Plinko just won't be the same. Labels: Jointblog
It was just announced this afternoon that -- coming this Spring -- "The Price Is Right" contestants will no longer be invited to "come on down" by media legend Bob Barker, according to both TMZ.com and Entertainment Tonight.
After 35 years as the host of "The Price Is Right," Bob Barker will be retiring from TV at the end of this season in May 2007, ending his reign as TV's longest continuous game show host.
At age 82, Barker holds the record of being the oldest man ever to host a game show, and the oldest man ever to host a weekday television program since the inception of network television. Barker is now in his 50th consecutive year on television (network or syndication).
"We knew this day would come, but that doesn't make it any easier," said Les Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation. "Bob Barker is a daytime legend, an entertainment icon and one of the most beloved television personalities of our time. His contribution and loyalty to this Network is immeasurable."
Several generations of fans would agree.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, October 31, 2006,
October 28th's Saturday Night Live actually was funny. Really! Labels: Jointblog
Lorne Michaels kicked it off explaining that -- due to severe budget cuts at NBC -- the first 5 minutes of SNL was sold off as a promotional commercial. To whom? None other than Borat -- with his cultural learnings to make benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
He made so many nonsensical crude sexual references in his thick Kazakh accent -- on live American TV. Perhaps this is how lowbrow humor can get by network censors and the FCC.
Of course, this nicely times with the release of the new Borat movie which Entertainment Weekly calls "the funniest movie...ever?"
This combo of #1 movie opening and SNL appearance has made "Borat" today's #2 most searched term on Technorati.
Borat is actually English comic Sacha Baron Cohen (if you want to read what may be the funniest Wikipedia entry of delusion, click here). Fellow Brit Hugh Laurie (TV's "House") was the actual host. Combined, I felt I was watching a modern-day version of Monty Python at times.
That -- plus musical guest Beck performing along with puppets made to look like the band as well as using a dinner table as percussion instruments!
And show bumper still photos of Laurie in top hat and a (probably) dead parrot on his shoulder. As it should be.
Among the laughing highlights:
* Hugh Laurie calling the audience "sweetcheeks" during the monologue.
* Laurie investigating suspected ghosts, complete with night-vision camera effects, "heat-sensing" lens and an ghastly "sound" played over and over.
* A timely political animated "Funhouse" which actually mauled Republican scare tactics.
* Laurie, while acting as the Queen's advance man prepping her visiting hotel room arrangements, accidently dropping his prop glasses and quickly recovering, saying "don't worry, they're only an affectation" (and being so pleased with himself that he almost broke character).
* And, probably the most Pythonesque: the very old-school Dracula vs. Frankenstein sketch, where the dumb mob goes enmass between Dracula's and Frankenstein's houses (led by "House" star Laurie) looking for Frankenstein -- until Frankenstein's arm falls off.
Hugh Laurie also did a seeringly witty protest song in which the chorus of "all we have to do is..." was always followed with garble. As blogger Egalitarian Bookworm wrote,
It was REALLY REALLY subtle and literate for Saturday Night Live... and whilst perhaps intended merely as a parody of protest songs, I felt it to be a commentary on the horrible state of current events and the seeming futility of doing anything about it.Agreed.
As an endcap to the evening, during the cast close, the inappropriate Borat kneeled down to give a crotch kiss to Laurie during the last closing credits...
Cut to commercial! Quick!
If you're interested in the ending on YouTube (while it stays posted), click here.
For more, click here.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, October 30, 2006,
A sharp-eyed Defamer reader trying to watch some CNN video coverage of the deadly, still-spreading California wildfire that has tragically claimed the lives of several firefighters forcing officials to offer a $300K reward to help find the arsonist noticed this unfortunate placement of an ad for the new movie "Catch a Fire". Labels: Jointblog
Now there's some fine topical promotional timing.
Sometimes human eyes are better than digital code for on-air programming...
Did someone yell "You're fired"?
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Friday, October 27, 2006,
The 2-day free sample Internet broadcast of the Howard Stern Show on Sirius satellite radio today brought old friends back into millions of homes across the US.
Howard, Robin, Gary, Fred, Artie, Beth O, Ralph and many of Stern's wack pack. Plus several celebrity guests like train wreck Danny Bonaduce and Roger Daltry and a little controversy where The Who's Pete Townshend backed down from appearing because of show references earlier this week to Townshend's legal problems over online child porn a few years ago.
