Aug 6, 2015

Recaps Are The New Water Cooler

Originally published at TV[R]EV on August 6, 2015

Like many people these days, the vast majority of my TV viewing is done on a time-shifted basis. Sometimes I’ll binge a series long after it’s off the air, other times I’ll catch up with a show that’s in-season, only I’ll do so  intermittently, in bursts. But however I’m doing it, the one thing I miss is that water cooler conversation, the ability to trade notes with friends and co-workers who’ve also just seen the same show.

That’s not happening these days. Particularly when I finish watching at 2 in the morning. But I’ve found a solution and so, it appears, have many others: Recaps.

Recaps, for the uninitiated, are a combination of a review and blow-by-blow recounting of an episode and the best ones are humorous and have a very strong POV. They are a great way to ascertain, for example, who random characters in Game of Thrones actually are and which family they’re related to, or get someone else’s opinion on which of the Wet Hot American Summer actors have aged the best.

Virtual Reality: The Future of Entertainment or Just Another 3D?

Originally published at TDG Research on August 6, 2015

Virtual Reality’ (or ‘VR’) is a term bandied about a lot these days, particularly in the entertainment industry. It’s supposed to be the ‘next big thing,’ a medium that changes the entire notion of storytelling by making it more immersive, more realistic, and (you guessed it) more reliant on technology.

At the same time, many observers hear the words ‘Virtual Reality’ and immediately roll their eyes, recalling 3D, Second Life, and other technologies widely touted as the ‘next big thing’ only to flop.

So is VR just another overhyped technology, or will it truly matter to the future of TV and video?


Jul 30, 2015

The Shot Heard Round The World?

Originally published at TDG Research on July 30, 2015

In TDG’s April 2015 report on OTT TV Advertising, we predicted that the artificial division between OTT and linear TV streams of the same broadcast would cease to exist within five years, at least for advertising purposes. Lo and behold, what should we see this week, but that CBS is going to run the same ads on the 2016 Super Bowl regardless of whether you’re watching the game through your set-top box or through your iPad.

Is this revolution already being televised or is CBS just slightly ahead of the game?


Jul 28, 2015

TV’s Customer Experience Continues Its Downward Spiral

Originally published at TV[R]EV on July 28, 2015

File this under “and then they wonder why no one likes them”:

new study from Verizon’s AOL unit shows that despite plummeting live viewership numbers, the amount of TV advertising is actually UP.

Commercials now take up an average of seven minutes and 30 seconds of every thirty minute show, versus seven minutes and 7 seconds in 2011. What’s more, the number of 15-second spots climbed to 37.6% from 32.1% over the same time period.

That means not only are viewers being subjected to longer ad pods but they’re also being subject to more commercials in those pods. 


Jul 23, 2015

VidCon – Ignore It At Your Own Risk

Originally published at TDG Research on July 23, 2015

VidCon is taking place this week in Anaheim. What started out as a convention for teenage fans of YouTube stars has turned into one of the premier events of the entertainment industry, with 21,000 attendees, and sponsors like Kia, Taco Bell, Best Buy, Panasonic, and Canon. Media executives that ignore this conference do so at their own peril.

As VidCon sponsors and attendees are figuring out, interruptive advertising is not the best way to reach Gen Z and Late Millennials. Rather, they are turning to more social-based outreach like #CreatedWith content done in conjunction with Social Video Influencers, such as the stars of YouTube, Vine, and other social video platforms.

But just how popular are these Influencers, and is their reach limited to only a small pocket of young teens enamored with them?


We’ve Seen The Future Of Television, And It’s Wearing Aviator Goggles

Originally published at TV[R]EV on July 23, 2015

There’s a seemingly unobtrusive news story this week about a new series called Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures that contains the blueprint for the future of television.

To begin with, the series is to appear on Vimeo, a site previously known for being YouTube’s smarter, lesser-known cousin, a place where student filmmakers posted their latest oeuvres. But no more—Vimeo’s grown up and is looking to become a full-fledged OTT network, complete with original programming. That’s a list that seems to be constantly growing.


Jul 21, 2015

Bullying The Bullies

Originally published at TV[R]EV on July 21, 2015

Sling TV launched its first round of TV commercials this week and we know some MVPDS who are not going to be happy.

Like, all of them.

Despite the Sling team’s initial promise that they were going after cord nevers (people who’ve never gotten a pay-TV subscription, usually younger Millennials), the ads, which mock the less-than-stellar customer experience offered by the nation’s MVPDs, seem squarely aimed at convincing people to cut their ties to those poor-service-providing providers.

In other words, cord cutting.


Jul 20, 2015

Book Excerpt In The Guardian Today

There's an excerpt of one of the chapters from Over The Top running in today's Guardian. It's about the shifting value of ownership and how streaming services like Netflix and Spotify may be making owning media irrelevant.

I'll give you a tease of the first two chapters and then you can give The Guardian the clicks to read the rest.

One of the most significant changes happening today, something that affects every industry, not just television, is the shifting value of ownership. The idea of ownership is based on the concept of scarcity: if a certain good or service is scarce, it’s of value to own it. But if it’s plentiful, then ownership is of less value. Different cultures place different values on ownership. If you remember your American history, the Native Americans were often confused by the European notion of land ownership, land being open and plentiful on the Great Plains. 
So too with music, TV, and movies these days: when they are available whenever and wherever you want them, the idea of consumer ownership seems pointless. This wasn’t always the case however, and a quick look back can help us understand how we got to where we are today.