The Verge’s Dieter Bohn.

Specifically, De Luca called the Christmas 2010 rollout "a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature." On top of dropping that bomb, De Luca added that the company will not compound that mistake and therefore, there are "no plans to introduce another box to replace Revue."

Over the past few months Logitech and Google have tried to minimize the failure by dropping the price of Revue, which started at $249, to $99 over the summer (the same price as Apple TV’s over-the-top device, which hasn’t exactly been a raging success either). On top of that misstep, Google TV’s original remotes for both the Sony-built TV and Logitech were unintuitive and unwieldy.

So as Logitech steps back, making Google TV a success rests in the search giant’s court, Bohn notes, pointing out that Sony is likely to sit on the sidelines as well until Google can entice more consumers – and most importantly, content owners, who have thus far rebuffed Google’s entreaties to make their programming available through Revue – to embrace its offering.

In the meantime, Adobe has abandoned plans expand its Flash software to TV, a natural move since it is also walking away from supporting a mobile version in the face of the wider industry embrace of HTML5, GigaOm’s Ryan Lawler reported. After all, the Flash for TV only had one major supporter: Google TV.

In weighing on Adobe’s decision and its impact on Google TV, AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski sums up what is probably most consumers’ feelings about it, "Who cares? Know anyone with a Google TV who actually uses it?"

TV And Mobile, Together At Last

The comparison of different advertising formats battling it out – newspapers versus the web, mobile verses TV – in zero sum game is generally how media coverage is reported. But seldom does one run across a discussion of how different devices and formats can reinforce each other. Certainly consumers are making less of a distinction between their smartphones, PCs and TVs. They want just want it all to work together without friction.

A good case in point is how mobile, through the practice of using "social TV" apps, can help to promote viewership and ad spending. In a survey, conducted with Yahoo, of consumers’ mobile and TV usage habits included in Razorfish’s annual Outlook, advertisers have made the mistake of emphasizing mobile as a stand-alone medium. Instead, marketers would do better to find clearer ways of connecting mobile with TV more seamlessly.

Included in Razorfish’s and Yahoo’s survey:

  • Nearly 80 percent of respondents multitask on their mobile device while watching TV at home. In fact, 15% of that group will stay on their device for the duration of the show.
  • More than 86 percent of mobile web users surf the mobile internet while watching TV. Consumption while watching TV now accounts for 20 percent of smartphone use and 30 percent of tablet use.
  • Just as households often share the TV watching experience, 50 percent of iPad owners share their iPad. Somewhat surprisingly, 30 percent of smartphone apps owned by parents were downloaded by their children
  • 38 percent of respondents are actively searching for more information about the products they come across on TV. (Hint to media companies: closely align your TV advertising to your mobile offerings.
  • TV ad spending is the largest major ad medium and its dominance seems assured for years to come, especially considering how small mobile is—eMarketer expects it to top $1 billion for the first time this year—relative to roughly $30 billion currently online. But Razorfish report sees mobile ad spend leaping over TV in 10 years time.

"Even if TV retained its 0.5 percent average ad spend growth rate from 2000 to 2010, ad spend in 2021, 2022 and 2023 would be $64.68, $65.01 and $65.33 billion, respectively," the study concludes. This scenario has mobile ad spend surpassing TV ad spend in 12 years, only a two-year delay.

When asked by Digiday’s Jack Marshall about the potential for new technologies have the most potential to positively impact marketers’ spending, Paul Gelb, the agency’s mobile head, offered a sense of what a "two-screen" landscape is looking like:

"An advertiser could buy ads against a certain show, for example. We’re hearing more and more about companies that are trying to get into the TV space. Google, Twitter and Facebook are all talking about it, and about how their platforms are being used while TV is being watched. NFC will be a bit more delayed than most people thought because it wasn't in the latest iPhone.

"That being said, there’s still huge opportunity there. Google’s Motorola purchase could be huge driver of the technology if they include it with all Motorola devices, for example. A lot of players focus too much on payment, though. There needs to be another phase of implementation to help drive consumer adoption, such as allowing users to share interactions, and to use it at in-store experiences, concerts and sporting events, for example."

But Wait! There’s More:

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November 14, 2011 – 1:44 am
  1. One Response to “The Gestalt Of MediaOcean; TV And Mobile Together At Last”

  2. Appreciate your coverage of our outlook report.


    By Paul Gelb (@PaulGelb) on Nov 15, 2011

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