Amazingly, despite the "millions listening worldwide" online (as Howard kept mentioning throughout the show), the web streaming was clean, robust and had very few bandwidth streaming buffer problems. The webcast stayed connected; whatever pipeline plans made in advance of the broadcast were done well.
In addition, the show debuted around the world a new 30-minute sitcom idea called "The Bitter Half" giving a little twisted comedic insight into Stern's relationship with Beth O. Among the feature voice actors: Howard Stern, Beth Ostrosky, John Stamos, Gilbert Gottfried, Andrew Dice Clay and George Takei.
For those who haven't listened to Stern since he left terrestrial radio in December, it gave old fans a chance to hear Howard Stern uncensored and uncut...funny all the way through Robin's news winding up the show as always.
More of the free Howard 100 and 101 channel broadcasts continue through today (10/25). Tomorrow's (10/26) highlight is a roast for producer Gary Dell'Abate.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, October 25, 2006,
Modern Media Catch-22: Report finds sex always on men's minds...yet cellphone may be damaging sperm production
Apparently, as I am writing this Jointblog post, what I am really thinking about is sex. And here I thought I was focused on a worthy topic about branding, audience building, media trends, market research and ratings victories. Labels: Jointblog
You know, media stuff.
Well, according to a new medical study, maybe I wasn't after all.
Then again, yesterday's British article scientically stating that cellphone usage hampers quality sperm production gets you understandably thinking. It's news to pause anyone's swimmers.
I better set down that cellphone and keep those high-energy lithium batteries away from my sensitive areas.
Meanwhile, the iPod celebrated its 5-year birthday Monday...but wait...Don't those have intense batteries, too? Can't we have it all? The iPod, the cellphone AND the great sex?
It's the modern tech age example of Catch-22. Use new tech gadgets to connect at the risk of limpy sperm. Is this an underhanded conspiracy plot to keep western culture populations in decline?
Just what are those batteries doing to us when we keep our iPod or cellphone (or other PDA) on our hip or front pocket for hours every day?
The United Press International reports:
Researchers at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University say most men are always thinking of sex.Well, if these batteries are going to affect our sexual performance, at least we can use the Internet to download whatever to help us out. The spam I still get (despite blockers) tells me so, anyway.
A study released Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists found 54 percent of men and 19 percent of women admit they think about sex every day -- or several times a day -- in a society where they are bombarded with subconscious erotic images.
Scientists at the University of Minnesota found sexy subliminal images competed for attention in the brain even when the images were not right before a subject's eyes and most people are not consciously aware of them, ABC News reported.
Researchers also found sexual orientation often determines how the brain reacts to erotic images. Heterosexual women, for example, were more tuned in to pictures of naked men, the same reaction exhibited by homosexual men. But homosexual woman were equally attuned to naked images of both sexes, the report said.
Reference article here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, October 24, 2006,
What does Google's $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube really mean for the future of online video-related media and marketing? That question has been ricocheting around boardrooms, business offices and bar stools throughout the industry since the merger was announced last week. Two weeks ago, media maverick Mark Cuban blogged his point of view. Ad Age asked five highly respected authorities for their take on the landmark deal and its implications for the world of digital advertising. Labels: Jointblog
Among their thoughts:
* Rafat Ali, Publisher from PaidContent.org says 'Lawsuits will be filed... but the studios and TV networks will work something out because they want this audience.'To read more, click here (log-on may be required)
* Rob Petty, CEO from Roo Networks: 'The dollar value is exceptionally high but it's part of a bigger play that could potentially take on some of the world's biggest media companies.'
* Tim Hanlon, Senior VP-venture, Denuo: 'I'm not sure YouTube is the magic bullet that solves the advertising-in-video problem or issue.'
* Simon Andrews, Digital chief strategy officer, MindShare: 'Google's very good at algorithms, looking at a web page and putting an appropriate ad next to that. YouTube's video is tagged. So Google can use its algorithm, see how people tag these videos and serve an ad that makes sense.'
* John Battelle, Chairman and publisher of Federated Media and founder of Wired magazine: 'Google has made it clear it does not want to be a leader in the world of content creation, and [is] therefore an ideal partner for the very media companies who fear YouTube's potential to become both a copyright rathole and a potential content competitor in its own right.'
* Jeff Jarvis, Media veteran and BuzzMachine blogger: 'Google won't monetize just YouTube. It will monetize video anywhere it is played on the internet.'
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, October 23, 2006,
Is You Tube this year's buzz spot for political ads? Last night, during game 1 of the St. Louis Cardinals/Detroit Tigers World Series, the Claire McCaskill Senate campaign in Missouri aired a new ad featuring Michael J. Fox praising McCaskill for her support of stem cell research. On St. Louis TV. 2 weeks before the elections. Labels: Jointblog
That got plenty of attention today in St. Louis and talk on morning radio -- not only because of the message in the conservative Republican state (literally, a Cardinal red state) but also because of watching Fox shake back and forth due to his condition with Parkinson's Disease.
But there's another important media story here.
The spot was also posted on YouTube by the McClaskill4Missouri campaign Friday evening. In just a couple of days, it has already been viewed more than 350,000 times (as of this morning) and received over 1300 comments. And got prime headlines on the Drudge Report.
That's grass roots...and the 2006 cost-effective way to get the political message out to the people.
Update 10/24 @ 8pm: Just checked the last view count just from the YouTube posting...1.05 million views and growing, with over 2600 comments. In just a few days. Not to mention all the other blogs and news sites that have embedded the spot for additional views.
Of course, Rush Limbaugh has joined the fray, saying Michael J. Fox is "exaggerating the effects of the disease" where, as the Washington Post headlines it, "Limbaugh accuses Fox of acting in ad."
Does he mean to suggest there isn't supposed to be "acting" for political ads? Has he actually spent time with someone debilitated by Parkinson's? If so, he may not remember it if he were zonked out on his pills.
Click the start button above to view the video or click here to view it on YouTube.
Click here for more on the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, October 23, 2006,
Last night, Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report marked one year of truthiness with his in-studio audience and his Colbert Nation fans everywhere. Labels: Jointblog
He even celebrated with one of those TV birthday cakes big enough for a person to pop out and surprise.
And who popped out?
Well, Stephen Colbert, of course.
By the end of the show, he took down his portrait above the fake video fireplace, saying he will sell it for charity...(he's SO giving)...and unveiled his new portrait of him (see below).
Stephen Colbert...the standard-bearer of the American way for life, liberty and the pursuit of truthiness.
Can we get a nationwide crowd wave, holla?
Let the eagle soar, America, let the eagle soar.
Click here to watch the video unveiling of his truthy portrait.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, October 18, 2006,
It's not just Jay-Z, Fergie, Justin, Pharrell, Chingy or Ludacris rocking the ringtones. Or even the Crazy Frog. Jimi Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd and other Classic Rock acts are hot sellers, too. And not just for the Baby Boomers. Labels: Radio
While hip-hop acts may rule today's Billboard and BigChampagne ring tone charts, Classic Rock stars are bringing the format to a broader audience through the cellphone as fans seek new ways to personalize their gadgets. In the last year, even Rolling Stone noticed teens were saving Classic Rock.
Right now, only about 10 percent of wireless subscribers in the U.S. buy ring tones today...and most are primarily young adults purchasing hip-hop and R&B-themed content. Record labels and wireless operators are both keen to expand their markets and customer services. Exploiting the vast library of catalog music, they say, is emerging as a key strategy in that effort.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" is one of the best-selling catalog ring tones of all time, with more than 1.2 million units sold (also becoming the first licensed track to appear in a mobile videogame).
Catalog-based (not new song releases) ringtones are now the format's fastest-growing segment. Universal Music Group (UMG), for instance, says catalog ring tones sales are up 80 percent from last year and now represent 10 percent of all its ring tone sales.
Until recently, hip hip ringtones have been the big sellers because that's all that sold. That's changing now that back catalog deals have been secured for most major music label and cellular companies.
Take Universal's recent deal with Verizon Wireless to bring the entire Jimi Hendrix catalog to mobile for the first time. Verizon won a short-term exclusive by agreeing to promote the Hendrix content heavily in print and online campaigns, as well as prominently feature the guitarist on its ring tone sales site.
Recommendation: Classic Rock radio stations (and other catalogue-based formats) should take advantage of this label deal momentum and offer ringtone downloads deals on their own websites right away.
Expect this media trend to deepen...and don't be surprised if you hear more Classic Rock, less Hip Hop ringtones (as well as ringbacks).
Read more of this in C|net here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, October 17, 2006,
Country, BlueGrass, and Blues (& "Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers") -- Hilly Kristal made it that and a lot more at the legendary music club.
As David Bryne once said, "This must be the place." Last night, it was...as gritty as ever.
CBGB hosted its final concert Sunday night, broadcast on Sirius, after a 33-year residence in downtown New York as the iconic, grungy bastion of punk. Although the concert biz has been trending up for the past couple of years, the small club scene has been struggling for a long time.
Talking Heads. Lou Reed. Blondie. Television. Ramones. New York Dolls. And thousands of other bands, from veteran acts to purely local artists with a strong loyal following (Lorraine Ferro!) to young let-me-muster-up-the-courage-to-try-it-once bands.
Count me as someone who's been there many times, squeezed into the barely-300 seat club to catch some street level NYC music scene. Being tall helps.
The concert, headlined by rock poet Patti Smith, was to be the final note sounded in a drawn-out battle to preserve the legendary club, whose lease ran out after a long drawn-out battle.
But the spirit will live on. "CBGB's is a state of mind," Smith said at pre-show news conference. "The new kids have to have their own places."
As Stephen Colbert commented Monday night, CBGB's will actually move to a new location in Las Vegas sometime next year. His suggestion? Laminate the bathrooms so they can be hosed down easier for better cleanliness. And don't be surprised if you see Celine Dion rocking the CBGB mic soon...
Read more here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, October 16, 2006,
Ten months after leaving the commercial radio airwaves for subscription-based Sirius Satellite Radio, Howard Stern is out to attract a broad new online audience with his first-ever free Internet broadcast. Labels: Radio
Well, for a couple of days, anyway.
According to Reuters:
Stern's four-hour-plus program will be made available live online at no charge for two days, October 25 and 26, to promote an Internet radio service Sirius is launching this week. A formal announcement was planned for Monday morning.The two-day free trial of "The Howard Stern Show" marks the first time he has been legally available to a non-paying audience since he left terrestrial FM radio in December 2005.
The new service offers more than 75 channels of CD-quality programming over the Internet -- without the need to buy a Sirius satellite receiver -- for a monthly subscription fee of $12.95, the company said in a press release.
When Stern first went over to satellite, Sirius had to battle online pirates illegally repeating Stern's show. Now those fans wanting to listen online have a legal way of doing it.
After next week's two-day promotion, you'll have to pay to hear more Stern online again. Under the new stand-alone Internet package, users anywhere in the world can subscribe and listen to Stern online, even if you don't have the equipment, a company spokesman said.
Reuters notes that Sirius rival XM Satellite Radio offers its own stand-alone Internet service for $7.99 a month...but, of course, they don't have Stern.
For more, read here.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Sunday, October 15, 2006,
Are you optimizing your email signatures?
A few days ago, a long-lost dear friend of mine reconnected after googling me. (I know, the boys at Google don't like their name converted into a verb...but that is exactly what happened -- my friend used Google to find and email me.) Of all the great tools this new digital media world provides, "connecting" via the Internet remains the most essential asset. Connecting people with ideas, with content, with information, and perhaps most importantly, with other people.
As we all experience now and then, close friends sometimes drift apart never to get back together. Sometimes several years go by and you pick up right where you left off as if no time eclipsed at all. The Jointblog and top first-page Google ranking helped my friend find me again.
Over the past couple of days, we caught up with each other's lives, exchanging pictures and stories, and making plans to get together in the city in the near future. Without the Internet and email, our reconnection would probably never be possible; we've both made several moves since being last in touch, changing phone numbers and addresses along the way.
Google made it possible...so, thanks Google!
Setting aside my personal news and the good deed from Google, there was something exceptionally worthwhile sharing for the Jointblog. It was just a little detail that caught my eye at the end of my friend's email: the pre-saved signature message.
In addition to name and contact info (plus the micro-print corporate blurb about email confidentiality), there was a quote -- which happens to be a favourite of mine. Perhaps my friend's usage of the quote is one of the reasons we have a solid core foundation; a simple code for our relatability.
So often, we email as quickly as possible, without giving much thought to how we manage our "brand", professionally or personally. Email is a direct form of one-on-one marketing. Yes, the most important content in each email we craft is the unique custom messages. But the signature line is an important marketing reminder to keep us connected. It's often the last part of the received email we read right before we reply.
This little story about email signatures sets up a question you may not have asked yourself (or the company you manage): when was the last time you adjusted your signature brand message? Are your employees communicating with the ideal, up-to-date basic "form" that "frames" the content of business email?
There are so many ways today to customize emails, from quotes to graphics to corporate links and news announcements to RSS feeds.
The quote, which is only attributed to "anonymous": "Excellence is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities."
When it comes to email excellence -- either professional or personal -- brand excellence can be reinforced with a simple little thing like the right signature line.
I'm grateful my friend continues pursuing excellence.
To read an excellent article based on this quote, click here.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Saturday, October 14, 2006,
With a new media deal as huge as yesterday's Google $1.65 billion (in stock) buy of YouTube, very few people are in a position to make comments based on similar experiences. Mark Cuban is in that position. And, boy, does he ever comment on his Blog Maverick.
No doubt, if he were watching Battlestar Galactica on his HDTV when the news was announced, Cuban would have screamed "what the frak!!!" and maybe insulted some officials, too.
He's been on the playing field before -- a decade (!) ago when he sold his Broadcast.com to Yahoo! for a billion; the rest of us Google and YouTube users are just fans in the stands (with a few us a little obnoxiously hectoring the media stars in the game).
What does Mark Cuban think of the Google/YouTube deal? In his words:
I still think Google is crazy.There's LOTS more to read -- how it impacts DRM rules, the deals with music labels, how video content will be re-centralized (possibly making bandwidth much cheaper), how it reconciles selling Sony videos from Google Video when it is free on YouTube, AND how he thinks its "effingreat.com" if no one decides to sue deep-pocketed Google over copyright infringements and what he plans to do if it truly is a whole new world.
Kudos to Youtube for getting them to say yes. My advice to you is to always protect your downside. Ignore all the scammers who want your money, and don't listen to all the tax scammers who want to save you money on taxes. Writing that check is painful, but its the right thing to do. That aside...
It will be interesting to see what happens next and what happens in the copyright world. I still think Google Lawyers will be a busy, busy bunch. I don't think you can sue Google into oblivion, but as others have mentioned, if Google gets nailed one single time for copyright violation, there are going to be more shareholder lawsuits than doans (sic) has pills to go with the pile on copyright suits that follow. Think maybe how Google discloses what they perceive the copyright risk to be in the SEC filings might be an interesting read?
I think there will be supoenas to get the names of Youtube and Google Video users. Lots of them as those copyright owners not part of the gravy train go after both Google and their users for infringement..."
Yes, he's surprised by the deal, even though there are great similarities to his own deal with Yahoo! that made him a very wealthy man. He asks, "Does it open up a whole new world if they go liability free? You have no idea."
From another Cuban post a couple of days ago, "Would Google be crazy to buy Youtube? No doubt about it. Moronic would be an understatement of a lifetime."
Read more of his candid thoughts here.
Meanwhile, we'll keep media trend watching.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, October 10, 2006,
According to Hitwise.com, Xanga is hotter than MySpace as THE most searched personal or social web destination. By a 50% margin in the month of September (chart below provided by ClickZ.com from Hitwise data).
Xanga is a 6-year-old overnight success.
It was unthinkable a year ago, but that's how fast things change in the worlds of older teens and 20somethings: according to Forbes.com, MySpace has become passe for many. In fact, as teens and 20-somethings leave, MySpace is becoming, more and more, a social community for 35 year olds and older.
As of August, Xanga had signed up 27 million blog users...and it is still growing rapidly.
Viacom...are you noticing?
As a recent comScore survey shows, MySpace's member base of 12-to-24-year-olds has plummeted 44.3 percent over the last year, as a share of its total, to just 30 percent. "I think we're at the very beginning of them reaching a saturation point," Iowa State journalism professor Michael Bugeja says.
As the Jointblog write in March 2006, MySpace may be on its way to becoming a junkyard.
Of course, Xanga did have a problem with the FTC over marketing and security concerns for users 13 and under, forcing Xanga to pay a $1 million fine in early September. The good news: it did force Xanga to add more security measures.
In the Forbes article, one 26-year-old graduate student just canceled his MySpace account after realizing he had wasted time accumulating a bunch of acquaintances he knew little about. No kidding!
Perhaps kids of the tech generation are now rediscovering the value of face time, which would be a bad thing for News Corp. and MySpace.
It's that "face time" that is helping Xanga, too...as they recently added extensive free services and templates for "audioblogs" and "videoblogs", with massive amounts of free web storage space for members to use. On Xanga, these blogs allow more than just text and picture posts; you can post audio and video messages.
Call it Social Networking 2.0...a media trend to watch.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, October 09, 2006,
XM Radio hopes to turn you on. Labels: Radio
With subscription sales slowing this summer, satellite radio is gearing up to regain the momentum for the all-important 4th quarter holiday shopping season. XM Radio jumps out the gate first with a new ad campaign debuting tonight on prime time TV.
XM has a pressing urgency since Sirius has grown much faster than XM over the past year plus...while also facing FCC transmitter repeater problems interferring with terrestrial radio broadcasts and losing 2 Board Directors due to reported internal conflicts.
Gone are XM's celebrity DJs falling from the sky and crashing through ceilings. Gone, too, is Snoop Dogg looking for his bling in the XM studios (which David Bowie took).
New agency, new message, new look for the 5 year old service. This multiplatform marketing campaign comes from creative agency Lowe New York. Expect to see it on cable TV, print, interactive, direct marketing, retail and other platforms.
The animated spots ask "170 channels to find what turns you on. Are you on?" In a few months, we'll find out.
Meanwhile, Sirius is pumping its new sleek multi-purpose devices, such as the Stiletto as demonstrated on YouTube by their star Howard Stern, with surely more marketing to come. Which will win over the minds of new subscribers?
For a look at the XM campaign, just click here or scroll down to see other jpg stills.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, October 09, 2006,
From chart tracking the weekly Top 40 songs to Top 100 podcasts to the Top 5 movies at the box office to David Letterman's nightly Top 10 on his Late Show, everybody loves a great list. It helps us relate and compare to others, to better understand how our own tastes may differ and match "everyone else's" tastes. Often, the lists we create and consume defines which social community represents us.
Sometimes lists make us laugh. Or they might encourage to make a purchase. Or even get us to tell a friend about it ("did you hear the so-and-so is the #1 fill-in-the-blank this week?").
The problem is: someone else created the list, not you. Why not you? Why not be your own Top 5 list creator?
Why not wear it on your own t-shirt?
Low-tech fashion...how retro...
Not all new ideas require high-tech answers. Low-tech can be a great counter-brand position. As the frenzy of new tech gadgets and multimedia platforms continue to excite us geeks while causing decision stress and choice overload for many other typical consumers, low-tech options can sometimes create "fresh" and lucrative options.
Take this idea from a Canadian company: personalized Top 5 list T-shirts by t-lists.com, selling top 5 list t-shirts that let customers fill in the blanks.
Top 5 (or Top 10, 20, 40, etc.) countdown lists have been popular on radio and TV as well as newspapers and magazines for generations. Usually, "somebody else" makes the list, not you, eventhough we all have our favorite things and tastes. In this age of the blogosphere, 40,000 friends on MySpace pages, Amazon Top 5 additional purchase suggestions and iTunes/Revver/LastFM song recomendations, why not go low-tech and print your own "Top 5" t-shirts. Or, better yet, make it an ordering option on your company's website for whatever that relates to your media product and customer interests.
"Top 5 Overrated Bands"
"Top 5 Stupid American Idols"
"Top 5 Sci-Fi Captains"
"Top 5 Sirius (or XM) channels"
"Top 5 Howard Stern Stripper Guests"
"Top 5 O&A Cringe Moments" (good for CBS Radio management to wear on Casual Fridays)
"Top 5 Katie Couric Leg Moments" (Last night, the night before, the night before that...)
Oh, sorry...got distracted there.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Sunday, October 08, 2006,
Despite all the proliferating choices consumers have for news, more Americans still turn to local TV news as their top choice over all other media, according to a survey conducted for the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, released Tuesday. Labels: Radio
Where new media really holds tremendous power is when the Internet partners with old media content. As reported in Tuesday's RAIN newsletter, several researchers say the Web helps broadcasters reach a broader audience. The one-two "old media/new media" punch continues to strengthen as a very potent media strategy trend.
When asked for their top three news sources:
>> 66% named local TV news as the major source
>> 29% chose local newspaper
>> 29% said national network TV news
>> 15% selected local radio news
Meanwhile, the Internet was chosen by only 11%, countering last week's reports that places like The Drudge Report are a leading source for news. Lastly, a sparse 4% chose national newspapers as their top 3 options for news sources.
Commissioned by RTNDF, the study interviewed more than 1,000 people age 18 and older in the telephone-based survey between April and May of this year.
In a separate study (1,500 U.S. adults between the ages of 25 and 64) conducted by NexisLexis and reported by MediaPost, traditional media is seen as the most reliable source for urgent news, led by network TV (50%) and radio (42%). 25% said they would turn to Web sites of print publications and broadcast stations. But just 6% said they would turn to social media, including user groups, blogs and chat rooms.
It shows new media still has a long way to go to catch up to traditional media when it comes to being a news source.
A Jointblog observation: While new media/the Internet may represent a small portion of Top 3 sources for news overall, there is no doubt how influential new media has grown over the past few years to generate word-of-mouth buzz about controversy and gossip (especially in regards to politics and celebrities), often "breaking" stories ahead of traditional mainstream media options.
Additionally, TV, newspapers and radio all aggressively use the Internet as an important source for news, content ideas, audience social networking and general show/feature prep.
For more, click here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, October 04, 2006,
Since Google is an essential starting point for web users to find stuff they want, installing mini Google tools to customize your browser has been a popular choice for the past year.
Now you can add a whole new slew of various Google Gadgets directly to your own website to make the Internet user experience even better for site's visitors.
It's one more way for Google to literally be everywhere online. Apple popularized this mini-script/application concept through dashboard "widgets", which later became available for PCs, too. Yahoo! also made a move for widget downloads. But none have been so highly focused on specific Google usage, with so many different choices.
While Google Gadgets have been available on Google.com for some time, Web page owners can easily add these gadgets/widgets right on their sites as quick-use buttons. BIG helpful improvement. The Jointblog applauds this move.
There are more than 1,200 free gadgets from which to choose what you want, including the HTML code to embedd miniature lookups for things like Google Maps or Google Calendar; also, appiications providing financial information, sports results, communication tools, jokes, horoscopes, even PacMan and Tetris.
Best move by Google in months...will it gain user popularity? That deal with MySpace made over the summer should help make Google Gagdets quickly popular. Hey, if it makes the user experience better AND easier, it's all good.
Look for some of these Google Gadget widgets to be added to the Jointblog site in the weeks ahead.
Read more here
Google Gadgets page here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, October 04, 2006,
Did you know 15% of Virgin Mobile teen cell users admitted to breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend via text message? (What, are Post It Note breakups passe?) Or that 44% of teens have different friends offline than online? Welcome to the new media lifestyle of teens.
So what do teen want anyway? They notoriously change their tastes in music, fashion, gadgets, websites.... WHATEVER...every 9 months (or even less). Just enough to cover a school year. School's in, season is changing, now what?
In July -- less than 3 months ago (which means you still have another 5 or 6 months before teens next seismic taste change) -- the "What Teens Want" conference in NYC gave word on youth marketing knowledge and insight. How well you are satisfying current trends? Wondering now what's hot for the next trend wave?
Monitoring teen media choices is already difficult enough.
Parents of teens may (should) realize some of these "Teens Wants":
>> To create an identity
>> To connect with others
>> To create
>> To change the world
>> To be older than they are
>> To have fun
>> and as a driving force, they want to do this now.
As Angela Leaney from The N put it, "don't call them fickle". They are smart and savvy, multi-tasking media users, time/schedule/overload-stressed and if what you're doing isn't good, they won't like it.
yPulse is an excellent resources for what's going on in youth marketing. They posted the following thoughts about "What Teens Want" from the various presentations at the conference. You might want to double check your knowledge and your teen media strategies. See how well you're hitting the mark of these points and make your updates now:
Basic Teen Facts:To read the rest of the article, click here.
* 33.8 million teens in the U.S. (up more than 200,000 from 2005)
* Teens "spend" $209 billion per year
* Multi-ethnic: 36% are non-white
(From Alloy Media + Marketing)
* Teens look up to their parents. Seventy-one percent see their parents as their chief role model, miles above the next contender, teachers (40%). On top of that, 59% say their parent is their best friend. They are the first generation to share music taste with their parents
* Dream jobs: Entrepreneur (13%), Musician (11%), Doctor (8%). Worth noting is that service jobs like being a firefighter or carpenter are very low on the desire pole
* Decreasing interest in being famous, or "being someone else." Points to the trend of authenticity
* Very interestingly: If inherited $20 k, would spend it on a college education (by a large margin)
* Want to contribute to society through their consumer choices
* Most important item is always a "cool car." Of all items, the cell phone is the last item they would give up if forced. When money is cutback, the items and activities they'd cut back, in order include: movies, going out, clothes, and shopping
(research from Virgin Mobile)
Media consumption and the reduction of TV viewing was rightly a huge theme. 87% of teens are online and 35% of teen media consumption is online (Tagged.com)
When "passion points" were discussed, music came up time and time again as the most important. Going to a concert by their favorite band is the number one event choice. With movies, teens seem to gravitate towards either films that are wishful or films that are full of dread (Screen Gems).
Teens want to connect with their friends, carve out an identity, and be creative. Brands are increasingly a means for them to do so. And then there are mobile and online communities where teens can talk about these things really really fast - exponentially fast. It's the new reality of word of mouth; the driving force of youth marketing.
There's the importance of friends and communities. "Friends" are central to trend creation, as groups of friends are the source of comfort, support, advice, and the top way they "find out about things."
For more on teen word of mouth, "seeding social leaders", the Internet, User-generated-content (such as an online "Video Mixer" which lets fans of the network easily mashup clips from a range of shows with pre-made sound beds), teen mobile/text message/ringtone lifestyles, Social networking, media/marketing engagement, customization, Social activism through consumption, and Trend creation.
Finally, some important lessons from The N's top teen marketer (if you don't watch The N, you aren't plugged in to teens)
1. Institutionalize experimentation
2. Don't try too hard
3. Encourage participation
4. Allow your audience to inspire you
5. Better ingredients, tastier results
6. Make it easy to be an ambassador
7. Yield control
8. Being a true engagement marketer, she insisted that the audience send an email to one of her staff for the final rule.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, October 03, 2006,
Hot on the heels of Sirius Satellite Radio's new gizmos released last week -- including Howard Stern plugging on YouTube the recordable on-the-go "Stiletto" -- and reports that regular radio's streaming broadcasts over the Internet are picking up more listeners, have subscription sales for satellite radio reached a peak? Labels: Radio
How well can both systems keep bringing on new subscribers and replace users who choose not to renew?
For the past 12-months, Sirius Radio has grown faster than XM Radio and closing in on XM's lead. Wall Street likes seeing gains in customer and market share. Recent indicators, though, suggest that growth pace is slowing down, now that the "Howard Stern" effect on sales has stabilized.
Sirius added 441,101 new subscribers in the 3Q while XM added 285,000 subscribers -- meaning 61 percent of new satellite radio subscribers went to Sirius.
Big hopes are still in place for the all-important 4th quarter holiday shopping season.
At last report, XM had just over 7.2 million subscribers while Sirius had 4.7 million (with some questioning "active" and "inactive" subscription classifications, such as "car lot subscribers"). 3rd quarter results announced 10/4 state Sirius increased to 5.1 million subscribers while XM remained relatively flat at 7.2 million -- much larger than a year ago but slower growth from this year's 1st and 2nd quarter sub gains.
Now, there's a report indictating that 3 out of 10 subscribers "very likely" may not renew while overall retail levels of satellite devices is dropping.
Last month at the annual Fall NAB conference in Dallas, the Executive SuperSession paneled by many top terrestrial radio leaders showed them more confident than in years past when asked about digital/new media threats such as satellite radio. Some of that confidence comes from the trends they are seeing in market research work.
Meanwhile, a new J.P. Morgan report says AM and FM radio stations are growing on the Internet, "experiencing a 5% sequential increase in unique visitors to their websites" in August 2006, while Internet-only operators were down 3.5%. Today, terrestrial radio's share of unique visitors to Internet radio is now one-third of all Internet radio broadcasts (32%) - up significantly from 18% a year ago (July 2005).
All of this makes for new media trend pressures for satellite radio as it seeks its next wave of growth.
Reading in AllAccess.com:
The latest Bridge Ratings study of satellite radio subscribers calls the retail market for receivers "sluggish" and notes that sales have been light enough in recent weeks that the company has had to use more locations nationwide to achieve its target sample of 4,000 respondents.
Sales are off 29% from Labor Day weekend and were flat week-to-week last week after a 16% dive the week before. In addition, the survey found Sirius' retail lead softening, with its share at 54% after spending much of the summer above 60%, and sales highest among adults 25-54, with 18-21s interested but resisting due to cost.
Analyzing churn rates, 30% retail buyers said they would not renew their subscriptions when they expire and 15% were undecided, but 48% of OEM car radio subscribers would not resubscribe with 10% undecided. And the percentage of people saying they subscribed because of Howard Stern has dropped back to the 18% level after peaking at 38% on Labor Day, with Bridge estimating that Sirius added about 1.46 million subscribers as a result of Stern.
As a result of recent numbers, Bridge has reduced its projections to predict 7.9 million XM subscribers and 6.5 million for Sirius at the end of the year, and warns that if fourth quarter disappoints, the estimates may be high.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, October 02, 2006,